I had emailed a recruiter I found on LinkedIn as I am looking for a job. Her profile said she was on parental leave till Fall 2017, but I emailed her anyway as email doesn't really require immediate action on the other person's side to respond like a call does.

I got an automated reply telling me she'll be back in September, and then an email from her saying the following, "What you can also read at the top of my profile is that I'm parental leave. Please come back later this fall." I thought this was a rude response, but I replied to her saying "Sure, all the best".

Was I wrong to email her, or was she unnecessarily rude?

  • Maybe she's a bit justified, as she did state it on her profile. It might also affect your application.. just hope for the best. Sep 15, 2017 at 3:30
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    Maybe it's just the usual case of bad phrasing on her part and overinterpretation on your part. She did say "please come back later this fall". If she's on parental leave, she probably has a baby keeping her up at night (maybe crying as she wrote the message), so I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and try again when she updates her linkedin profile ;)
    – Kerkyra
    Sep 15, 2017 at 6:16
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    @MisterPositive, no ruder than cold emailing someone who clearly indicates they are not available for work inquiries
    – cdkMoose
    Sep 15, 2017 at 16:58
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    @MisterPositive, agreed that the levels may not be the same. I find it interesting given all of the comments I'vs seen on this site about how to handle unsolicited emails from recruiters who found them via a LinkedIn search. If that is bad behavior than so is this.
    – cdkMoose
    Sep 15, 2017 at 17:03
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    I believe it's a matter of respect. She indicated that she won't be available but you went ahead and contacted her anyways. It was rude of you and it was rude of hers to reply back with that tone.
    – Isaiah3015
    Sep 15, 2017 at 21:13

3 Answers 3


You're reading far too much into it. Her response was perhaps slightly brusque but as Kerkyra mentions in comments they are quite possibly worn out with a new baby and all the associated disruption and lack of sleep and with that in mind I can't really see how it crosses the line into "rude". Especially without seeing your e-mail to her. Yes e-mail is less pressing then a phone call but if she is someone who conducts a good portion of her business via e-mail I can see how she might feel a little more pressure than average from one and given she has actually made an effort to preemptively let people know that she is currently on leave it might be a little irritating to have people essentially (from her perspective) ignoring that.

That said I highly doubt it will have any impact on any future dealings, so just wait until she removes the notice and contact her again.

Putting aside all questions of politeness for a minute e-mailing her wasn't really a good idea - she's not working so wouldn't be doing anything about it until she comes back off leave and it's quite likely that such a mail would get lost in the backlog when she returns and be overlooked so it wasn't likely to achieve anything for you.


No matter what kind of leave she is on, I don't think that response was necessary especially since it was an e-mail. She could have just not responded if she was busy.

If all facts stated on your post are true, I think her response wasn't professional.

  • If OP already had a business relationship with the recruiter then it might be OK. But to email someone you don't know to talk business when they are on leave is rude in itself
    – cdkMoose
    Sep 15, 2017 at 17:00
  • Especially since she technically already responded (with a canned response). Sep 15, 2017 at 18:58

Certainly blunt and maybe a little rude, but consider the situation.

How would you feel if a recruiter randomly sent you a message when you weren't looking for a job, just because a LinkedIn search turned up your profile? In most comments I have seen over the years, people find this annoying or worse.

You have flipped the tables here as your LinkedIn search turned up someone who isn't looking for work and you emailed them anyway. Some recruiters would save your info for later followup, others would be bothered that you solicited work from them when they clearly aren't in a working mode.

Responses will vary, but this is always a possibility when you go against someone's posted status.

  • The situation is that she is a recruiter, likely for a company, and her personal life should have no bearing on clients. If I get sick, my boss doesn't tell a client that I'm out sick, because it's none of their business. They handle it another ways. As for the recuiters: I've been called several times in the last 3 years I've worked for my current company, all by recruiters I don't know. I either let that fall to voicemail/email and summarily ignore it, politely answer the phone and let them know I'm not interested or sleep through the whole ordeal. I certainly don't send them two messages. Sep 15, 2017 at 18:58
  • @SliderBlackrose Her personal life has everything to do with it. In every context I have heard the phrase "parental leave" it meant an extended period away from work, not working, while raising or caring for children, typically for a new child. This is not a sick day or single day at home to care for a sick child. This is specifically a period of not working, the term leave is used because her job is being held for her to return eventually. As such, OP sending a cold call email to her, when she has made it clear she is not working, is a problem.
    – cdkMoose
    Sep 15, 2017 at 19:27
  • I think you misunderstand. It doesn't mean anything to the company as it relates to the client. Again, as I said, my boss doesn't tell the client that I am ill. He directs the client to someone else. He has never once said "Slider is off today because he was up all night vomiting". He has said "he's out of office, and won't return until date-y, let me get you to someone that can assist". Out of office emails can be re-routed (and, in fact, have been for on-call reasons), as can the phone. Her failing was keeping her profile linked on Linkedin to allow someone to contact her. Sep 18, 2017 at 16:42
  • @SliderBlackrose, She should not have removed the link, because she is still an employee. She did the right thing by leaving the link and putting her current status with it. If OP had sent an email to her company than you are correct that it could be handled through out-of-office rules or on-call scenarios as it should be. OP should not have assumed (if he did) that mail from Linked-In would go to her work address. I (and many people I know) do not link my LinkedIn account to my work email. My linked in account will live on even if I change employers.
    – cdkMoose
    Sep 18, 2017 at 17:11

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