If you're truly being headhunted by someone good at their job, you get letters like this:
Dear Ms. Lovelace,
Your research on concurrent ducks is fascinating. I was especially impressed by your recent journal article in the IEEE Transactions of Quackery. Please come work for us!
Ze HeadhunterBut if you're getting spammed, it looks something like this:
Dear Lovelace, Ada,
Our company is awesome awesome. Graduates of your university's computer science program are awesome awesome. Two great tastes that go great together. Come work for us!
If this interests you, or anyone else you have ever met, in your entire life ever, please email me ASAP.
Ze HeadhunterDo these spam approaches even work? I mean, it's like sending the exact same cover letter to every job you apply to. You don't make anyone feel special. Especially if you can't be bothered to put someone's first name before their last name, and figure out their formal title. Also this, "Please tell your friends" business is very silly too.
I received a letter of the spam variety recently, and felt tempted to replace myself with a very small shell script and write automated spam messages back, like:
Dear $HEADHUNTER_LASTNAME, $HEADHUNTER_FIRSTNAME,
After graduating, I am planning to continue my groundbreaking research on rubber ducks, using my PhD for more than just being a code monkey managing hedgehog funds. You see, the reason I got my PhD in the first place was to break out of code monkery. That's why I study ducks, not monkeys.
If you, or any of your headhunter friends know of a good place where I can do leading edge rubber duck research, I am all pinnae-free ears.