I've been working as a software engineer for about 2 years now and recently I started to receive some messages from recruiters via LinkedIn. I understand that I can decide to answer or not to these messages, it will not be considered rude to ignore the message, but I don't really know if responding could be a good thing.

I've not been working for very long and I'm still just trying to assimilate some ideas of the workplace in general, like the fact that switching jobs often can be a good thing, as well as having a backup plan in case things go south.

So is there anything I could gain from responding to these messages? Or is there something I could be risking (like getting spammed by other recruiters)?

  • Are you actively looking for a new position?
    – John
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 12:05
  • @John Not specifically, I'm more curious about what positions could be offered to me
    – bedeau
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 12:12
  • 6
    "working as a software engineer" that's enough. If a fish have "java" listed as her skills it will be contancted on Linked. They are mostly generic baits. SO you would mostly waste time. Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 13:28
  • 1
    Personally, I filter Linkedin Messages by giving them my minimum salary requirements upfront. If their position clears that hurdle, then I'll happily take a look. It never hurts to get some interview practice in and stay abreast of the state of your industry's recruiting market, and you never know when an awesome opportunity might come along.
    – Kaz
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 13:42
  • I'm not convinced those messages are from humans. Some robot seeing if there's enough interest to pull it's master into play seems like a possibility. Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 14:20

4 Answers 4


Generally speaking, you can't lose anything by being nice to somebody in your professional life.

If you're not interested, don't ghost them - just communicate with them in a respectful way and never burn any bridges. You might find yourself in a situation later where you'll be the one contacting them or they will be working with you (the world's a small place in IT).

When I'm not interested, I respond to such requests like this:

Hello Mr/Mrs

I'd like to thank you for the interest you're showing in my profile, but I'm not open to new opportunities right now.

I hope you'll find the person you're looking for,



It doesn't hurt to be nice - maybe someday you'll be looking for a job and contact them again, and then they will recognize that you were professional and respectful by looking at previous messages.

  • 2
    I liek your point of view, especially the consideration of the fact that one day I may be the one contacting them.
    – bedeau
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 13:41
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    And, you can say "I'm not actively looking right now but I'm willing to listen." It's honest and respectful both of great recruiters filling great jobs, and of hacks. And, yes, there are some great recruiters out there.
    – O. Jones
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 19:29
  • great advice, if you are a permanent staff member. As a life-long contractor, I also always tell them when my contract is up for renewal (generally every 6 months, rarely coinciding with the major milestones of the actual project), and ask them to call me just before renewal time (I find that 6 weeks before works for me; YkMMV)
    – Mawg
    Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 22:42
  • Agree that it's good to be polite, but disagree that you should (necessarily) respond to every message — Similarly to how I wouldn't get back to every unsolicited letter and flyer that's put in my physical letter box, I don't feel the need to get back to every bulk message on LinkedIn. That said, if I feel like there's some genuine effort gone in from their side, I'll send them a quick "thanks, but no thanks". Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 10:18

When a 3rd party recruiter contacts you right out of the blue they are either:

  • Trying to fill a position and your profile might fit in the requirements space.
  • Trying to gather resumes/contacts for a position they will be trying to fill next month.
  • Trying to increase their contacts for unknown positions in the future.

Unless they are actively trying to fill a position now, once they get your information, they will move on to other things until they can use your resume. They might never use it; they may only use it to fill a quota: find me 10 resumes...; or they might forward your resume as a solid opportunity.

If you are not actively looking, or don't see your self looking in the next month or two, there is no need to contact them at all. These relationships aren't sticky.

In a comment to the question you say:

I'm more curious about what positions could be offered to me

They are not offering a position. They are offering to maybe forward your resume. You might not even get an interview.


I usually ignore emails from recruiters, unless actively looking or they are someone I definitely want to do business with in future (e.g. operate in a specific niche, locale or industry). And I have a separate account specifically for this purpose.

My reasoning is that these people are selling, and don't want to waste time on anyone who doesn't want to be sold.

Having said that, with LinkedIn they mostly get a limited number of messages/month, so are unlikely to waste them on totally unsuitable candidates. If someone has taken the trouble to target me, I generally respond as appropriate. Your fear of spam in this case is unwarranted.


I have been with my current employer for a while, and even so I have been doing well at that place and am happy with my career progress, I started replying to Linkedin messages a while ago, and so far I think it was worth the time. Reasons include:

  • It is good to know what companies are around and what skills they are asking for
  • I now have a way better idea of what kind of salaries I could expect abroad and domestically, by testing out random numbers and see how the recruiters would react
  • It led to a number of "leads" that could turn into a more interesting job offer in the future
  • Get me more routine and confidence in talking with recruiters
  • Boost my ego

And last but not least I got an interview and subsequent job offer from a big company that would have been a big increase in salary. Being not interest in joining them only made them raise their offer, which is still standing and a really nice plan B to have.

I am trying to reply to everyone, but also get to the point quick. If I think someone is offering something below my current position, or something I a good fit for I will bring it up immediately. I asked a questions here on how to do that more effectively: How do I filter out low-paying Job Offers on Linked in

Overall I recommend to at least entertain some conversations, and I think I should have done that way earlier.

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