How to Handle a LinkedIn Connection Request from a Recruiter

Accepting a connection request from a recruiter can be tricky business, especially if you are not actively seeking new opportunities. That doesn’t mean you can’t connect and keep a working relationship in the event you do start looking for something new. Here, we look at a few things to consider when deciding whether to connect with a recruiter on LinkedIn or not.

  1. Are you actively seeking opportunities?

If your answer is yes, then your decision is probably an easy one. If you are actively seeking new opportunities, chances are your profile contains key words that automatically grab recruiters’ attention when they search for someone within your area of expertise. It’s also probably fair to say you are not too concerned with people knowing who you are connecting with. In this case, you can go ahead and click “connect”.

If your answer is no and you are passively seeking new opportunities, your decision is a little trickier. You are still employed and you probably don’t want your boss questioning why you’re connecting with a recruiter.  Fortunately for you, there are a couple of ways to hopefully avoid that awkward conversation.

Helpful Tips & Tricks:

  • Connect over the weekend when there’s not a lot of traffic
  • In your LinkedIn Privacy & Settings, under the “Select who can see your connections” tab change your setting to “Only You”.
  1. Did they include a personal message with their connection request?

While there are plenty of spammers out there filling up your inbox, there are also serious inquiries hidden among the masses of generic messages.  Someone who has taken the time to send a personal message is probably (hopefully) not looking to spam you. It’s never a bad idea to ask why they would like to connect or how they know you. Better safe than sorry!

  1. Have you already talked or met with this recruiter before?

Depending on a recruiter’s strategy, they may or may not have already given you a call or met with you over coffee and the LinkedIn connection request is nothing more than a secondary step towards building a relationship. If the phone call or coffee went well, then the decision is an easy one. If not, well, we’ll let you answer that one for yourself.

Accepting a LinkedIn connection request from a recruiter can be tricky business. Every situation is different and ultimately the decision is yours. Curious about what we do? Check us out on LinkedIn–we’d love the chance to connect and meet with you.

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