How to respond to a recruiter [Email samples included]

How to respond to a recruiter [Email samples included]

"I’m reaching out to you about a great opportunity..."

Depending on what stage you’re at with your job search, these words can feel like a massive breakthrough or an unwelcome time sink. But even if it doesn’t herald a straight shot at your dream job, a message from a recruiter can be a great opportunity — whether or not you’re actively job searching.

Both internal and external recruiters often contact job seekers directly about openings. This is an especially common practice on LinkedIn (so if you aren’t monitoring your LinkedIn messages and InMails, this could be a reason to start). If you’re getting recruiter emails on LinkedIn, it’s time to leverage that interest to your advantage.

Why recruiters are contacting you

The most obvious reason is that they saw your profile, thought you’d be a good fit for an open position, and want to set up an interview. There are other reasons recruiters may be reaching out, too. Maybe they don’t have any open positions right now but are looking to connect with you for potential future opportunities, or you’re in their network and they’re trying to build connections. Which isn’t to say that recruiters don’t sometimes miss their mark, but in general, if you’re getting interest in your profile, consider it a positive sign.

Why you should respond to recruiters

Obviously, the best-case scenario is that a recruiter contacts you about a job you really want. But that’s not the only reason to respond to messages. Even if it’s not the right role, or you aren’t actively job searching, it’s worthwhile to build professional relationships and foster connections that could help you down the line. After all, you never know when you might want to work with them in the future or be in need of a helping hand.

Why not respond? Well, if you’re busy — and let’s face it, who isn’t? — responding to every request you receive could start to feel like a chore. That’s why we’ve created these templates — so you can spend your time and energy on the things that matter, without the risk of missing out on what could be a great opportunity. Scroll down for some word-for-word templates you can copy and paste when responding to recruiters, no matter your situation.