Should you reply to all LinkedIn messages from recruiters?

Dan Newton on February 27, 2019

This is something that I used to be good at but recently I have been falling behind. When I say this, I mean that I haven't replied to a LinkedIn... [Read Full]
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You aren't hurting anybody's feelings when you leave a recruiter on read. They're not feverishly checking back, hoping against hope for a response from you in particular; they're messaging as many people as they can trying to get as many responses as they can in general. One more or less doesn't make a difference.

You aren't hurting your own prospects by ignoring recruiters. They provide a service, and if you don't need their service engaging with them is pointless (it arguably wastes a minute of their time and gets their hopes up, too!). If you do need them, they won't care how many solicitations you've previously ignored, because they're focused on filling this role in the here and now. Establishing a relationship with a recruiter you know has good leads can be useful, but there's no need to do that ahead of time.

Talk to recruiters on your terms, not theirs.


they're messaging as many people as they can trying to get as many responses as they can in general.

Not all of us are like that Dian 🙏🚀

I think it comes down to this: Agency recruiters are playing the numbers game, and have zero knowledge about the field they are hiring for -- avoid them 🔴

In-house recruiters, who own the hiring at their company, probably are worth replying to as they less often send out a mass email and did their job researching you a bit.


I've worked with good recruiters! I'm glad you all are out there! I'm still not going to waste both of our time if I already know I don't want to change jobs at present :)


Hi Dan, 👋

I am responsible for tech hiring at Aula.Education. I only send out highly personal and relevant messages to our prospects and think I have a 70% reply rate. I spend quite a lot of time researching and crafting a message.

I won't lie, that if I don't hear back, I am not disappointed. But most of the time they come back to me 3 months later in the end when they are clearing out their backlog 🤣

The way I see it: if you only send highly relevant outreach, you will stand out most of the times and I see the PM's / Devs I reach out to most of the time take the time go get back.

FYI: Recruiters get recruited as well, mostly by automated Linkedin scattergun approaches -- and I delete those on sight.

Cheers, Willem


you're a rarity. most messages I get from recruiters are like "you look like a great fit for this position working with insert technology I've never used before" so thanks for being one of the good ones


I get a lot of copy-paste ABAP-related messages because I worked in an SAP-environment some time ago (and never will do it again). I'm only answering to the messages that are clearly written to me as a person and not to "someone" who is matching a search pattern.
Which is good, because I got my current job like this.


I ignore 99% of recruiters who find their way to my inbox. Most who attempt to contact me haven't done basic due diligence, asking me to take a demotion & pay cut to fill a role I would have been excited for 5+ years ago.

Then there are the terrible ones - those who never take you off their contact lists after you've politely asked, and the ones who send Java roles to JavaScript developers 🙄


I always reply, but most of the time I don't want to.

I always think "what if it's that guy's first day?" I know it's highly highly unlikely but I know I've sent messages before that might be interpreted as spam, and I always feel just a tiny bit sad when they're ignored so I always at least thank them and then decline.


I always wondered if I should try those responses but felt that they were a bit rude. Although, as you said, probably better than not responding like me...


I only respond to the pesky persistent ones. I have found that if I respond with a polite no they will leave me alone. I have not had anyone ignore a polite no yet, but then again, I am only 6 years in so there is still time!


I only reply to a recruiter on LinkedIn or elsewhere, if it's very clear that they took at least a few seconds to personalize the message. If it's a generic one I ignore it.


I don't always respond myself, there are too many and it gets tiring. When I do respond it is usually a polite dismissal as most offers do not interest me. Just don't burn your bridges as they say :)


You don't owe them a reply and most of them are just blanket messaging anyway so I don't think many feelings are involved.


I try to respond, even if to just say I'm not interested. I know that recruiters get some sort of return credit for the message if you respond, even if you respond negatively.


I say no, this HHRR companies are trying to fill up a database with you.

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