Dealing with LinkedIn tech recruiters - 3 simple steps

It’s that time of year again – recruiters on LinkedIn are starting to send out messages and job ads faster than anyone can read them. This is something I think every tech person experiences after spending substantial amount of time registered there. What suprises me is that a vast majority of people I know despise getting this kind of mail which, at the first glance, seems contradicting to the purpose of being on a professional social network. While different people may have different reasons to being registered on LinkedIn, I seem to have a rather unpopular approach of treating it as an opportunity to possibly land my next job – something that happened to me before, twice. With that being said, I accept all contact invitations unless the account is clearly recognized as spam or completely unrelated to my line of work (and that doesn’t happen very often).

If you’re anything like me, you most likely have problems with replying to all non-urgent email right away, LinkedIn recruiter messages falling under that category. This is especially true when I’m comfortable with my work situation, when my interest in new job opportunities is low. Despite that, however, I try to follow these 3 simple steps:

1. Always write back, even if you’re not interested in the offer.

Unless you’re a rockstar who may never need to look for work again, it’s always polite to respond and say that you’re not interested. Further, invite the recruiter to keep you updated on the job market he/she is working with (unless, of course, it’s something you’re completely not into). Even if your job situation is stable at the moment, you may never know what happens in a few years time and help may come from least expected places.

2. Schedule one day a week/month to go over your professional social network messages.

Spend some time and go over all unread messages on specifically scheduled days. This will help you maintain your inbox clean and ease up on accumulating unread email frustration (yes, it’s a real thing!).

3. Be professional. Be polite.

If someone keeps spamming you with unsolicited mail and something that just won’t contribute to your career advancement – remove the connection. Never send outraged messages, don’t Tweet about it, just do it quietly. Better yet – polietly let the other side know that you don’t wish to receive specific types of messages – this tactic works more often than you may think. Badmouthing other people, even if you consider them to be “annoying recruiters”, may leave a mark on your professional appearance. Remember: the Internet is smaller than you think.

Most importantly, remember that on the other end there’s a living human being who is only trying to do their job. You may be one of many people he/she wrote to but even so, being civilized about it is something everyone should remember.