Like so many things in life, you often only get one shot to get it right – which certainly applies to how you communicate when a Recruiter reaches out to you on LinkedIn. Sometimes the question isn’t “to respond or not to respond?”, but rather “how to respond”.

That’s because Recruiters are connectors, and you never know when you’ll be reaching out to THEM for help making a move to a new organization. Any seasoned recruiter has a keen eye for red flags, and completely ghosting on them will be remembered.

So the next time you get an InMail from a Recruiter, whether you’re interested in the job or not, here are a few ideas on how to respond that will move you to the next step – or at least keep you in the pipeline for the next opportunity…

If You ARE Interested in the Job Opportunity…

  • Respond in a timely fashion so you’re at the top of the queue, as the Recruiter is likely trying to fill this role ASAP. A delay of days or hours can literally mean the difference between getting the job or not.
  • If the Recruiter asks about your availability, make sure you send them times you can chat. If they don’t ask, volunteer it – making yourself open and available will move the process along more quickly.
  • Send along an updated resume if you have one, and remind them that it is indeed up to date. If you need to make a few changes, let the Recruiter know that you’ll be following up later with a newer version.
  • Ask the Recruiter if they can send you any additional information about the position, like the job description, a link to company website, salary information, etc.
  • Always thank them for reaching out!

If You’re NOT Interested in the Job Opportunity…

  • Even if the role isn’t a fit, down the road the Recruiter may have one that is. Be sure to tell them that while you’re not interested, you may be for a different position in the future – that way they can flag you and keep you in their pipeline.
  • You can take that a step further by letting them know what you’re looking for, which will put you at the top of their list when something comes along.
  • The job may not be right for you, but all Recruiters appreciate referrals. If you have any colleagues or friends that might be a fit for the role, let them know!
  • If the company sounds interesting but the job is not a fit, be sure to ask about other opportunities – the Recruiter may have multiple roles at the same organization.
  • Always thank them for reaching out!
  • Connect with the Recruiter in LinkedIn so they can message you directly in the future.

Every relationship starts somewhere, with a few words and a first impression – make sure your next introduction to a Recruiter is the start of a long and healthy one!

Want to talk to a Recruiter from Catch? Check out our open positions and let’s start a conversation!