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Posted July 15, 2019 by

Can I Text You?

Can I Text You? (Is it okay to use text messages during a job search?)

Scrolling though job listings and even applying for jobs on your phone’s web browser is becoming more commonplace. But, is it okay to communicate via text with prospective employers?

According to Jackie Ducci, CEO and founder of Ducci & Associates, a talent acquisition agency in Washington, D.C., the answer is “no.” “It is rarely, if ever, a good idea for a candidate to text a potential employer during the job search process,” says Ducci.

Unless you’re specifically asked to send a text by an employer, you should skip texting for several reasons:

1. It’s too informal. Texting is convenient and used more than calling or emailing these days. However, while its perfectly fine for friends, partners and even co-workers in some cases, it’s still considered too informal by most employers. Remember, you’re trying to be professional and create a good impression.

According to some recruiting experts, an inappropriate thank-you note after a job interview is worse than sending no thank-you note! For instance, handwriting a note on casual stationery would be considered too informal, as would a text. This is especially true if it’s a conservative industry/business.

2. It’s a missed opportunity. Even though it’s more intimidating to call and talk to an employer, it gives you an opportunity to really communicate with that person and make a human connection. Talking conveys tone of voice and inflection, which are lost or often misconstrued in texts. It also allows you to answer questions and expand on subjects. In other words, talking is better for two-way communication, which helps build relationships.

If you’re writing a thank you letter (and most experts agree that you should), it gives you an opportunity to reinforce your qualifications, express your enthusiasm for the positions and the company, and demonstrate your communication skills.

3. You don’t know how the person feels about texting. According to a Gallup poll, sending and receiving text messages is the most common form of communication for many Americans under 50. However, while you and your friends may use texts as your primary means of communication, others might take offense to receiving a text. Text messages can seem “flippant” or dismissive, which may cause the employer to feel that you’re not taking the job seriously, even if that’s not the case.

Of course, the exception to this is if the person has already texted you first. For example, if the employer texts you first to ask for more information or schedule a follow-up interview, then it’s fine to text back. In general, however, save the texting for keeping in touch with friends or urgent messages with already-established business contacts.

Now, having said all that, don’t be surprised if texting becomes more accepted in the future. TopResume’s career expert Amanda Augustine says she wouldn’t be surprised, at least for newer professionals, if texting becomes a commonplace thing. After all, everyone is looking for ways to save time and be more efficient. So, don’t be shocked if the recruiter or hiring manager from your next interview follows up via text. If that happens, feel free to text back!

Sources:

“Can I text a thank you after a job interview?” by Rose Mathews, Chron.com, 2019.

“Forget the phone – your next employer wants to interview you over text messages, by Courtney Connley, CNBC, March 2018.

“This is one thing you should never do during a job search,” by Jennifer Parris, The Ladders, May 22, 2018