When receiving an inmail message on LinkedIn for something you aren’t interested in, you shouldn’t automatically decline it. Here’s why…
If you decline it, you cut off all communication with that person from that moment out; that also means that they are unable to respond to you or answer any questions you may post. If that is truly what you want, then that would be the only time you should decline an inmail.
If timing isn’t right and you still want to keep in touch, accepting the inmail and stating your reasons why you don’t want to engage is a better course of action. It keeps the lines of communication open for a future date when the timing would be more appropriate.
If you are looking for an equally simple response to an inmail when the timing isn’t right, may I suggest the “Maybe later” button. This option allows you to convey your situation and interests. This allows you to keep the lines of communication open and allows you to reach out to recruiters when it makes sense to you.
As a final reminder, we are looking to make lasting connections with you, by no means do we see these conversations as a take it or leave it scenario. We are here with you every step of the way throughout your career. Bly closing that door initially, you may lose out on having that connection when you may find yourself in need of an industry partner.