Recently, I received an email from a colleague who said a hiring manager from a large, somewhat conservative company, texted her the information on her interview. She responded via email because she thought texting him back would be too informal. She emailed me to ask if that was the correct thing to do. I responded it was.
Normally, it is proper etiquette to respond the same way someone contacts you, but in the case of a potential employer, I don’t think it’s ever proper to text. It’s simply too casual. Further, I don’t think it’s acceptable for a potential employer to send a text message to a candidate. It would make me wonder how professional the organization is if they are texting a candidate about a job.
Another friend of mine received a text from someone inviting him to a play as his guest. My friend said he didn’t recognize the phone number and the texter did not sign his name. My friend didn’t know if it was spam or if it was legitimate. He didn’t know if he should respond or not. It turns out the invitation came from someone he knew, but not very well and it was awkward having to ask who the sender was.
Texting is very informal and intrusive. It’s similar to instant messaging, and therefore it’s not the best medium for more formal correspondence such as when communicating with someone you don’t know well, invitations and business communication.
My rule for texting is that you should know the person well, the person is not a client, boss or potential employer, and you should know if she or he is okay with getting texts. Not everyone has a texting plan nor can accept texts. I used to be one of those people. Every time someone would text me I was charged for it.
Think twice before you text someone. If it seems too casual for the message you’re communicating or for the recipient then send the message via another medium – email or phone.
What are your thoughts on texting? When do you think it’s not appropriate to text someone, if ever? Are you comfortable receiving texts from people you don’t know well? Do you think it was appropriate for the company to text the interview information to my colleague?