Learn How To Respond To Recruiters On LinkedIn

Parry recruiters' approaches with tact.


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Arielle Executive - Sydney, Melbourne, New York

Last updated: December 21st, 2023

how to respond to recruiters on linkedin
Arielle Executive - Sydney, Melbourne, New York

Last updated: December 21st, 2023

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Getting noticed by a recruiter on LinkedIn makes you feel special and in demand. It may even catch you off guard if you’re feeling unappreciated in your current role.

Maybe you were fine coasting at your current job, but now the temptation of a compelling opportunity has you feeling torn. Maybe you’ve recently been made redundant.

  • Is the moment ripe for change?
  • Better the devil you know?

After thinking things through, you decide to pursue a conversation with the recruiter. Except, you’ve never responded to a recruiter on LinkedIn before.

Maybe you’re a little rusty.

Or maybe you aren’t that interested and want to politely push back without burning bridges. Read on to learn how to craft an appropriate and professional answer that will stand you in good stead for future opportunities.

(Related: How To Tap Into Australia’s Hidden Job Market).

If You Aren’t Interested.

If you aren’t looking for a new job, your default position may be to ignore a recruiter’s message. However, it never hurts to see what they have to offer.

Expert Tip.

Doing so gives you a wider perspective as to what salary range and perks you can expect elsewhere, which is helpful when considering your next career step.

It’s also wise to build your network in the event that you one day find out that you’re being made redundant.

Regardless of whether you’re interested, you should always respond politely.

Thank the hiring manager for taking thet time to message you, and ask them to send you a brief description of the job requirements and some details about the company.


Some recruiters will insist that they schedule a call with you first – their job is to sell it to you, after all. Don’t waste time planning calls until you’ve done some preliminary research.

Example of a response when you’re keen to know more:

Example of a response when you’re not at all interested:

Be sure to provide the recruiter with reasons why the role isn’t a good fit and encourage them to contact you with relevant roles in the future.

If You Are Interested.

When you get a LinkedIn message about a job posting that interests you, respond quickly.

Most recruiters work on a contingent basis, which means they’re reaching out to dozens of candidates simultaneously.

Example of a response:

Expert Tip.

Be enthusiastic but not frothy. You want to express interest while remaining level-headed. The more giddy you are, the less leverage you’ll have during subsequent salary negotiations. Don’t oveuse exclamation marks!!

If You’re Interested In The Company But Not The Role.

You might find that a recruiter contacts you about a specific job that isn’t quite right. However, the company may have a great reputation, and you’d be open to exploring other future opportunities with it.

Be open and tell the recruiter why the particular role isn’t the right fit for you.

Specify what you’re looking for, and ask them to contact you when they have another exciting opportunity that’s more in line with your expectations.

Example of a response:

If You Need More Information Or Time.

A position may sound intriguing, but don’t rush into the recruitment process. If you need time to think about it or more details about the role, say so.

Asking the recruiter for a job description and a few days to look into the role will buy you more time.

(Related: How To Write A Formal Letter).

Then, you can think about your career goals and the suitability of the job.

If you decide that you’d like to move forward, let the recruiter know. If you decide that you don’t, thank them for the information and ask them to contact you when something else comes up.

Example of a response:

How Recruiters Contact You Via LinkedIn.

LinkedIn gives recruiters a number of avenues to reach the best candidates, so it’s important that you keep an eye on all of its inbound communication channels.

Some candidates miss out on great job opportunities because they don’t know where to look.

A recruiter may reach out to you via:

  • Connection request.
  • InMail.
  • Direct messages.
  • Via the contact details listed on your LinkedIn profile.

What’s The Difference Between An InMail And A Message?

  • InMails allows recruiters to directly message LinkedIn members and potential candidates without sending a connection request.
  • Regular LinkedIn messages can only be sent to people you’re already connected to.

Tips On How To Respond To A Recruiter On LinkedIn.

Regardless of your response, knowing how to respond to a recruiter on LinkedIn without burning any bridges will keep your options open.

It’s a small world, and you just never know when you’re going to bump into someone again.

No job is completely secure. You never know if redundancy is around the corner. So keep the following tips in mind when replying to recruiters on LinkedIn.

1. Don’t Ignore The Message.

If you love your current job, you might be in the habit of ignoring messages about other jobs. However, you should still respond to the recruiter to be courteous.

Let the recruiter know you received their message but aren’t looking for a new job right now.

This allows the recruiter to move on to other candidates and also means they’re much less likely to send you follow-up messages and clogging your inbox.

Or worse, if you ignore them the first time, you won’t make a good impression and they may never send another message. So you could miss out on the perfect job offer with another potential employer and not know it.

Responding is a win-win situation for both parties.

2. Use The Recruiter’s Name.

When drafting your response, start by addressing the recruiter by name. We love it when people use our names to communicate with us. Using someone’s name shows that you took time to message them specifically.

In the classic book How To Win Friends and Influence People, which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide since 1936, Carnegie says:


“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

So, when responding to turn down a job position (or during any other work-related discourse, for that matter), build rapport with your associates by addressing the names of those involved.

3. Be Professional.

LinkedIn isn’t Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. And while that may seem obvious, we are prone to writing on autopilot when using any social media platform.

We let our guard down; our standards slip. However we need to maintain a base level of good English when using LinkedIn.

  • Don’t use any slang, cuss words, or casual vocabulary.
  • Avoid emojis, memes, and other special characters.
  • Double-check your message for any spelling or grammar errors.

Your response to the recruiter on LinkedIn doesn’t have to sound like a 19th-century letter from some regency drama. Instead of using formal language, it’s fine to be conversational. For instance:

  • Don’t say: Hello Mr Fitzwilliam. I humbly receive your invitation and consider my candidature for the esteemed position in your distinguished organisation.
  • Say: I’m excited about the job opportunity and would love to chat more about how I could be a great fit.

Don’t be afraid to inject a bit of personality into your communication. There’s no need to sign off with “kind regards” in direct messages.

4. Get To The Point.

Recruiters are busy and have neither the time nor patience to read lengthy responses.

Think about it: did the recruiter send you a message with only a few lines of text? Had they sent you pages of information at the outset, you’d have dismissed it.

Long messages are offensive to the eyes.

Our brains have become remarkably efficient at sieving through information in the search for instant gratification.

Expert Tip.

According to Brenden Kane, author of Hook Point, more than 60,000,000,000 messages are sent out on digital platforms each day.

Your attention is valuable. So is the recruiter’s. The more you write, the more likely you are to lose their attention.

5. Stave Off Pesky Scammers.

As with anywhere on the web, malicious operators lurk close by. LinkedIn is no exception.

It’s a vast network with over 900 million accounts. So, some bad actors are bound to slip through the net. If a job opportunity is too good to be true, it probably is.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Profiles with fake-looking or generic profile pictures.
  • Incomplete profiles with little information and no (or dubious) endorsements.
  • False sense of urgency and the hiring process seems too simple.
  • Poor grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • Promises of exorbitant salaries and overly generous perks.
  • The job requires you to pay for something from your bank account or share account details.

If you suspect a LinkedIn profile to be a scam, tap the “More” icon in the upper right corner of your conversation thread and tap “Report this conversation”.

How To Get More Attention From Recruiters Via LinkedIn.

Many job seekers have successfully landed jobs due to their LinkedIn presence. If you take on board the following tips, LinkedIn recruiters will be much more likely to headhunt you.

1. Optimise Your Profile.

Think of your LinkedIn profile as career SEO. Even if you have a professional profile picture and your basic information is up to date, it might not be enough to differentiate you.

Try some of these approaches to optimise your profile for more hits:

  • Include “#OpenToWork” in your bio.
  • Add keywords related to your industry or the job you want, but avoid meaningless buzzwords.
  • Improve your headline by making it more than a job title by adding a little personality and putting those 220 characters to work.
  • Add a customised background photo (choose an image that’s 396 pixels high and 1584 pixels wide).
  • Swap your summary for a more creative story version.
  • Write articles to demonstrate your knowledge and experience.
  • Obtain more high-quality endorsements.

2. Update Your Resume.

Update your resume every few months, including your LinkedIn resume. Add new roles and skills you’ve acquired that will help you in specific positions. Remove any old, irrelevant jobs and skills.

Edit your About section and headline to reflect your career goals.

Near the top of your profile, it will also give you the option to share what you’re open to. LinkedIn will draft a post sharing that you’re looking for work, so you don’t have to write a post from scratch.


Be mindful that your connections will see this, so if you want to go about your job hunt discreetly, you might want to skip this part.

3. Check Messages Regularly.

You’ve optimised your profile. Now you need to check your LinkedIn inbox regularly.

Respond to any new messages that come in, especially if they’re from recruiters.

A prompt response can help you land an initial interview.

However, it can also help you build a good relationship with a recruiter.

Expert Tip.

Even if you don’t get the first job they’re recruiting for, you can get on their radar, and they may keep you in mind for future opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions About Job Search On LinkedIn.

Here are some quick wins to make the most out of your LinkedIn profile.

How Do I Use LinkedIn Effectively For Networking?

Whether you’re a complete newbie to LinkedIn or have had a dormant account for years and are ready to get active, you should concentrate your firepower on regularly posting free and valuable content for your intended audience.

Focus on your expertise and start adding value in the subject that you want to position yourself as an authority.

Don’t get hung up on vanity metrics (likes and shares) when you first get started. Nurturing your audience takes time.

Your content marketing strategy could include podcasts, short-form posts, blogs, ebooks, or vlogs.


You’ll want to address specific problems and share high-quality advice or knowledge in each piece. Give your audience value, and they’ll keep coming back for more.

How Do You Network In A Digital World?

Networking has transformed so much in the last decade or so.

If you’ve been in business a while, at some stage, you might have attended a weekly networking event in your local community where you drink coffee, make small talk, and hand out business cards to your professional network.

The trouble with the “old way” is that you’re not connecting with your target market. Some still swear by this approach, but digital experts don’t.

Networking through social apps allows you to get much closer to customers, understand their pains, and approach them directly with fewer barriers.

We are in the dawn of an augmented reality revolution.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself attending virtual conferences in the next decade, donning a headset “walking around” and “experiencing” a live event with your target customers.

Is It OK To Cold Connect On LinkedIn?

LinkedIn recommends that you only send invitations to people you know and trust, in accordance with their user agreement and professional community policies.

That said, there may be times when you need to reach out and introduce yourself to a key person of influence. Such a connection request should be an exception.

You can send a maximum of 100 connection requests per week. To be clear, this isn’t a target to aim for. Breaching this limit will get your account suspended.


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