You might use your phone’s web browser to scroll through job listings. You may have even used apps to apply for a position or two. You check your email inbox on your phone to see if you’ve heard from any employers, and maybe even call them to schedule interviews. In short, you use lots of features and tools on your phone in your job search — except for maybe one: texting.
Texting during your job search is still a grey area. Is text an acceptable job search tool? Not really, says Jackie Ducci, CEO and founder of Ducci & Associates, a talent acquisition agency in Washington, DC. “It is rarely, if ever, a good idea for a candidate to text a potential employer during the job search process,” says Ducci.
Here are some reasons why you should skip sending that text — unless you’re explicitly asked to do so — and what you should do instead:
Texting is too informal
You text your best friend. You text your partner to bring home bread. You text your kid to find out what time he needs to be picked up from soccer practice. For the most part, texting is used as a quick — and very informal — way to communicate. If you opt to text an employer, “it could give the impression that the candidate is too flippant, which is not an attractive trait!” says Ducci.
It’s a missed opportunity
Even if you feel a bit shy to actually get on the phone and talk with an employer, you should. Sending a text can be a missed opportunity for a job candidate to communicate with an employer. Says Ducci: “Getting on the phone can continue to foster a deeper, more human relationship with the potential employer.” A text-only conveys a brief bit of information, but speaking on the phone gives you the chance to let an employer hear your voice—and more importantly, what you need to say.
You don’t know how the person feels about texting
While most people might swear by texting, others might take offense to receive a text message on their phone. “Even if there is nothing technically wrong with sending a text, why take such an informal route when there is no upside in doing so?” says Ducci. After all, you never know how your text will be perceived by a potential employer, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and skip the text.
You can text an employer if …
The only real reason to text someone during your job search is if the person has already texted you first. For example, if the employer texts you first for the purpose of conveying or seeking specific information (e.g., to confirm an interview time or confirm an interview location), then it’s perfectly fine to text back. But anything more than that should warrant a more professional, human communication.