How to Respond to a Recruiter on LinkedIn

How to Respond to a Recruiter on LinkedIn

Knowing how to respond to a recruiter on LinkedIn is essential, whether you are searching for a new job or not. If you’re actively or passively searching for a new opportunity, you’d probably like to make the right first impression. Similarly, if you’re happy in your current position, you’ll want to keep the doors open for networking in the future. That said, it can be challenging to find the right words, especially if you don’t use LinkedIn daily.

At MatchBuilt executive search, we’ve connected with 1000s of professionals and job seekers on LinkedIn over the years. Through that time, we’ve developed a handful of best practices we’d like to share if you’re searching for the right words when responding to a recruiter’s email regarding new opportunities. For starters, the best way to respond is to do just that, respond. Try not to leave anyone that’s taken the time to reach out to you to potentially benefit your career hanging, whether via LinkedIn or a personalized follow-up email.

How do you respond to a recruiter on LinkedIn?

  1. Respond as quickly as possible.
  2. Keep it positive and professional.
  3. Clearly state that you are interested in the opening and are available for more conversation or politely decline but keep the doors open.
  4. Show gratitude that they reached out, even if you’re not interested.
  5. Include contact information for future reference.

This article will explore how and why a hiring manager or recruiter uses LinkedIn, how they can contact you, the importance of an effective professional profile, and meaningful ways to respond to a LinkedIn message. Our sample messages will also help you start writing an appropriate, memorable response that will work in just about any circumstance.

Why Recruiters Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a platform that connects professionals worldwide. Job seekers find it particularly helpful to search for new jobs, network with colleagues, and research employers. Employers love it because it’s easy to use and find a deep list of professionals that might be an excellent fit for their company.

Here are some impressive statistics regarding LinkedIn’s dominance in the professional networking space.

  • LinkedIn generated $11.5 billion in revenue in 2021, an increase of 43.7% year-on-year
  • LinkedIn has 822 million members; however, it is not known how many are active every day or every month
  • The United States has the most LinkedIn members, followed by India and China
  • Over 57 million businesses and 120,000 schools have LinkedIn accounts

Further, employers and their hiring managers might not always have the time or resources to look for potential candidates themselves, so they hire recruiters to help them source top talent. Thus, many recruiters on the network are seeking favorable candidates for open jobs in different companies. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your personal brand on LinkedIn in mind, even if you don’t use the service often.

As JobScan suggests, a LinkedIn recruiter may go through hundreds of profiles on the social media platform in search of the best candidate to fill positions in their clients’ companies.

A small business hiring manager might use LinkedIn’s advanced search filters to find job candidates within their network. An agency recruiter might pay for LinkedIn Recruiter to expand its networking and search capabilities. While sourcing techniques vary, virtually everyone uses LinkedIn during the hiring process.

how to respond to a recruiter message on linkedin

How Recruiters Use LinkedIn

When recruiters source for top talent in a specific field, they use filters and search terms based on the job title, job description, years of experience, and job requirements, to help them find the best candidates for each job opening.

For example, a recruiter seeking to fill a software engineering position in a company will look for profiles from companies such as Microsoft or Apple with related computer science or engineering degrees. They will also use search terms relating to the specific skills and qualifications that the client wants in the candidate. It is, therefore, crucial to customize and optimize your LinkedIn profile to fit the job category you intend to find so that recruiters can find you.

Recruiters find your profile within their search when your LinkedIn is optimized using various keywords. Optimize your profile for the position you are searching for by utilizing keywords within your headline and your summary.

You can do this by searching for various positions of interest and listing specific skills commonly posted for the types of roles you seek. Endorsements for skills and recommendations from connections help strengthen your profile visibility, so be sure to obtain many from your colleagues. – LinkedIn

Ways Recruiters Can Contact You on LinkedIn

There are various ways a recruiter can reach out to you on LinkedIn; some are more seamless than others. Often, a recruiter will try to add you as a connection first and then message you directly.  Here are a few ways a recruiter may reach out to you.

Connection Request

A recruiter can send you a connection request to access your profile and see what you share on your profile. That is especially important when someone has their profile set to private since a recruiter will need to send a connection request before they can see a profile.

It’s important to check your profile regularly for any new connection requests to avoid blocking out potential employers or recruiters by keeping them waiting for a long time. Once you accept the connection request, recruiters can message you or initiate conversations in various ways.

How to make a connection request and add a message at the same time, per LinkedIn:

  1. Navigate to the profile of the member you’d like to connect with.
  2. Click the Connect button located in the introduction section.
  3. Click Add a note.
  4. Add your personalized message in the text field.
  5. Click Send invitation.
If the recipient replies to your message, it will appear in your messages.

Direct Message

A direct message is a message that goes into your private message box on LinkedIn. Some people restrict direct messaging from people they are not connected, and therefore, recruiters will send a connection request before sending a direct message.

While that allows you to avoid getting spam messages, it could also be a disadvantage because recruiters also have to wait for you to approve a connection request to send a direct message.

How to send a direct message on LinkedIn:

  1. Navigate to the “my network” icon at the top of your homepage.
  2. Click connections on the left pane and find the person you want to message from your connections list.
  3. Click on the message icon next to their name.
  4. Draft your message in the “write a message” box and click send.

InMail Message

LinkedIn InMail messages on LinkedIn are for people with premium accounts (learn how to cancel LinkedIn premium account here), allowing you to message another LinkedIn member even when you are not currently connected.

Most recruiters will have premium accounts with InMail credits to send messages to all potential candidates, whether or not they have accepted their connection request.

When you have a premium account, you can send an InMail message:

  1. Navigate to the profile of the LinkedIn member you’d like to send an InMail message. You can also search for a member and send a new InMail message.
  2. Tap the message icon in the introduction section.
  3. Type the subject in the Subject field (optional).
  4. Type the message in the text box.
  5. Tap Send

Via Shared Profile Information

LinkedIn allows you to share all relevant information about yourself via an effective headline and descriptive summary, including different ways to contact you. Recruiters can use any contact information you have shared on your profile to contact you.

Therefore, it’s worth considering adding your contact information to your profile and making it visible to help recruiters successfully send a message to you.

You can share your contact information via the profile settings page:

  1. Click the “me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown.

how to respond to a recruiter on linkedin example

Reasons a Recruiter Will Contact You on LinkedIn

While recruiters’ primary interest in LinkedIn profiles is to offer job opportunities, there are various other reasons why they would contact you through the above means. Below are three reasons why recruiters may be interested in reaching out to you.

New Job Opportunities

The main reason for getting messages and requests from recruiters is to share available job opportunities. Recruiters hunt for qualified candidates and refer them to jobs in different companies.

If your profile pops up in a recruiter’s search, they will likely contact you and request you to apply for a specific job they want to fill. In most cases, the sole intent of the recruiter is to ask you to apply for a job.

Candidate Referrals

Another reason a recruiter would want to contact you is to seek candidate referrals. You might not be a candidate for the available job, but you could know someone who fits.

Recruiters contact people with a vast network as a way to seek out candidates within that network.

Sometimes the recruiter could also have a referral bonus to entice you to help them find the right candidate for the job. You can share the opportunity with your followers or give a direct referral to the recruiter.

Strengthen Network

A recruiter’s job is to find suitable candidates for their employer. They do that by having a solid network of people who qualify for various positions or know people with the right skills.

A recruiter will build a solid network to develop their credibility or have a vast pool of talent to pick from. If a recruiter sees a great profile, they might send a connection request or message to add you to their network for future opportunities.

how to respond to a recruiter on linkedin if interested

How to Respond to Recruiters on LinkedIn Example if Interested

Responding to recruiters is essential whether you are interested in the opportunity or whatever they offer. It is a good way for you to form good relationships with them and also helps them understand what types of opportunities you are open to.

If the opportunity they offer sounds appealing to you, you should respond as soon as possible and with a positive attitude. The response should be polite and stress why you will be a perfect fit for that job. It would help if you also showed gratitude and clearly stated that you are interested and are available for more conversation.

While it is essential to include your contact information, transferable skills, and a little about what you are looking for, it should be concise and to the point. Below are examples to help you craft the proper response.

Recruiter Response Example 1

Hi (Recruiter’s name),

Thank you for reaching out to me and considering me for the opportunity; I am interested to hear all about it.

My phone number is (…), and my email address is (…). Feel free to connect with me via email or call whenever possible.

I am available for a chat on the following days and times:

(List available days here)

I hope my next role will help me grow in my career and leadership. I also hope to work in a place with a performance-driven culture.

Thanks again for your consideration. I look forward to more conversations about the role with you.

Recruiter Response Example 2

Hello (Recruiter’s name),

Thank you for reaching out. I am grateful for the opportunity to showcase my skills for this particular role, and I look forward to discussing it in more detail in the next few days.

Please note my availability for a phone conversation:

(List available days here)

If you wish to reach me on other mediums, here is my cell number and my email:



I am interested in a role that allows me to grow and advance in my career and contribute to my personal growth.

I am hoping to hear from you soon.

How to Respond to Recruiters on LinkedIn Example if Not Interested

It is not always that you will be interested in a job opportunity, and it could be that you are already in another employment or the job in question is not what you are looking for. It is okay to reject the offer but do it politely and respectfully, stating why you are not ready to take the job.

Recruiter Response Example 1

Hi (Recruiter’s name),

Thank you for considering me for the role. I would love to work at the company due to its strong ethical culture and values, but I do not think this role is for me.

I am currently looking for positions in the (specify the role), and I would appreciate such leads from the same company.

Let us engage more on the platform, and hopefully, you can help me get the role I am looking for in the future.

Thanks again.

Recruiter Response Example 2

Hi (Recruiter’s name),

I have looked at the role, and it is everything I would want if I were not actively involved in a similar position elsewhere.

Thank you for your consideration, and in case something changes in the future, I will reach out to you.

I will keep this line open for further communications in the future.

how to respond when a recruiter contacts you on linkedin

Responding to Recruiters on LinkedIn FAQs

Whether you’re actively searching for a job or just curious about the recruitment process, these frequently asked questions will provide you with valuable insights and best practices for communicating with recruiters on LinkedIn.

How do you respond back to a recruiter on LinkedIn?

The first thing to note about responding to recruiters is that a polite and timely response will go a long way to building your relationship with them. You should always reply, even when not interested in the role.

Use appropriate language and unambiguous statements to communicate your interest or disinterest in the role offered. In the response, ensure you share other ways to contact you and your objectives in finding the best position. That gives the recruiter an overview of what you are looking for. If the role on offer is not the one, they can find other favorable positions that would interest you.

How do you respond to a recruiter's email on LinkedIn?

Responding to a recruiter's email on LinkedIn is the same as responding to messages on all other professional platforms. Respond as soon as possible, leave your contact details, and express your interest in the role.

If the role is not what you are looking for, let the recruiter know but ask them to recommend something else if you are still on the job search. When you already have a job that you like, you can respond by telling them that you are currently not looking for new roles. However, it would help if you showed interest to want to work with them in the future.

How do I respond to a recruiter's InMail on LinkedIn?

When a recruiter sends you a LinkedIn InMail message, they may have previously sent a connection request to which you have yet to reply or just decided to start with the message. Whichever the case, you should connect with the recruiter to show your interest in the new position and any other opportunities they could be having.

You can either accept a received connection request or send them one to connect and share your profile better. Respond to the InMail promptly with a personalized message and include relevant details such as your contact information, your resume, and why you're the ideal candidate.

Responding to Recruiters on LinkedIn Summary

Many professionals panic when they receive a recruiter’s note about a dream job on LinkedIn because they are worried about crafting the perfect message. While it matters how you react to the message, especially when you are between jobs, it is not hard or impossible to get it right. Once you master the correct information to include in your personalized message, the words will flow.

Similar to writing a great thank you email, it’s important that your message is grammatically correct and that the critical information is clear. Use valid contact details and express your interest and gratitude in the response.

It is important to be thankful for the consideration, even when the role is not what you want. Recruiters love working with people who portray high levels of professionalism and could even offer you high-paying jobs in the future. Building strong relations with recruiters will elevate your career to the heights you want to reach.

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