Contacted by a Recruiter? Here’s What to Do Next.

Rose Bak
4 min readMay 16, 2022

Recruiters can be a valuable resource or sell you some swampland. Here’s how to proceed if someone contacts you about applying for a job.

Photo by on Unsplash

With so many people changing jobs right now, it’s the busy season for job recruiters. If you’re on LinkedIn or other social networks aimed at professionals, there’s a good chance you are being bombarded with job listings from recruitment agencies.

Here are some tips for responding to “headhunting” messages.

Don’t Ignore Those Recruiter Messages

Generally speaking, recruitment messages from networks like LinkedIn are actual recruiters, not some weird kind of email spammer. If you get a personal message from a recruiter about a job, give them the courtesy of acknowledging their contact.

If you are not interested, you can simply say that either you are not looking for a job right now, or that this position won’t work for you. Consider saying something like:

“I’m not interested in moving to Seattle, but if you have other positions come up that are in different states, please let me know,” or “I’m only interested in management jobs right now”.

This helps the recruiter know what kind of roles you might consider, and tailor their recommendations accordingly. It will also help you build a good rapport with a recruiter you might come into contact with again in the future.

Photo by Bradley Pisney on Unsplash

Understand Exactly What They Are Recruiting For

Sometimes the line between recruiters and other types of professionals gets a bit hazy.

I had a friend who got super excited about a job that a recruiter contacted them about, but then they learned that the recruiter was really a representative of an employment agency. Instead of working for the dream job’s company, my friend became an employee of the employment agency, at considerably less salary and benefits than they would have received if they were hired by the company directly.

Rose Bak

Rose Bak is a freelance writer and yoga teacher who lives in Oregon. Find her at or follow @authorrosebak on social media.