I've posted several questions previously about a potential lead in terms of securing an internship.

Briefly, for the last 4 months I have emailed this head about an internship, the response on both occasions was along the lines of:

We don't have anything suitable at the moment. We will keep your cv for suitable opportunities if they open up


I will certainly be in touch if something suitable opens up

which the optimist in me took as not now, but maybe in the future.

This week I sent a mass email of my updated cv to companies, which was literally one line 'here is my updated cv'. I also bcc the head and he responded back again with the same spiel:

We still do not have suitable open positions at the current time. I thank you for your interest. We will be in touch if something materialises

Is this a common approach to leave speculative candidates in limbo clinging to hope, or is he just a very polite timewaster that doesn't want to just say 'no, thank you and all the best for the future' like many others have flat out said in the first instance?

I'd appreciate your opinions, as I have no doubt I will come into contact with more like him in my quest for work.

  • I think you should stop spamming peoples too. General rule is to wait atleast 6 months before applying again. Actually you are wasting the recruiter time by sending up follow ups so soon. And his reply is just a template. It doesn't mean anything – user47813 May 22 '18 at 18:04

I'm struggling to see any realistic interpretation of the situation where the other person is acting as a timewaster.

Either their responses can be taken at face value - in which case they appreciate your interest and have stated multiple times that they have nothing suitable right now but if they did they would be in touch, or it is the case that they just aren't interested in you but don't want to come out and say it. In the latter scenario they still aren't wasting your time because they aren't asking you to do anything or spend any more of your time on them. You choosing to follow up every few months is entirely your decision to use your time that way.

Also I realise that this wasn't the actual question but I wouldn't recommend sending your CV through on mass unsolicited e-mails. Especially not one-liners!

An unsolicited CV for an internship or similar might have a slightly better success rate if it came with a kick-ass cover letter but as regards actual jobs I'm in the UK (which is where I believe you are based on your other questions) and while I've received more than I can count over the years I've only ever actually read one or two, I've certainly never hired anyone from one, nor has anyone else I know and I've never known anyone who got hired that way either and reactions to them range from being irritated up to the dizzying heights of complete indifference so with the best will in the world I think you are wasting your time there.

Hope the search improves for you!


Look at it from the recruiters point of view.

They get 10's possible 100's of emails per day with an updated CV.

Do you think they have time to type out a personalized email each time? No - They use the same reply and you can just hope that they have updated their system with your latest CV.

PS: Also not a good idea to go mass email and letting know what other recruiters you are talking to. Do them individually.

  • Hi im in the uk. It is actually his private firm of about 15 staff members, and he is the MD. – Sally101 May 18 '18 at 5:59
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    yup I did bcc about 60 companies, next time I will personalise it – Sally101 May 18 '18 at 6:13
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    @Sally101 If this person is the managing director, then he isn't really a recruiter, is he? You may want to take that into consideration, because a managing director of a company of 15 has a lot of roles and a lot of different things to do. You may actually be hurting yourself here by repeatedly mailing them with irrelevant(?) updates (from their perspective) to your CV (ask yourself, what relevant things can change in 4 months?). – Mark Rotteveel May 18 '18 at 14:10
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    The answers quoted actually seems tailored, otherwise all three replies would probably have been exactly the same. If anything they increasingly emphasize they still have no opening. – Mark Rotteveel May 18 '18 at 14:12

Firstly, acknowledge that you may be perceived as rude

Sending a one-line email with your CV, to a bunch of people at the same time, who haven't asked for it can come across as pushy and annoying even if you had previous contact with them. At the very least, you'll want to write more personal emails and take a more humble tone. You want these people to do something for you, so some pleasantries are in order.

Secondly, remember that recruiters don't always have jobs for every CV.

Recruiters work for companies on the basis of job openings, to which they try to match candidates. As a candidate, you can contact a recruiter to see if they have anything for you, but if they don't have anything for which you are a good fit there are only two things they can do:

If your CV looks like something they will receive a job opening for in the future, they can tell you so and keep your CV on file for when something comes up.

If your CV doesn't match the profiles they usually work with or there is some other reason why they don't think they would be able to work with you, they'll send you a rejection.

Sending more emails after the initial contact, even to send an updated CV, will not change reality: either they have an opening that suits your profile or they do not. For this reason, any further contact is at best meaningless and at worst counterproductive.

I say counterproductive, because repeatedly contacting someone without (in their eyes) a good reason will make you look desperate and the fact that you don't realize that they cannot help you at the time can make you look unprofessional. This means they will be less likely to think of your CV when a matching opportunity does come up.

So when can you follow up?

Generally speaking, you should only follow up if something drastic has changed. For instance, it might be a good idea to let a recruiter know that you've found a job already. It also might be a good idea to contact them if you've achieved something that makes your profile more interesting, like obtaining a major certification in your field. If they've made you a concrete promise like "I'll propose your profile to a few of my clients" then after a week or so without any news, you might call them up for a friendly inquiry into the status of the proposals.

Outside of that, you should probably just leave them alone. You're in their database and your profile will come up when they have a suitable opportunity. There's nothing more they can do for you.


I think it's important to note that there's a difference between interacting with a recruiter versus a hiring manager. Based on your comments (you refer to this person as a "head") I'm assuming they're a hiring manager and not a recruiter.

The difference is: recruiters work to maintain pools of potential resources while hiring managers look to fill a specific role at a specific point in time. The implication of this is that a hiring manager generally doesn't care or want to know about you unless they currently have a position open that fits your CV. Hence, it doesn't make much sense to contact them otherwise, and to answer your specific question,

Is this common in the recruiting world, or is he just a very polite timewaster that doesn't want to just say 'no, thank you and all the best for the future' like many others have flat out said in the first instance?

It's certainly common to receive no response, or a polite decline, and even though he's implying you should stay in touch, it's essentially interchangeable with the other polite declines you're getting. You didn't specifically ask this, but it seems like you're implying a second question,

What should I do now that I've received this response?

It seems like you're recognizing the pattern here - and other answers are reinforcing this - sending mass emails (especially to hiring managers, vs recruiters) isn't likely to result in meaningful follow up action. The recruiters you're working with already have your CV - it doesn't add any value to send it again, unless something major has changed. The hiring managers probably don't care, and don't even keep your resume, unless you happen upon the one in a million chance that one of them happens to have the perfect position for you at the very moment you email them, which isn't likely.

So, instead, redirect your efforts to already established recruiting channels:

  1. If you have specific companies identified you'd like to work with, contact them and ask how they hire interns. Maybe they have intern fairs, or recruiting events, or they work through a local university.
  2. Maintain an active presence on professional social networking, ie LinkedIn. Follow companies you like (which means you're likely to see them advertise positions they have open), and ask to be in the network of the recruiters you're working with.
  3. Find the corporate recruiting websites for your target employers, and check them often (or subscribe, if they have that feature). Watch the positions they post to determine when they have opportunities available.

The key here is to be in the pool that recruiters are working with, and to identify specific positions to pursue when they're actually open - versus blindly spamming hiring managers with resumes. The chances that someone is going to make an internship position out of thin air just because they got your resume in an email are basically none, so your best bet is to learn about existing recruiting channels, and then actively stay on the lookout for when positions are available.


You have not indicated in which country this scenario is playing out.

In my opinion you should read this differently though. More along the lines of: "I don't have anything for you at the moment, but I will let you know when I do."

You're currently reading into what he says what you wish to hear, but the sentence literally says "we will keep you in mind for suitable opportunities if they open up".

Next, not sure if you made a mistake in the building of the sentence, but it sounds as if you send out a mass email to a lot of companies and added him in the 'bcc' of the email? Yea, don't do that. It's none of a recruiters' business to know about what you're doing, next to any possible cooperation with them.

  • sure, I take your point. – Sally101 May 18 '18 at 6:14

In addition to all of the excellent comments above, I propose a change in mindset:

Recruiters work primarily for hiring companies, not for job candidates.

This means that recruiters will first work with companies to see what their hiring needs are, and then go find those people that can fill those needs.

Or from your prespective, they do not first take your resume and then go to companies and try to get you a gig. Big difference.

So with this in mind, I propose that you work with every company or recruiter that presents themselves as possibly having positions for you, as opposed to placing a large amount of faith in a single recruiter.

Good luck.

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