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The Recruiter of my dream company offered me an opportunity to attend a big recruiting event. However, because I just took a scholarship at that time for further education, I didn't want the job right now but later in town. Under the huge pressure of my scholarship I completely forgot to respond to the recruiter that I couldn't be happier about the invitation.

No I'm left with the following two options:

  1. I write to the recruiter and refresh his knowledge about my behavior of not answering
  2. I don't write to the recruiter, wait and hope they forget my existence until I reapply in 2 years.

I would like to go with option 1, however I'm not sure how to explain the situation.

  • How long ago? Up to a month, I probably would say, it is common courtesy, if the recruiter is serious (not a scammer), to apologise for not answering and giving the reason. No grovel, just an apology as you would give it to anyone to whom you want to demonstrate respect of their time. – Captain Emacs Feb 11 '17 at 19:12
  • It's 5 months ago by now – Nex Feb 11 '17 at 19:14
  • You can do both. You have nothing to lose. In two years you will not be remembered either way. – PM 77-1 Feb 11 '17 at 19:39
  • 5 months later it might be dropped, but an apology never goes amiss. – Captain Emacs Feb 11 '17 at 20:34
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Write to the recruiter, thanking them for the opportunity to attend the recruiting event.

You then apologize for not getting back to them sooner, and ask if it would okay to get in touch with them in 2 years when you start looking for a job after school completes.

You also ask if they would please keep you in mind for future recruiting events.

  • Given the fact that over his career he's going to get about a a thousand 'recruiter invitations," why is this not a total waste of time and effort? Do you really send apologies for every recruiting event you get an email invite to that you don't attend? I find that unlikely. – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Feb 12 '17 at 16:34
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Here's the deal. Recruiters send out a lot of invitations - ranging from bulk levels to spam levels. In civilized society it's important to RSVP and all that, but recruiter mass email messages are not civilized society. 80% of their recipients ignore them and never reply. That's hundreds of people; they don't "blacklist" them or get annoyed, it's part of the job. They're not going to make a note of it.

If it's a recruiter you have a personal relationship with and they specifically reached out to just you, that's one thing. But that doesn't sound like this case. Just because you don't see other people cc'ed, doesn't mean they are really just reaching out to you as a special snowflake; you'd have to be already in the funnel of a hiring process for that.

Even if you replied, and even if you did so heroic a job of sucking up that they personally remember you favorably two years later, in my experience in house recruiters don't usually stay in a job all that long and they'll probably have moved.

TL;DR - just move on. Nothing you do in response to this matters.

  • It's not that kind of day to day sales recruiter. It is an executive HR employee from a leading fortune 500 company. – Nex Feb 11 '17 at 21:04
  • I'm sure they're super fancy. But do you know them personally and they invited you? Or did they invite a bunch of folks in an email to e.g. everyone who's sent in a resume, or everyone they got off a career site, or a list from your school? – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Feb 11 '17 at 21:44
  • Ofc I wans't the only one invited but it was a little more selective than just a huge circular mail. – Nex Feb 11 '17 at 22:24
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    It's very likely the recruiter cast a much wider net than you realise - unless you are someone very important there's a good chance your name has already been forgotten (if it wasn't just pulled automatically from a list in the first place) and - if not - it certainly will have been in two years' time (if the recruiter in question is still even in that role in two years). The fact that this is a "HR employee from a leading fortune 500 company" only makes this more likely. – Ant P Feb 12 '17 at 16:21
  • Recruiters have a job to recruit. They are pretty thick skinned. If they think you would be good for the job, any historical stuff will probably be forgotten about. – Andrew Berry Feb 13 '17 at 8:57

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