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How to respond to recruiters Inmail on LinkedIn (Career advice)

Recruiters, Talent Acquisition teams and even hiring managers often use LinkedIn to find potential candidates.

There are two main reasons they might reach out to you about a role - your profile is set to “Open to work”, or your skills and experience you have listed in your LinkedIn profile suggest you may be a suitable match for a role.

Regardless of whether you are actively looking for a role, open to considering opportunities, or happy in your current role, it is important to answer honestly and directly. First impressions are key. 

According to LinkedIn, when you open the Inmail from a recruiter you can respond with:

  1. A custom message

  2. A smart reply (Yes, interested, or No thanks) paired with an optional custom response

Whichever you choose to use, we suggest including a custom response starting with “Thank you for reaching out with the opportunity”. From here you can welcome further discussion via email or phone call, or you can ask for more details or any further questions.

Why should you reply to all InMails (even if you are not looking for a new role)?

It is important to be responsive to InMails (that are relevant to your experience/level of course) because;

  1. If you are not interested in the role it is an opportunity to lay a good foundation and connect with recruiters for when you are planning your next career transition

  2. It helps you stand out. Not many people send a well crafted reply, so it is an easy way to stand out, whether you are interested in the role or if you will be looking for a new role in the future

  3. It says a lot about you. Most people reply with one or two words or a sentence, but very few reply with a well thought out response. This is achievable to do if you are only replying to the InMail's regarding roles that are clearly relevant to you and provide enough information, showing that the sending recruiter has done some research to appropriately select you for their list.

This is a good example of how to reply to an InMail where the candidate is not interested in the role they were sent:

How to respond if you are not interested in the role

Rather than ignore the recruiter, thank them for connecting about the opportunity and suggest either you will contact them if your circumstances change, or that they are welcome to check back with you in future. For example:

“Thank you for reaching out with the opportunity. Whilst the role sounds interesting, I am happy in my current role. However, I will certainly contact you in future if I want to make a change.”

Perhaps you are open to looking at new roles but this one wasn’t right for you. In this scenario you could respond:

“Thank you for reaching out with the opportunity. This role isn’t quite right for me but I am interested in…(share details of the role type, company, industry and any other relevant information). Here’s my updated CV. I welcome the opportunity to discuss my skills and experience further for any other roles you have available now or in the future.”

How to respond if you are interested in the role

Respond to the recruiter as promptly as possible if you are interested in the role. You can ask to speak via phone for further discussions, or you could reply asking for the job description or further details about the role and/or company. For example:

“Thank you for reaching out with the great opportunity. I’m interested in the [job title] role with [company name] and interested in [hearing more about the opportunity, learning more details about the role and next steps in applying for the role. I’d love to know what [company name] are specifically looking for in this role and why you thought I’d be a good fit. I’m open to having a phone conversation with you to discuss this opportunity further and can be contacted on [mobile number]. Thank you, [your name]

How to respond to a LinkedIn message from a recruiter professionally: 

Be sure to open every message you receive to see if the opportunity is right for you. If it’s not, decline in a professional manner but ask them to keep you in mind for other opportunities. If you’re interested, let the recruiter know you’re open to further discussions.  

Remember, the Reimagine Talent team are always here to help, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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