Tech recruiters are a thirsty bunch, and most are just trying to do their job the best way they know how… nonetheless, some represent companies you’d just rather not work for. So what do you do when a recruiter reaches out to you about a job at one of those companies?
Every company will have its ups and downs, and there will almost always be corporate policies you don’t agree with, but that doesn’t make them terrible places to work.
But some companies just kinda suck, and you don’t want to work there because they have sketchy government contracts, or pretty openly spy on people, or just don’t give a [insert your favorite curse word] about your personal information. It happens. Sometimes, your conscience gets the best of you.
So when a recruiter from one of those “negative” places reaches out to see if you’d be interested in discussing an open position, your gut may tell you to go off via email. But pump those brakes! We’ve got a better idea.
There’s a GitHub repo with rejection letters for some of the worst actors in tech, ready for your copy-paste treatment via email. Here’s an example of a rejection letter you can fire off to Facebook recruiters, if you find the social network’s lax data policies and major security issues just too much to handle:
Hi [Recruiter Name],
Thanks for thinking of me for this role! While I am delighted at [having been offered | being considered for] the position of [position here], I’m terribly sorry to inform you that I must decline, as I cannot in good conscience work at a company as unethical as Facebook.
The following is a list of reasons why I refuse to work for Facebook.
-Facebook continually violates the privacy of users and non users. This includes the creation of so-called “Shadow Profiles”, which exploit user data to build profiles on non-users and users alike.
-Facebook deliberately mislead users around the amount of data the company’s Android app was using, the amount of data it was collecting from user email logins, the way it was using 2FA phone numbers, and on and on and on.
-Facebook allows advertisers to target users based on legally protected categories.
-Though Facebook recently increased contractor’s wages, it still took a multi-year external effort to convince the company to treat contracted labor remotely fairly.
-Facebook aggressively moderates people of color while allowing white supremacists and other hate groups to remain on the platform.
-In the US (and elsewhere) Facebook is actively working to prevent and undermine laws protecting users’ biometric data.
…and this is just the relatively recent set of stories.
Again, thank you for reaching out about this opportunity.
Please pass this letter on to your manager.
Best, [Your Name]
There are also citations for the claims in the letter you can use, if you want to be thorough about your position. Naturally, the letters can be edited to better suit your circumstances.
Just use caution when sending one of these letters. These templates are leg-sweep actions; that recruiter will never contact you again, and may blacklist you in a company’s recruitment database. A company like Facebook is terrible today, in your opinion, but may be a totally different place five years from now. Sending a letter like this goes on your permanent record.
(In a recent Dice survey, 86 percent of tech pros said they don’t trust Facebook at all. That means 14 percent either trust the company, have faith it can be better, or are just ambivalent about the company’s actions. And who knows? That minority could be right about the firm’s ability to turn itself around.)
But hey – if you’re sure you don’t want to work at the company a recruiter is representing – swing away.