So, long story short - about 10 months ago I was seriously contemplating quitting my job and I noticed that one of my LinkedIn connections (recruiter from an hr agency) posted a job that looked like a good fit for me (to give some further background - I'm working as a software developer).

I contacted the recruiter and interviewed with the company (and even received an offer, but it was no better than my current position, so I turned it down). After that, the recruiter started sending me information about some other available positions, but I told him that I'm not interested in them. Nevertheless, I started getting emails from other recruiters from the same agency and at some point I believe I got into some kind of candidate database and thus started receiving multiple messages/emails daily from recruiters from other agencies, hrs of software companies and so on.

However, in the meantime I got transferred to a new project at my current job and decided not to leave for the time being. So I ended up not really looking for a new job, but receiving many job offers from here and there. In the beginning I was replying to everyone, thanking them for their interest and stating that I'm not looking for a new position right now, but at some point it was just taking me too much time and I stopped doing it. Now, I'd like to interview again, but I'm a bit ashamed to start contacting recruiters (and even applying at some companies) after not responding to their emails for months. How should I go about this? Should I be worried?


3 Answers 3


You've got nothing to be ashamed of. It's business. You got an offer, but you turned it down. It happens and they know it. They're used to it. You didn't screw anyone over.

Remember that they are basically salesmen and you're the product. You haven't been a bad product. On the contrary, you actually got an offer. It's not like you turned down offer after offer. What they want is to sell something (a candidate). If you can offer that to them, they'll be fine.

What I would do is contact that first recruiter who got you the offer. Since they're largely commission based, you contacting him will get rid of any ill feelings (which probably don't exist anyway) because you're now giving him the opportunity to make money off you. Since you have a prior relationship with him, you'll be building on that.

  • What bothers me more are the emails from hrs from software companies - like the hr of company X emailed me about a position they have and I didn't respond. I'm afraid that now when I apply at company X their first impression will be like - "we sent 2 emails to this guy and he didn't bother answering. Why we should bother interviewing him".
    – user53583
    Jul 5, 2016 at 20:38
  • 3
    They likely sent out so many emails out for each of those job postings that they do not keep track of who does not respond to them.
    – Anketam
    Jul 5, 2016 at 21:26
  • @user53583 I highly doubt that they answer each and every email that they get. No harm, no foul. So long as you weren't rude while communicating with someone from the company, you have nothing to worry about. Jul 6, 2016 at 13:39
  • 1
    Let me echo what others have said. They want to make money. If you can make money for them, they wouldn't waste a minute being offended by you calling them every name in the book, much less ignoring a few emails. Jul 6, 2016 at 13:55

Think of it this way. You go in to a car dealership, test drive a car, decide you're going to look around. You go to a couple of others. You decide not to buy a car just yet, you just paid off the old one and you're going to get a few thousand more miles out of it.

For the next six months, you get phone calls, emails and all from the car dealerships. You thank them for getting in touch, say you're not in the market just now. At some point, you stop answering the emails and taking the calls.

Now, your car is getting up there, and your nephew needs a car, so you're going to buy a new one. Are you "a bit ashamed" to go back in to a car dealership? Do you think those salespeople you spoke with would rather not talk to you, and have you buy a car from someone else? No. You don't, and they wouldn't. They don't care whether they like you or not, they care whether they sell you a car or not.

So it is with recruiters. They are salespeople, and you are what they are selling. They don't care whether they like you or not, either, so long as what they don't like about you doesn't interfere with your ability to do the job they have open. That's what they care about. If they can place you in a job, and make a couple of bucks an hour for every hour you work, that's another hundred a week for them. If you do well there, they make that money for a long time, and they get a good rep and sell even more.

So keep that in mind, Mr. Commodity. They're not the ones paying for your time, remember. They may sign your checks, but they're getting checks nearly twice as big as yours that they pay you out of, checks that would be yours if you had landed the job yourself. You're paying them, not the other way around. Let people know you're available, and if they cop an attitude for some strange reason, go talk to someone else and let them get some more experience.

Just so you know, I've been a software developer for more than 25 years, and have dealt with more than a few recruiters. When I got my first job through a recruiter, we were still going through want ads in the newspaper to find jobs. Some recruiters are great to work with, some aren't. Some care, some don't. I get stuff like this all the time:

Hello Robert, Hope you are doing well today, My client is looking for Sr. Software Developer in Delray Beach, FL...

Now, I live in Manchester TN. Junk folder.

So, short story long - don't worry about it. You're bread on their table. If you're interested, then so are they. If they aren't interested, then they have a boss asking them why they aren't making their numbers, and they're thinking about getting into another line of work.


No shame, no amends - the exact same thing happens to me all the time. I'm not trying to make it sound I'm a big shot with offers far and wide, it's just the way the tech recruiting industry works. If you have been around for a few years, you'll start showing up on databases - I'm quite certain agencies sell contact info to new agencies, so you start getting a lot of emails and phone calls and there is just no practical way you can keep up with everything.

I think in many cases it's a bot generated message made to sound personal, but they're sending them out by the 1000s.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .