I continue to be amazed at how frequently my calls and emails are not returned- not only by people I reach out to cold, but also by people I have been in touch with for years and have met and know personally.
We are all busy. That is not an excuse. Your career is long and the odds are it will take an unexpected turn or two along the way. Your network will be key when it is time for a transition. It is when you are content in your role that you should have an eye to the future. Job searches are challenging under the best of circumstances. Don’t make it more difficult than necessary. Always work to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones so you have a network of connections that will help you when you need it.
You have no idea which contact will be the one to guide you to your next role. It may be a family friend, colleague or acquaintance, but it also may be a recruiter. Recruiters often will not have a match for you at the time you first connect but they may in the future. I recently placed someone I first met over three years ago and placed someone last year who I met five years earlier. Recruiters sort through the people they know every time they start a new search. If you haven’t responded to their outreach, they might assume you are not interested in hearing about opportunities. The best way to ensure you get the call when your dream position lands on a recruiter’s desk is to show them respect and to respond when they reach out to you, even if the opportunity they describe is not something you want to pursue. A simple “Thank you for thinking of me. I will pass but please keep me in mind for the future” is all you need to write. (Bonus points for taking a minute to think of someone who might be interested.)
Yes, you can pick and choose which recruiters you respond to, but once you have established a relationship, it is in your best interest to maintain that relationship for the future. Courtesy and good karma go a long way.
Questions about what to expect when working with recruiters? Call or email me for a consultation.
Amy Goldstein is the founder of Grayson Allen, Inc., a New York based attorney search and career consulting firm. She has been providing career advice and recruiting attorneys for in-house and law firm positions since 2000.