Are you happily employed? The best time to be in contact with a recruiter is when you are employed. Jeff Brine offers his insight on Jerry Land’s article, “Why a Passive Candidate Should Take a Recruiter’s Call”, and gives his own advice to those who are currently employed.
I have never had anyone tell me that they have the perfect job. However, a select few people tell me they are happily employed and do not have the need to consider a new career opportunity. My favorite question as I am speaking to any potential candidate, happily employed or not is: "Would you be open to exploring an opportunity if it was clearly superior to what you are doing now?" If you can answer "yes" to that question, and I believe 99% of the working population would, then you owe it to yourself to speak with the recruiter. They may just have that career opportunity that is clearly superior. And if that particular position is not superior, provide the recruiter with some information about your career and career interests to they can call you when that clearly superior position is assigned to their search firm.
Read Jerry Land's original article here: Why a Passive Candidate Should Take a Recruiter's Call