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Ask Anne: to Text or Not to Text?

Ask Anne: to Text or Not to Text?

Dear Anne,

I have a large database of job applicants from previous years that my company either did not interview when the person applied or did not hire for whatever reason. I’d like to reach out to them now. What are some of the best ways you’ve seen to get messages out to large groups of people?

Until recently, my company relied exclusively on the U.S. Postal Service, telephone, and email. We would send up to 200 emails per day to potential job candidates. I really don’t want to tell you what the rate of return was, but it was less than five percent most weeks. That means if you send 1,000 emails, you might hear from 50 people.

Calling can be very rewarding once you reach a person, but it takes lots of dials to get to someone. When using the telephone was our sole method, my consultants would make more than 150 dials per day. This would generally result in about 10 good, productive discussions. Again, not the best rate of return.

Then texting came along. It was a pain at first, but things have changed recently. We’re now texting everyone. After reading and researching texting in depth, we found that millennials and Gen Zers prefer texting over other forms of communication. They receive information including interviewing, follow-up questions, and requests for references via text — some employers send rejection notices via text too.

I did find a few tips to pass on if you decide to get on the texting bandwagon.  First and foremost, is to invest in a sound software package that has good support. A few others include:

  • Don’t forget to identify yourself when texting, including your name and the company name. Remind the applicant they applied for a position and you are getting in touch for a reason.
  • Try to keep your campaigns small — you can get overwhelmed!
  • Your texting platforms should allow for two-way texting; you want to allow applicants to text back.
  • Keep things simple and brief.
  • Only text people one time. If they don’t respond, don’t blow up their phone. They’ve probably moved on.


Dear Anne,

After you complete an interview, is it acceptable to call back to find out the status of your candidacy in a role that’s highly competitive?

The quick answer is yes — it doesn’t matter whether the job is highly competitive for an applicant to contact the hiring manager after interviewing. As a matter of fact, I (and many other professionals) highly suggest you do contact them. You always should thank them for their time and their consideration. The hard part to decide is what the best way to contact the interviewer is. Should you send a thank you note via text? An email? A handwritten note?

After reading what some of my peers have said about follow-ups after interviews, I’ll agree with them — do not text your thank you note. That’s still seen as tacky. Texts are also often full of typos. (And whatever you do, don’t ever use an emoji.)

If you know that the company will be deciding on who to hire within 48 hours, it’s acceptable to send an email. If you were interviewed by more than one person, remember to send individual emails. Another etiquette note — do not send emails after 11 p.m. I’ve personally been told that hirers see this as a sign you’re a workaholic.

The handwritten thank you note is still the most noticed of all communications. The reader gets to touch it, see it, and read it. They see your writing and get a sense of who you are all over again. If you can get a note written and to the post office on the day of your interview, it could easily reach the interviewer within 48 hours. In my 30 years of helping people find jobs, I’ve found the ones who write those notes get more offers!

I would love to know what local employers think about on this subject — if you’ve got an opinion, please email me at [email protected].


Anne Williams is the president of JobFindersUSA. She is not an attorney. All content in this column is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality and is not to be construed as legal advice.


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