While the Loxo team is huge advocates of using texting to recruit candidates, it should be used only after some careful thought. If used improperly, texting can do more harm than good. Before you craft your first message, make sure you are aware of some common best practices and tailor them to your unique process.

DO keep your message short

Texts are meant to be short, not long walls of words. Keep your messages short and sweet. A good rule of thumb is no more than 160 characters or about 2–3 sentences.

DO introduce yourself

Be sure to introduce yourself the first time you ever text a candidate. Include your name and your company so they know exactly who you are and why you are contacting them.

DO keep it professional

Texts are way more informal than any other means of communication. While it may be tempting to write as you normally would, you should be mindful of what you send to candidates. Use simple but professional language while maintaining a conversational tone.

DO use spell check

In such a small space, typos and grammatical errors are a lot easier to spot and can leave a negative impression. Do yourself a favor and perform one last spell check before you hit send.

DO personalize your message

Personalization is everything. Whether you are sending a single text or the same text to dozens of candidates, make sure to include the candidate’s name in your message. It goes along way to building rapport and helping your message stand out.

DO ask your candidates if they prefer text

It’s never a good idea to assume candidates want to receive your texts. If you have already connected with them, ask them if they don’t mind you reaching out to them through text in the future. Tailor your communications to their preference going forward.

Use text to reach out to candidates as a last resort. Send them an email or InMail first, and only send a text if they haven’t replied to your previous efforts. If and when you decide to send a text, send a single message unless they reply.

DON’T send a text outside of business hours

Texts sent outside of business hours are widely considered intrusive and display a lack of consideration for your candidate’s free time. Only send text during standard business hours, and be aware of possible time zone differences when sending.

DON’T use abbreviations

This goes back to keeping your message professional, and nothing screams unprofessional like, “R u available to interview next week?” (Editor’s Note: I visibly cringed even typing this.) You should also avoid using emojis or too many exclamation points as they can have a similar effect.

DON’T be pushy

You know that crazy ex we have all heard about. The one who sends you a million texts, demanding a response long after you stopped replying. Don’t be that person. If a candidate isn’t replying, it’s time to take a hint and change your strategy. Instead of texting, try sending an email or pretty much anything else that is less intrusive.

DON’T spam your candidates

Don’t ruin a good thing and send message after message to your candidates. Use text sparingly to keep your candidates quickly updated, and know when you should switch to other channels.