I have a profile on LinkedIn, that I use whenever I am looking for a new position.

When I am not, well, I tend to neglect it. However I still receive tons of invitations and messages from recruitment officers, to the point that it starts to feel like spam.

Is it OK if I ignore some or all of the messages? Can it damage future job searches?

  • Somewhat related (though not a duplicate): workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/32636/… Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 14:15
  • I sure hope so, since that's what I do!
    – GreenMatt
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 22:41
  • 8
    You'll never damage your chances when you do start looking - no recruiter is ever going to place pique (at having been ignored in the past) ahead of hard cash (from getting a role filled)... Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 10:47
  • @JuliaHayward and those who do, you would not want to work with anyway.
    – Jeroen
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 13:10

7 Answers 7


Yes, it is ok to ignore them because they most certainly are spamming you. They are not your buddies. They are not your family. They are looking for product to resell to their customers. That product is you. Any recruiter in the business more than an hour and a half has a pretty thick skin, and will not be crying himself to sleep every night because, "you never write, you never call!"

  • The way I look at it, its free advertisement. The fact of the matter is, YOU are a product and should advertise yourself as such. You are a business that offers a service in exchange for money (job). Presentation of your product is of utmost importance.
    – SQLSavant
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 2:05
  • > crying himself to sleep every night because, "you never write, you never call!" hahaha
    – user47813
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 18:52

Only accept connections from recruiters if

(1) they have taken some time to look into your LinkedIn profile, and
(2) they have sent you a personal invitation message.

Otherwise, the 'ignore' button is your best friend - as they are more interested in mining for your connections than anything else.

  • 5
    Comment on the last paragraph: check out their profile, and see if you have common connections (in the same workfield). If yes, they sure as hell are mining connections. Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 8:32
  • Keep in mind though that LinkedIn shows notifications about who viewed your profile. So if you show up in that recruiter's notifications list, he might become way more insistent, because your "profile visit" means you're at least somewhat interested/curious. Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 7:06

It is ok to ignore them but what I do is have a paragraph stashed away I just copy/past change the name at the top and respond back. A small sample of mine is outlined below.

I would NEVER consider this spam or a pain to deal with. As a software developer I am fortunate to be 'Head hunted' as my GF calls it for a job. All of my jobs have been found on linked-In. What else is it for if your going to shoot down or ignore people? You never know if your going to need something from them.

Dear Recruiter Name,

Thank you for your interest, at this time I am not currently looking for a new opportunity... (Insert more as needed) ... Thank you for your interest and please do not hesitate to reach out to me regarding future opportunities in (some technology your interested in)... Insert more as needed .. Blah blah.


  • 1
    I have mixed success with this approach, some thank me and leave me alone. Others keep sending me jobs and ask to share with any colleague that might be interested. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 6:23

I'm a recruiter and I get spammed by recruiters! Just last week I got a message asking if I was interested in a developer opportunity! Yes, totally OK to ignore them. If they're pinging you for a role that is clearly not a fit I actually will mark it as spam as this can hurt them if it happens too much. If it's a company you might be interested in working for at some point in the future it won't hurt to send a quick "Thanks for thinking of me but I'm not looking right now" note. LinkedIn Recruiter will keep track of any responses and a recruiter can see your responses when they see your profile (think about that before saying anything rude or unprofessional!) If I see someone was contacted a couple of months ago and wasn't interested I'm going to apply common sense and not ping that person again. Sadly, many recruiters - especially those at large companies or at agencies - seem to think volume is the only way to drive results so they just spam everyone who matches their keywords. I've worked for large tech companies and seen recruiters who send over 1000 InMails in a single week. Sorry but there is absolutely no way that person bothered to look at all those profiles. As a recruiter I detest these people!


I have the same problem. However, based on my area - these recruiters all stem from about the same half dozen firms or so. I usually will keep one good contact with each firm, and if someone else from the firm messages me I will forward them to the good contact that I have at the firm (this shows my, albeit lazy, loyalty towards this particular recruiter).

There are a couple of reasons for me doing this. They will build a profile for you, and watch you more closely if you keep in contact with them. This will allow them to see/know your current employment, the length of that employment, and any future promotions you may gain while in contact with them.

I let them know that I am currently not looking for a new company to go to. At this point, they will usually ask a question to the point of "What will it take for you to leave?" - I set the expectations really high. Much higher salary then what I'm currently getting, and more senior position. That way, if they do ever contact me with a position meeting this description I know it's going to be an offer I can't refuse.

Another, more selfish reason, for staying in contact with a few recruiters is most will take you out to lunch or dinner for free every month or so - and I don't know anyone that doesn't like free food.

  • If asked "What will it take for you to leave?", just say at this stage you are happy where you are and not interested in exploring other opportunities. Don't give them anywhere to go.
    – Jane S
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 22:34
  • If you really want to make an impression and turn a recruiter into one of your biggest fans, you should buy them lunch once in a while. Benefitting from them like you say you are seems kinda low class.
    – Kent A.
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 7:01
  • I'm a potential customer for them - I wouldn't buy something for any other business that I'm a customer for - recruiting is their business, and I, along with any other prospect out there, is their market - so I fail to see how that is any different.
    – SQLSavant
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 15:54
  • "these recruiters all stem from about the same half dozen firms or so" - statements like this make me wonder: Do these recruiters typically disclose on whose behalf they are recruiting? I seem to be getting exclusively messages that say something like: "A medium-sized company from the car industry in the area of <city> ...". Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 17:30

Depends on how well the recruitment firm remembers you, how much demand they have for someone with your skills and how many other applicants are around.

Technically, you are already ignoring these messages when you aren't looking for a new position and depending on what kind of relationship you have with these recruiters, the damage could be minimal if the recruiter is known for following up only when there is something right in front of them. For the firms you have enjoyed working with, I'd consider sending them short replies if they are sending you messages as perhaps they are doing blanket e-mails where replies aren't that meaningful in a sense.


Feel free to ignore them. They are automated messages, and even if you reply there is a low chance you will get a response. They send out hundreds of messages to get connections, then they only entertain conversations with a small percentage of the recipients who respond.

It's absolutely spam, and you're usually better off ignoring the messages.

  • 2
    The last three jobs I have gotten have all began with LinkedIn connections.
    – Neo
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 19:18
  • is this merely your opinion or you can back it up somehow?
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 20:01

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