A few months ago, I got in touch with a recruiter that was offering job positions for an industry I'm interested in. I sent my CV to her, she requested some changes to it, then more changes.

In the end, I only ever got asked to change stuff on the CV and that my salary requirements were too high etc. but never got any job offer.

In the meantime however, I was able to get offers myself relatively easily, with the same CV and same salary. So I let her (politely) know that I'd be already in touch with a company and thanked her for the effort that she already put in.

I didn't receive any reply to this until a few weeks later - she asked me in an email if there are any updates to my job search. I was quite surprised by that, because how my job search is going is private matters and I didn't reply (that might have been rude.)

Since then, I got three more emails with the same content from that person. My question is:

How to make it clear that I don't want to be in touch anymore without starting an argument via email?

  • If you do not care about your professional relantionship with her (for future collaboration), and you are too shy to say to her that you do not need her service anymore, I suggest using the "spam" button so you don't see her emails anymore.
    – BG Adrian
    Jan 31, 2018 at 22:25

4 Answers 4


I think the problem you're having here is that you've not replied to her question.

Generally companies and businesses will keep e-mailing you (possibly on an automated system) until you tell them to stop or give them reason to think you aren't a good lead anymore.

Even though your job search might be a private matter, as a recruiter it is her job to find you a job, hence the follow up e-mails.

I would avoid burning any bridges and be polite initially.

A simple reply like this will do:


My job search is going well, thanks for asking!

I've sent my CV off to a few places myself and have been offered a position doing X since we last spoke.

I'll be in touch with you if I need your services again.



If they keep e-mailing you after this, ask them to stop. You don't need to worry about being rude beyond this point as they haven't listened to you.

If that fails, add their e-mail address to your spam folder.

  • 2
    This is a good answer, but I disagree on the part where you add their e-mail address to the spam list. You might receive informative e-mails in the future - after all you might lose your job again sometime. After asking them to stop does not work, I would try demanding them to stop. Only then if they fail to do that you could still resort to adding their e-mail to the spam list.
    – kscherrer
    Jan 30, 2018 at 10:12

They are basically the same as any salesperson. Many get commission on successful placements, so they aggressively call/email everybody in their contact list in the hope that someone will bite. You are being spammed.

You are right to try and break this tie in a polite way - you may need their services in the future.

First write a polite email:

Please can you remove me from your mailing lists as I have now found a position and am not looking for a new position.

If the messages persist, check their website and see if you can find a central point of contact email. Send the message again but visibly CC in the central point of contact. This may make an individual more inclined to act knowing that the rest of their company knows about your request. I would repeat this action at least a few times, as you are kind of spamming them back and again this might motivate them to act.

If you really can't get them to stop then block their emails. That simple. But it would be good if they respond to the interpersonal solution first.


Your question is how to break up with a headhunter. My reply is to send a polite email thanking them for their efforts and promising to keep in touch. Headhunters may not always do a great job but finding someone a job is their passion. So a thank you is in order. After that the headhunter might contact you to check on you but these contacts will be less and less frequent. That being said, the world is small and you might need that same headhunter later. Headhunters also talk to each other. You want to have the reputation of someone easy to work with. That would be my personal advice. Good luck with your search.


"recruiter" is a job. A job involves costs. A lengthy argument with you over e-mail is a cost they surely do not want to sustain.

I specified this in order to make it clear that it's highly unlikely for them to "take any offence" and "go ahead on an argumenting spree" as if they were a physical person.

That being said, if possible, take your original e-mail where you substantially thanked them for their effort, attach it to a reply to their last e-mail message and send something along the lines of

Hi [...],

as I've already stated in a previous message (see attachment), I have now an arrangement ongoing on my own. While I really can't thank you enough for your time and your effort, I hereby specify again that I no longer need your services.

Regards, [Name]

This way you politely ("can't thank you enough" bla bla bla) state that you have already told them ("I've already stated in a previous message (see attachment)") and you really want it to stop ("I hereby specify again that I no longer need your services.").

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