I have a probably 3rd party recruiting for a respected firm who is too disorganized to leave me alone. He sent me six increasingly nagging emails to which I eventually replied saying I wasn't interested. (I get too much recruitment email to not ignore.) Three weeks later he sent me the same initial email for the same opportunity as if we had never met.

As of right now I have a call scheduled with him to ask how I may decline opportunities at this time while retaining relations with the firm and not burn bridges even though I really want nothing to do with this person. Meanwhile, he's recruiting me for a job with another company for which I have already worked in the past and is on email #2.

What's a good strategy?

  • 4
    This is what email blacklists are for. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 23:13
  • @OlinLathrop the "don't burn bridges" part
    – user1084
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 4:04
  • Ignoring email isn't burning bridges. In any case, a moron like this has no value to you. There are plenty of headhunters out there, and plenty of ways of finding a job without using a headhunter. In fact, that's the last resort since your resume then automatically gets put on the only if we're desparate pile. Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 13:37

3 Answers 3


Letting him get you onto a call was a tactical mistake...

Sometimes a bigger hammer is needed.

"I'm not looking at this time. You're allowed one, and only one, cold call a year unless I tell you otherwise -- don't waste my time and patience, and don't waste your time and reputation. If you keep pestering me, I'm going to make sure I do NOT work with your agency when I decide I am ready to look around, and I'm going to suggest to my friends that your agency doesn't respect its clients and should be avoided. Got it? Now let me get back to work."

  • No. There is no need to be this rude in any professional setting. Rudeness is not a bigger hammer.
    – user1084
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 4:04
  • 1
    Unfortunately some folks take politeness as permission. If a polite request is not having the desired effect, emphasis may be necessary. Remember, they're being "rude" first by persisting after having been told to stop. And frankly, I don't consider the quote especially rude -- direct, assertive, spelling out exactly what I expect from anyone I do business with, but the only portion that I would consider changing to make it more polite would be to replace the last sentence with "Now you'll have to excuse me; I need to get back to work." But I'm a New Yorker; we tend to be blunt.
    – keshlam
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 4:50

How do I get a recruiter to stop bothering me?

What's a good strategy?

You are wasting too much time and energy on this.

There's no need to schedule a call, or have any further conversations with this recruiter, if you really want him to leave you alone.

Simply tell him once "Thank you, but I'm not interested in a new position at this time." If he sends you further emails, just delete them without responding.

Eventually, he'll take the hint. If he doesn't, you should put him on your Spam list to dispose of his emails automatically. A recruiter who cannot bother to follow your instructions isn't someone you want to work with in the future anyway.


You don't change the way this recruiter works. You'd only help him improve, by giving him some feedback. So try to explain how the things look like from your point of view. He'd either give you something that's works or it would be a loss of time for both of you. If he wants to improve, he'd understand.