Every day, I get at least 10 (sometimes much more) emails from potential candidates. And a barrage of LinkedIn connection requests as well (some of which contain messages asking about potential employment). I could literally spend all day responding to these requests and giving free career advice over the phone. I know that some of these folks might someday be a good candidate, although I don't have a job for them right now. I need to focus my day on interviewing candidates for the jobs I am trying to fill.
Any advice on how to respond to these folks? There are two different "groups" of people I would categorize them into.
1) I will never have a job for this person. They are either in a different field than what I specialize in or their background would never be a fit for my clients for one reason or another.
2) I might have something in the future, but not now.
3) If I do have something, then of course I will respond accordingly.
Also, if someone sends a LinkedIn request, do you typically respond or just accept the invitation? I find myself just accepting the invitation. But when someone asks to talk to me and I know that I will not have something for this person right now, again, I'm in the same predicament.
I've been doing this for almost 9 years and the quantity of these types of emails is increasing every day. I know that being "known" is a good thing but I also really need to focus on tasks that will pay the bills!
I appreciate your advice!
I always accept resumes, linkedin requests, etc., unless it is obviously just someone I don't know trying to sell me something. I don't like to accept requests from people outside my professional field (realtors, etc.), unless there is a good reason. My response to each and every unsolicited resume I receive is "Thank you. I will save this on file and contact you if anything appropriate ever comes up." If people want to talk, then I tell them "Call me anytime."
So, I am never rude, but I don't waste time on people unless I have an immediate need for them and their skills. Your job is not to provide free job advice (although you are welcome to do it, and it may be a good idea to generate good will, etc., and improve your karma), so don't feel obligated to do so.
Meanwhile, while you are busy being courteous but efficient, you can smile inwardly and feel proud that you are being kind and at least a bit helpful, while many candidates will simply revile you for sending them a "spam" six-figure job offer which they are too lazy to read... or which might be a great fit for someone they know. Instead of being helpful, they will send you a death threat and call you a "retarded spammer" because you simply happened to contact them because they signed up on five lists of Ruby software engineers that you carefully researched. Somehow, you were supposed to know that they would only look at jobs in a five-mile radius or only do contracting, etc., even though you've never met or spoken with them before, etc., etc.
Better to be the better person and help those who ask for it, I think.