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Here’s what to do when contacted by a recruiter

Most of us are used to the traditional job hunt. Applying for job after job and waiting for an interview request. So, when the tables are turned and you’re contacted by a recruiter for a role, how do you respond?

LinkedIn has become a powerful networking tool, especially for recruiters looking for top talent. You don’t have to be actively looking for a new role to be recognized online. For those who aren’t currently looking for a new job, receiving an email or LinkedIn message can be surprising. Don’t be startled. Be flattered! Take it as recognition of your skills and experiences and look at it as a possible next step towards that dream job.

What does it mean if a recruiter contacts you?
When recruiters contact you on LinkedIn or via email, take a minute to feel proud! Your skills and experience are paying off and you can finally start to reap the benefits! It’s likely that the recruiter has a position available that matches your qualifications and wants to know more about you to ensure you are the perfect fit for their client. Don’t mistake this initial contact as a job offer or even as good as one. The recruiter is interested in you professionally, but the ball is in your court to determine if you’d like to take the conversation further.

How to respond to a recruiter
Re-evaluate your current work status
Perhaps you haven’t even considered a change in employment, but now that you know you have options, there’s no better time to step back and reflect on your current position. Are you happy with your role? Your employer? The company you work for? Your compensation? Re-evaluate your current work status to determine if you’d be open to a change.

Respond with your intentions
Smiling woman on cell phone

If you’ve thought it over and remain content in your current position, politely thank the recruiter for their interest, decline the opportunity and/or let them know what opportunities you would be willing to entertain in the future. After all, having a recruiter as an ally can be beneficial to your professional success.

On the other hand, if you’ve arrived at the conclusion that a change is just what you need, remember that they’ve likely contacted multiple candidates so you should respond as soon as possible. Keep your response brief and to the point. Thank the recruiter for reaching out and provide an electronic copy of your resume. Make it clear that you are interested in meeting to learn more about the role and supply a couple of options of dates and times that would work best for you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for more information about the role if you’re stuck on the fence. It can be challenging to base a decision on only partial knowledge.

Treat your meeting like an interview
Although you’ve been contacted based on your skills and experiences, recruiters are looking to sell you to their clients, so make a good first impression! Treat your meeting like a professional interview. Bring an updated resume as well as any additional documents requested by the recruiter such as certifications, licences and your social insurance number. Arriving prepared demonstrates your interest in the role and helps the recruiter present you to their client immediately.

Don’t forget those common interview tips. Prepare yourself by reviewing the company, your resume and your digital presence. Dress to impress and thank the recruiter for their time. Being courteous and professional is key, as this is a relationship you’ll want to nurture in order to reap its benefits.

There are many negative sentiments towards working with a recruiter. Don’t be fooled by common staffing agency myths. Making a positive connection with a recruitment firm today can be a great asset for your professional growth tomorrow. Whether you are looking for a new role immediately or down the road, maintaining a relationship with a qualified recruiter can ensure you are linked to the best opportunities as they become available.

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