Week: September 23, 2019    

Title: Don’t Text and Hire

Author: Angela Copeland

I recently learned about a new, shocking phenomenon. Maybe I'm getting old. In my world, there's a right way and a wrong way to use text messages. The right way is to text people you actually know.

Almost everything else falls into the wrong way category. Occasionally, companies I shop at will try to text me and I opt out. The only time it feels good to interact with a business via text is when they're confirming an appointment. For example, it can be helpful when a hair stylist confirms their appointment with you by text. It reminds you and allows you to easily interact with the business on your own time.

But, what I've seen lately doesn't fall into these categories. It takes text messaging to an entirely new level. Employers are using text messaging in their hiring process. You heard me right. Employers are texting job seekers.

I have to think that text messaging was some fancy feature added on to a recruiting package. I can imagine a sales rep explaining that, "This is a great way to text with candidates! It will make your life so easy and will let the candidates know that you're ahead of the game!"

But, I don't see it this way at all. Job seeking is delicate. First of all, it's very private. Very few people should be aware you're job searching. The last thing you need is text messages popping up on your phone out of the blue from an employer. On top of any privacy concerns, job seeking is an extremely emotional process. It can be like a roller coaster. Often, job seekers will put aside certain time during the day to work on their job search. This is a great way to manage the stress that job seekers typically feel.

You may wonder how companies could be using text messaging to communicate with applications. There are two main buckets that these text messages fall into. The first are messages that are sent by people, and the second are automated messages that are sent by a computer.

When a company manually sends text messages, the person is generally reaching out to schedule or reschedule interviews. Recruiters also use text messages to ask candidates how an interview went with a hiring manager. These messages aren't ideal, but they aren't the worst.

The worst are text messages sent by computer. Companies are using them to reject candidates. Let that sink in. Remember how painful automated rejection emails are (the ones you check at your home, in the time you've devoted to your job search)? Now, imagine you're going about your day and a rejection pops up on your phone, from a job you were truly interested in. Ouch!

Companies, remember: you don't have to use every shiny piece of technology on your new applicant tracking system. Treat job seekers the way you would want to be treated.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at

I recently heard a saying that stuck with me: "Learning is the new loyalty." Hearing this phrase, it felt like the record stopped. Everything was quiet for a moment while I contemplated just how much I agree.

Often, I hear from young job seekers who are confused. Their parents have told them not to switch jobs. They've been advised to stay at one job for many years. It will offer stability. It will offer a retirement. Employers will respect you for staying at one place for a long period of time. Companies don't want job hoppers.

This was true – when your parents were starting their careers. But, for the most part, it's not the case anymore. Employers are quick to lay off workers. They often don't promote from within. And, many are happy to hire someone new from the outside who is more up to date on technology or industry trends.

So, what's a job seeker to do? Companies value you being up to date on your work related stills more than they value you staying at a job for ten or more years. It doesn't mean you should change jobs every six months. But, don't stay in a job for too long.

You may wonder how long is too long. Ask yourself these questions. Am I still learning? Am I still growing? If the answer to these questions is no, it may be time to start looking. Don't stay in your current job for years after it becomes routine. If you're no longer growing your skillset, you're likely falling behind.

Think about this. When is the last time your company paid for you to attend a class or training? Sure, some companies are great about this. But, they aren't the norm. Companies no longer prioritize education, but they do still expect you to be learning.

A great way to keep growing and learning is to take on a new challenge at a new company. And, a huge perk is pay. Companies rarely reward people who are loyal and stick around for years and years. They spend their money recruiting new talent. External hires are the ones who will make the current market rate.

The new hires they bring in are the people who are typically the most up to date. And, they stay up to date by not staying in any one job for too long.

Now, keep in mind that this advice is not one size fits all. But, when your parents or grandparents begin to give you a hard time about your career ambitions, ask yourself a few questions. Do they work in the same field as I do? Are they knowledgeable about my career field? If not, you may be talking to the wrong person. If this happens and you're in search of advice, seek out mentors who are in your field. They may tell you, "Learning is the new loyalty."

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at


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