When you receive a message from a potential employee, you should first review their profile to ensure they are a good fit for your needs. Make sure to read the whole thing, so you do not miss any critical details.
If you do not feel they are a good fit for you, then respond to them saying as much. Be sure to be polite and courteous when responding. A message like the below is an example of what you could say:
“Thank you for your interest in this position. Though I appreciate you reaching out, unfortunately, I do not think we would be a good match. Good luck with your job search!”
If you do feel the employee is a good fit, respond to them, citing your interest in them for the role and provide them with information on the next steps. It is a good idea to get the ball rolling by offering to set up a call or in-person interview so you can discuss the role further. A message like the below is an example of what you could say:
“Thank you for your interest in this position. I would be very excited to speak more with you about the role. I’d love to hear more about your qualifications and discuss my needs in more detail. Are you available for a call sometime in the next few days?”
It is very important to respond whether you are interested or not as it shows good etiquette. It also offers the sender closure so they can move on in their search and will not continue to reach out to you or wait for a response.