Last week I received a mail from a recruiter on LinkedIn with "an opportunity". In the end of her mail, she asked me to give me a call if I'm free and interested.

Since I wasn't searching for a job (and the job description didn't really fit my CV), I ignored the mail as I wasn't interested.

Today I received a new mail of her asking if I had seen her previous mail and telling me the job was still available. I replied by thanking her for the mail and telling her I wasn't searching for anything right now. Did I do wrong by ignoring the mail or should I answer all mails ending on 'reply if you're...' even if they don't apply to me?

A side question: what if a manager from my company or a customer sends his/her mail that way?

  • You may want to clarify whether you have a pre-existing relationship with this recruiter and whether this was a form mail or not, though I think this will likely end up closed.
    – Lilienthal
    Aug 29, 2017 at 12:07

3 Answers 3


I would always take such a line at face value. It seems to be pretty standard in recruiter e-mails that I've seen and I've never had a problem with not replying, about the only times I would reply in this case would be if I had something specific to say such as if I know someone who might be.

Honestly I think this recruiter is just struggling to fill this vacancy and figured it was worth a shot to re-email their contact list in the event that someone who would be interested had missed the original e-mail.

For the side question I would generally treat it the same, if I had a reasonable rapport with the person sending the mail I might drop a quick reply back in the negative but I certainly don't think there is any obligation or expectation for you to do so.


Did I do wrong by ignoring the mail or should I answer all mails ending on 'reply if you're...' even if they don't apply to me?

There's never a need to reply to a cold call (or email) from a recruiter. It's common (and perhaps even expected?) that most people just ignore the call/mail if they aren't interested.

If you wish to "keep your name in their file", you can respond as you have done - indicating that you aren't looking "right now". This hints that maybe you will be interested at some point in the future, and that they should continue to ping you with potential jobs.

You didn't do wrong, depending on your intent.

  • I would word even stronger, but @JoeStrazzere is being more polite than me. It is never necessary to reply to any unsolicited cold contact unless you are interested in what they offer, be it a job or anything else they are selling. That is what they are doing, attempting to sell something to you. If they get pushy about it with multiple contacts, not only does that not endear them to me, it moves them well down the list for my consideration in the future. It tells me they did not accept my implied "No thank you", but the also are likely desperate, and either inexperienced or not very good.
    – dlb
    Aug 29, 2017 at 14:41

How you respond to a cold call/email from a sales person/recruiter is far different than your obligations related to customer/co-worker/manager.

That recruiter is most likely reaching out to hundreds of people whose CV/resume/profile are hitting a few of their key words. They are hoping that some percentage of people they email/private message will respond, and that some of those can be turned into interviews and later jobs which is how they earn their pay/commission.

They are likely to followup once or twice, but those may actually be part of an automated system so they aren't spending much effort in those followups.

On the other hand that customer and manager or co-worker already has an existing relationship to you. How you respond is dictated by that relationship and the subject of the email. Not acknowledging the email may leave them wondering if you got the message, or that you might not have read it. And since you want to keep that relationship your obligation to respond is higher.

Going back to the recruiter. When you are interested they won't hold a grudge if you didn't respond to their initial message x years ago.

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