That’s Not Sourcing, That’s Sloppy


As you might imagine, a recruiting industry friend of mine, who posted his resume online, has been inundated with a constant barrage of irrelevant replies from every life insurance firm on the planet, along with several other random opportunities that have zero in common with his professional experience. As annoying as that is, he feels the inconvenience of all that spam may pay off if he is eventually discovered by someone with a legitimate and relevant position.

I’m not so sure I would be able to tolerate that volume of nonsense, especially after he shared the following (unedited) inbox item with me. I was stunned at how horrible this comes across, especially in light of it being from a head of recruiting agency claiming to be “sourcing” for a recruiting manager. It’s not shown here, but the email header included a location that, while in the same state (California) as my friend, is 5-7 hours away from the zip code listed on his resume.

We are sourcing for a College Recruiting Manager in California and found your resume on  If you are still in the job market and interested in the position, meet the job, education and experience requirements, please email us your current resume in a WORD DOCUMENT format.

Candidate MUST include the following information:

    • Summary of experience (years of relevant experience)
    • Current salary or salary requirement
    • Bullet points to illustrate your experience(s) that match our job requirements and areas that doesNOT meet the qualifications.
    • Availability
    • Please disclose if you have pending competing offers elsewhere

Candidate Experience

5+ to 7 years of experience

Minimum Education – Bachelor’s Degree

Willingness to Travel – Often

Skills and Certifications (bold if required)

    • Bachelor’s degree plus 5 years of recruiting experience
    • 3 years college recruiting
    • supervisory experience
    • Experience managing both undergraduate & graduate recruitment programs
    • Description of the Ideal Candidate
    • not a lot of job hopping, progression in work

Thank you for your response to this email and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us directly.



Obviously, such an unprofessional message doesn’t warrant a reply. However, if it was addressed to me, my inclination would be to respond as follows:

Dear Ms./Mr. Agency CEO:

As a recruiting industry professional, I’m a bit perplexed by your message as I don’t recognize anything about this that resembles valid sourcing or recruiting methods. Please help me understand how/why you claim to have found my (recently posted) resume on a mainstream job board in relation to your search, yet you are requesting that I send one to you in which I illustrate in bulleted format how I match and don’t meet the vague and poorly constructed criteria listed in your amateurishly written email. Not only is the information provided disjointed and awkwardly worded, but your expectation for a person like myself to somehow find anything remotely attractive about this opportunity is presumptuous based on the limited description shown. In the event there was sufficient detail to pique my interest, I would be insulted to be asked to comply with your intrusive instructions to outline my experience in such an absurd way to accommodate your apparent ineptness. Best of luck to you and your client in approaching prospects in this pathetic manner.


Mr. Semi-passive, entirely turned off, non-local candidate

image from

  • Pat Davis

    That is atrocious… Whats worse is that to compensate for the poor response rate this recruiter inevitably maintains, he/she will make the decision to cast a wider net in an attempt to illicit more responses and further cement their reputation as a punch line.

  • Kevin Dailey

    At least it was for a position that somewhat matched his background – I’m constantly getting these types of emails from “Senior Recruiters” and “Cxx of Agency XYZ” for positions that aren’t even remotely close – but my resume contains some buzzword or tech term that matched their need. I wish I had the time to reply with a similar type email above (although based on my personal attitude, not nearly as nice), letting them know how unprofessional and pathetic their “sourcing” techniques really are and how they are giving the industry the black eye that so many people feel we deserve right now.

  • Holly Fawcett

    That is disgraceful! *picks jaw back up from the floor*

  • TalentTalks

    Thanks for commenting. It is shockingly bad for sure! Unfortunately, stuff like this is NOT rare. ~KB @TalentTalks:disqus