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How to manage recruiters on LinkedIn?

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Data Engineer at Financial Companya year ago

I'm currently at a Tier-3 company with 3.5 YOE and get ~5 recruiters reaching out a week. Some of the messages I can automatically ignore, while some are more compelling. I tend to ignore anything consulting-oriented and am more enticed by the recruiters for specific startups who say something like "come join our series A/B/C startup founded by engineers from Uber/Stripe/Meta! We have $X Million Raised!"

I can only imagine that folks working at Tier 1 or 2 companies must be inundated with these emails and messages all the time and from better companies.

What's good practice and etiquette for handling these? I'm aware of the masterclass on choosing a good team/company and since I'm aiming for Big Tech or Unicorn, it's somewhat helpful in being able to dismiss a lot of postings.

To make this more concrete, I have 2 specific questions:

  1. Is it worth the time responding to recruiters if the answer is no?

  2. If my goal is Tier 1 (MegaCap Companies) and I'm at Tier 3, would it be a lot more helpful to get there via Tier 2 (Unicorns and companies people have heard of)?

Open to any other thoughts!



  • 8
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    Staff Eng @ Google, Ex-Meta SWE, Ex-Amazon SDM/SDE
    a year ago
    1. If it’s 5 per week, I feel like you can answer. “I’m not in the market right now, but good luck on your search!” Is easy. If you want to be specific “I’m not interested in consulting roles right now, but I appreciate the consideration!”. That’s 30 seconds. If you do 5 at the end of the week, that’s 2.5 minutes. Recruiters are valuable connections to have.
    2. Where you’ve worked may affect recruiters, but once you get an interview (via a recruiter connection because you don’t burn bridges), as long as you’ve done complex work, and have the right skills, the interviewers or selection committee won’t care about this Tier stuff.
  • 4
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a year ago

    I don't reply to recruiters unless it's clear that they actually looked at my profile. If they spent the time to comment on a side project I worked on, a position I have on LinkedIn, or my YouTube channel, they have effectively "earned" my trust that it's a connection I want to make. Perhaps this is a low bar, but connections are free!

    My philosophy with LinkedIn is to blindly accept everyone who sends me a connection request. This will work until I hit 30K connections, which I'll hit in the next month or two.

    When it comes to replying to messages, though, I use the above criteria to see if I should bother replying.

  • 3
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    Mid-Level Site Reliability Engineer at Ping Identity
    a year ago

    It's important to keep in mind that Recruiting is a numbers game for the most part, and LinkedIn is actually set up with this in mind - Recruiters have access to things like templates and variable replacement to assist this [1].

    Personally, I'll generally only respond if it's clear that it's not a templated/copy-pasted message. I've got an emoji in my linkedin name that effectively highlights a lot of automated messages.

    1: https://www.linkedin.com/help/recruiter/answer/a412196/create-message-templates-in-recruiter?lang=en

  • 2
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    Mid-Level Software Engineer at Nike
    a year ago

    I know i am late to answer this question. But, I too face this, fortunately not sure if you are aware of this, when a recruiter reaches out to me for a job, Linkedin has a feature in their messages which is you can select a “default” accept/reject message or auto decline their message without a formal note, it really helps me to not even type out anything just select one button and the rest is history. Maybe check that out if haven’t yet!

  • 3
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    Engineering Manager at Blend
    a year ago

    I think it's worth responding to LinkedIn recruiters even if the answer is "no". LinkedIn recruiters get their InMail credited back as long as their message is accepted/rejected. I like to respond to all recruiter messages so that they can get their credits back (IMO, it's the nice thing to do hehe).

    I have three snippets that I use...

    Snippet #1

    Hello! Thanks for reaching out. Please let me know the following information before we go forward with discussion (if they weren't already answered in your original message):

    * Company name
    * Total compensation range
    * Remote Flexibility


    Snippet #2
    Thanks for the info, but unfortunately I'm not interested in the opportunity! Good luck!

    Snippet #3
    Thanks for reaching out. Do you see an opportunity for me to help as more of an advisor than a full-time role?

    I’m currently not in the market for a full-time role, but I am open to other arrangements.


    I bind them the above snippets with Alfred's text expansion so going through messages is must faster/easier.

LinkedIn is an employment-oriented online service, and since 2017, a subsidiary of Microsoft. It's primarily used for professional networking and career development, and allows job seekers to post their CVs and employers to post jobs. LinkedIn has 800M+ registered members from over 200 countries.
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