We typically think of texting as a pretty informal way of communicating, and maybe not appropriate for professional interactions, but a recent Jobvite survey revealed 43 percent of hiring managers actually do reach out to candidates via text message.
In addition to communicating key details with hiring personnel, text message is becoming an increasingly popular way to conduct interviews. Some businesses even handle much of the hiring process with texts, particularly for jobs where written communication is more critical than verbal communication.
For applicants, text-based interviews are can be less stressful, fostering communication without the nervousness. Companies are then better capable of seeing who applicants are without nerves getting in the way. Texting also helps to blind hiring managers to things like ethnicity, religion, and possibly gender.
Therefore, it’s important to be fully prepared to interact with potential employers over text message. Because of its succinct nature, texting with someone in a professional capacity, you must strive to be short and precise. You want to present yourself as well as you could over email, where you can get more in-depth, or on a telephone call, where inflection and tone of voice provide more context. Below are a few tips on how to put your best foot forward over text.
Don’t Send the First Text
When it comes to interacting with a potential employer, you shouldn’t be the one to send the first text message. Go ahead and submit your application materials through conventional avenues, and if you get a text response, communicate back as warranted.
Also, a follow-up message after a job interview shouldn’t be a text message. First and foremost, a follow-up message is about thanking the other person and a text could be seen as poor manners. Also, texting doesn’t give you the length you need to craft an effective message that strengthens your prospects.
Keep It Professional, Not Casual
The best approach is to keep it formal and professional in all communications with a potential employer, including over text. You probably use a pretty casual tone for friends and family, so you’ll have to switch into work mode when texting a hiring manager.
Use a Business Style of Writing
After it’s been established that text message is an acceptable mode of communication in a hiring process, you should think about how you are going to use language and phrasing. Your text messages ought to be as meticulously written as any professional communication you have with somebody you don’t know very well.
Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms beyond the most popular ones, like ‘US’ for ‘United States’ or MBA for a Master of Business Administration degree. Never use slang, gifs, or emojis, even if the other person does first. If you have a signature at the bottom of all your messages, ensure it’s suitable for professional communication.
We Can Help You with Your Next Application Process
At ZDA, we both connect job seekers to great career opportunities and help them apply to those same opportunities. Please contact us today to find out how we can assist with your next job application.