When was the last time you were hunting for a job? If it’s been awhile, you may be astounded the next time you fire off your resume, and receive a text message back from a recruiter or hiring manager. Yikes! New territory for many of us. So, how do you respond? Is it appropriate to use emojis even if the recruiter used them first? How quickly should you respond to the text?
 
The concept of text messaging during the interview process has been around for more than a few years, but this trend is becoming increasingly popular, and it is here to stay. Employers are looking for ways to grab the attention of candidates and provide frequent touch points with them, so they’ll remain engaged and don’t think their resumes have fallen into a resume abyss. It also speeds up the process from resume qualification to the time of hire, which is usually a win-win for everyone involved. In addition, not only is it fast, convenient and an easy way to communicate, it is the preferred form of communication for many millennials and most Gen Z’s.
 
Provided below are some tips on how to wow your potential employer when you receive a text message from them.

  1. Let the hiring manager text you first. Even if you have their cell phone number, be sure to stick with email or phone calls over text messages until they initiate this form of communication. Your phone number is more personal than your email address. Texting a recruiter can feel like an invasion of their privacy and be construed as intrusive, casting you in a negative light. Obviously, the same goes for the recruiter that is texting a candidate. They should always ask your permission to communicate in this manner first. You have every right to say you prefer another method.
  2. If you are interested in the job, respond timely. You can impress a recruiter by being prompt and professional when sending your reply. Leave a lasting impression of yourself and stand out from other candidates just by responding quickly. A recruiter will assess your grammar, communication style, and how you follow instructions if they decide to invite you to meet for an interview.
  3. Never provide personal information in a text message. If a recruiter asks for your social security number, date of birth or address in a text message, beware of identity theft or fraud. Most recruiters are going to use text messages for short, simple communication such as scheduling of interviews and follow-up after an interview. Text messages should not be used to make job offers or discuss salary negotiations and should never require you to give up personal information about yourself.  
  4. Text during business hours. This is critical for a number of reasons, but since the phone is a more personal means of communication, be cognizant of the time you are texting someone. Ask yourself this: would you call the same person at the time you are texting? If the answer is no, wait to send the text until morning.
  5. Whatever you do, don’t use acronyms, abbreviations, gifs or emojis Even if the candidate did it first, try and avoid using these because you will most likely come off as unprofessional. Instead, write complete sentences and check your spelling and grammar. Make sure autocorrect hasn’t changed your words before you hit send.

 
So, the next time you receive a text message from a recruiter, have no fear. Follow the five tips provided, and chances are, the recruiter will reply back with an interview request. Keep your head up and go get ‘em. It’s your year to shine. 

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