FOR CANDIDATES: Dos & Don'ts of Switch Chat

So, you’ve matched with an employer. Congratulations! You’re one step closer to snagging a great job in a field you’re passionate about. Next up is the Switch Chat, a protected line to introduce you to the recruiter via text. We built the chat to be a low-stress means by which you can introduce yourself to the recruiter, exchange information, ask questions and determine the next phase of the process from the comfort of your smartphone. Sounds nice, right?

Not so fast. While we built the chat to be seamless, it’s not foolproof. There are steps you can take to optimize your chat and a few stumbling blocks that might hinder your chances of landing the job. Below, we’ve compiled a few dos and don’ts of the Switch chat that we think could be the difference between moving to the next round and coming up just short.

DO:

Rule No. 1: Never fear making the first move!

Rule No. 1: Never fear making the first move!

Start the chat immediately. Demonstrate your ambition and confidence by opening the conversation with a short introduction. Say hello, introduce yourself and express your interest. Those who chat sooner -- within the first 24 hours, ideally -- have a much better chance of moving to the interview stage. It’s science!

Sell yourself. Switch made it easy for you to import your profile and apply, so this is where you take over. Whether prompted by the recruiter or not, feel free to round out your experience for them -- especially if it matches with the parameters of the position to which you’re applying.

Show your excitement for the company. Company recruiters want to see that not only are you qualified and capable, but also excited about the opportunity to work for their company. Mention something the company did recently that you liked, or

Ask the right questions. Fill in the gaps from the job card. What is the exact salary or salary range? Is it negotiable? Will the hiring manager you’re speaking with be your direct manager? If not, who is the direct manager? Is there anything you want to know about the company that you were unable to find in your research? As long as the questions are brief and data-based, feel free to fire away.

Keep it simple. Anything that can be misinterpreted, will be misinterpreted. Save any humor, irony or sarcasm for the later interview rounds -- or forget it entirely.

DON’T:

It's important to ask smart questions.

It's important to ask smart questions.

Be coy. There’s no point in playing hard to get with the recruiter. If he or she doesn’t, don’t hesitate to make the first move. It will pay off later.

Be casual. While Switch’s chat is there to make direct introductions, that doesn’t mean you should lack professionalism while chatting.

Trust your autocorrect. Check and double-check your texts for grammar, style, spelling and usage. Small mistakes add up, and you never know which hiring manager will be a stickler for semantics.

Push your employer. Even in the job search, patience is still a virtue. As much as you may want to speed things along to the salary discussions or the in-person interview, these things take time. Much like you must trust yourself in the job search, you must trust the recruiter’s hiring process.

Expect an interview. While moving on to the phone or in-person interview stage is the goal, it’s important to stay humble during the chat process. Even over chat, an employer can sense candidate entitlement and it rarely pays off.