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Happy Where You Are So No Need to Return the Recruiter's Message, Right? No Grasshopper.

September 9, 2010
by Gwen Darling
| Reprints
Responding to recruiters is more important than you think

I’m a huge proponent of the power of Social Media. I write about it for anyone who’ll read it, talk about it to anyone who’ll listen, and utilize the strengths of the various channels in my own business every single day. Heck, I’ll even jump in and defend it when one of my colleagues rants about keeping a lid on it! Social Media channels, such as my personal favorite, LinkedIn, are unmatched when it comes to providing access to colleagues you know, and those you’d like to know better. And yes, it even provides access to those you really don’t care to know, at least at the moment. You know who I’m talking about – those pesky recruiters.

Ah yes, those pesky recruiters. The savvy ones have learned how to leverage the enormous power of Social Media (particularly LinkedIn) to find the cream of the crop “passive” candidates, the silent majority of professionals who aren’t active job seekers but who may be interested in hearing about a new “dream” opportunity should one arise. Maybe you’re in this group, and so when that LinkedIn “InMail” or unsolicited phone call arrives, you’ll take five minutes to politely respond, even if it’s just to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” If you’re in this group, wisdom is yours!

But then there’s the other group. The “I’m happy where I’m at don’t bother me, I’m not happy but I’m too ________ (fill in the blank) to look for something new right now, or I’m right in the middle of a __________ (fill in the blank) so a job change is out of the question” group. This is the group that is too _________ (fill in the blank) to take five minutes to respond to the recruiter. If you are in this group? I’m here to tell you; not responding to a recruiter who has reached out to you is a HUGE career gaffe. HUGE. Even if you are 100% sure you are not interested in leaving your present position, there is a new connection out there who already thinks you’re something special. A well-connected stranger who will remember your response (or lack thereof) to their overture and make a first impression based on that response. So even if you’re not even remotely interested in what s/he has to offer, take five minutes to “meet” the recruiter and thank them for their interest in you. Because who knows? Perhaps next week, next month, or next year, you may be ready to set out on a new adventure. And if they remember you as respectful of their time? You’ll be first on their list of prospects to snatch the dream opportunity pebble from their hand.

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