I don't understand why headhunter is being so rude.

I worked with the headhunter for position"A" at company "A" I spent 2months for the process, and end up I didn't get a job. I saw the other opening "B" at the same company (but in different department) I emailed to the headhunter as below, and she replied back to me that It is really inappropriate to ask to her. I don't understand what makes her to think it's inappropriate, and I'm also very upset.

Here is my email:

I saw the job opening of product designer in department "B". Would you be able to recommend me for that position?

I've(we've not only me) spent almost 2 months for the position that I applied previosly,unfortunately I didn't get that job, but I still have interested in working for company"A". since I've worked with you for this company, you would be a best person to work with again. Also I wouldn't break any rules in headhunting world. As you know, I have worked for both "C"and "D"'s so I am pretty confident that I am qualified for the position.

I really want to work for this company, unfortunately it seems I need to go through for to apply since I signed the contract with her.Eventhough I am very upset, I don't know how to solve the problem with the headhunter to get this opportunity.

  • Well if your current headhunter does not want to... ask her if you're free to use another headhunter then. It's business. She's not your friend and she just lost a client.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 6:52
  • Without seeing the text of her email, I'm not sure the rest of us can tell whether she's being rude or not. But be careful with the word "inappropriate", it's an extremely vague word in terms of the emotion behind it. It can mean anything from "not the best thing to do" (friendly advice even?) to an accusation of you being downright offensive. Either way, the answer to your predicament is to not deal with her any more.
    – komodosp
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 9:12
  • 2
    "Would you be able to recommend me for that position?" Were these your exact words? Were those two sentences and the next paragraph verbatim?
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 9:37
  • Here is my opinion: The recruiter has declined to present you for the position, so ethically you don't need her permission to use another recruiter or to present yourself. If your contract with her prevents this, terminate the contract immediately and don't user her for anything. Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 14:24
  • In case you haven't noticed...head hunters are notoriously terrible at their jobs.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 20:30

2 Answers 2


Forget about the headhunter and find another way to get there. Pass the headhunters by applying to the company itself directly, or find another headhunter. This headhunter clearly isn't going to help you get this job.

But: be aware of the contract. What kind of contract did you sign? Isn't it her job to help you then?

  • 1
    This is the answer I was going to offer too. Headhunters are sales people really. They need to sell to the employer someone, anyone so they can get their commission and move on. Some in here will argue my point here, but it's true. HR recruiters are brokers - the more employees they sign up, the more they get paid. So most likely position "B" is being handled by another "headhunter" which is why she's rude to you because her hands are tied. She can't help you. She can only help you with the jobs that she's given to fill. Bottom line is find out who works there, introduce yourself and ..
    – Fandango68
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 2:18
  • 1
    ... make inroads from there. Build rapor first and build trust. Be patient, you will eventually get in. After all any company that notices someone that is really passionate and eager to join a team, is someone I would want to know more about.
    – Fandango68
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 2:19

If the headhunter you refer to is working for an agency then the contract you signed is meaningless. If it's anything like the United Kingdom, it's just a standard contract that says they can represent you in searching for work and put you forward for positions they think you're suitable for.

It would be unreasonable for any job agency to expect you to only use them and certainly for you not to search for work yourself.

Although it's more of a guess than actually knowing, it may be that this headhunter hasn't been assigned the new position so actually can't help you. It may also be that her agency didn't get he job either which is why her attitude is poor towards you.

Go for the job yourself. There's no need to mention that you applied for a job in a different department until the interview stage. As far as the potential employer goes, you're applying for a job. Any previous interaction is largely irrelevant since you didn't get the job.

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