We have all had a phone call, email or LinkedIn message from a recruiter saying “they have a great opportunity with our name on it” or “do we know anyone that we might want to refer for a great opportunity”. Some of us are flattered by the number of recruiters that seem to be contacting us as they must be impressed with our backgrounds and the unique skill set we possess, while others are frustrated and perceive recruiters as pestering vultures whose only interest in us is padding their wallets.

Whatever the motive of the recruiter it is true that their livelihood, business and success depends on them finding great candidates for their clients to hire. Saying that, it might be you. That email, phone call or LinkedIn message may also be your dream job that would have otherwise been missed.

Three reasons you should return an email or call a recruiter:

1. Most new job opportunities happen as a result of the hidden job market. The role the recruiter has contacted you about may not be ideal for you at this time however once you have connected, he or she will now know you and what you may be looking for in the future. They may also be able to market you to a client they work with to determine if they could use someone like you in their organization. Companies don’t usually pass up on top talent if their trusted recruiter promotes you to them. The recruiter can’t promote you if they don’t know you and if you haven’t established a relationship.

2. You don’t know what you don’t know. It doesn’t hurt to find out more about the opportunity. Yes, you may be happy in your current role however you never know what may be around the corner and what another organization or role might offer that your current one doesn’t. Listening can also give you confidence that you are in the right place in your current role or some suggestions on what you would need to do to move up in your career such as taking additional courses or designations such as a PMP.

3. Everyone should always be interviewing to keep their skills sharp. In our office we are always discussing how surprised we are at an individual’s lack of interview skills and inability to even understand the basic interview process and how to conduct themselves. They often don’t know how to talk about their work history and what they currently do in their present role and most importantly what they would be looking for in their next position. By returning a recruiters phone call or responding to a LinkedIn message to set up a phone call, you will stay current and build the confidence and skills necessary when you really need to interview to ensure you land that perfect job.

You may be thinking that you don’t return the recruiters calls, set up a phone meeting or interview with them because you don’t want to waste their time. A good recruiter values all candidate interactions as they recognize the importance of networking and connecting with a candidates that may be the right fit for their current or future roles. At our firm we strive to bring value to candidates when we connect with them by providing resume or LinkedIn tips, coaching or connecting them with other individuals that will help them if we can’t. It is never a waste of time for you or them!