Etiquette in a Digital Age – Part I

digital etiquette
Tina Shakour

Do you send thank you emails after an interview? I used to do so and coached others to do the same. I agreed with  Business Insider Managing Editor Jessica Liebman’s position on this for some time. Then, later in my career as a hiring manager for a large company with many, many applicants, I began to feel a bit more neutral about it. The thank-you emails were usually uninspired and had little or no influence on who I hired.

But now I come to the etiquette part: as uninspired as those emails may have been, I responded to every one of them.

What the article misses is that the hiring managers also owe a response to those thank-you emails so the interviewee at least knows their message reached them. This is part of a bigger issue: if you are a hiring manager who interviews a candidate, he or she deserves to know where they stand. Are they in or out of the running?

We have a saying here in Silicon Valley: “It’s a small valley.” I’ve sent many thank-you emails that just vanished into the void and I never heard back from the company, HR or the hiring manager. It’s a small valley, and burning bridges, being rude and forgetting common courtesy does not help you.

What if you don’t want to respond to a plethora of emails? No problem. You don’t have to give out your email address. Use a tool like Jobvite that masks email addresses. Or ask your recruiter to follow up – whatever works for you. But etiquette and common sense suggest you should respond and treat everyone fairly and nicely.

Niceness is important! Please also read “Small Acts of Kindness.”

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Tina Shakour lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband Nasir and one very spoiled Shiba Inu named Zuko. She works for the start-up Veetle, and has been an engineer, an Internet TV “personality” and now spends her time loving video, social media and marketing. You can follow her on Twitter (@tinashakour).

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