Messaging 101: Best Practices to Help You Get Hired

Picture this: you’re going about the day–perhaps resting on a well-earned day off, binge-watching your favorite Netflix show, or you’re on the grind, working those networks to find more clients, or adding the finishing touches to a project. Suddenly your phone vibrates and you see it: a Moonlighting job alert on your phone screen. Elated, you open the app and head for the job–your goal: messaging the owner and getting hired.

Many of you have been in this situation; you’re nodding your head in agreement as you read this. However, depending on the way you reach out, there can be a variety of outcomes. Some are happy: you got in touch, got the job, and got paid. Some are frustrating: you got in touch, got no response, and now are left thinking: what did I do wrong?

Sending messages over technology can feel like risky business–you can never take it back, you worry that you said the wrong thing, double texting can seem desperate, is sending a gif is okay? (hint: sending a gif is always okay)…the list goes on.

While there are many things you can do right, we’ve compiled a list of best practices and avoidable mistakes to keep in mind when messaging someone. They all center around Speed, Intelligence and Content, so if you get sweaty palms before sending that first message, take a breath and remember these 3 tips.

The Need for Speed

There are two things to remember about potential on-demand employers:

  1. They want the job done fast and
  2. They don’t want to spend a lot of time hashing out the details.

Therefore, speed and responsiveness are essential.

When that job alert pops up, you want to be one of the first people to talk to the job owner to let them know you’re available but don’t forget the second aspect of employers. Cool it just enough to take some time and read through the job. The details and skills that are there will help give you some context on what they need and you’ll be able to converse in an intelligent way.

To cut out even more talk time and ensure it’s easy for the job owner to hire you on-demand – you’ll want to fill out your profile. In between chats, the job owner can take a quick peek at your profile and service posts and see what you’re about, so they don’t have to ask you a million questions. If they head to your profile and see nothing, they’ll have to spend more time getting to know you which, as a job owner, is not something they have time to do.

After you do send that initial chat and start a conversation, make sure you keep up with your potential client. If they respond to you, reply in a timely manner – otherwise they could move on and start a chat with someone else.

In an on-demand world, timeliness and responsiveness are two sides of the same coin–one that could very well end up in your pocket if you follow these tips!

The Game of Telephone

Once you’re talking to someone and responding quickly, the next step is saying the right things. You want to put your best foot forward, so don’t forget to glance over your words and make sure it reads well and is understandable.

Even while messaging, first impressions matter. Be polite, try to anticipate some of what they are going to ask you, and be clear and concise. Use the tools available in the Moonlighting chat center to your advantage.

  • Are you ready and equipped to do a job after reading the description? Send them a chat–your complete profile and services will back you up.
  • Does the job ask for a quote? A simple message and a proposal will get the point across.
  • Does it ask you to call? Message them with your number and let them know to be on the lookout for a call from you.
  • Do you have a picture of similar work you’ve done before? Send them a quick photo in addition to a link to your portfolio.
Visuals are helpful in getting the job done. Send photos of your designs or materials before moving ahead!
Location sharing is convenient. The clients can see where you are in real time and you can give a proper ETA.
And then finally, you get to receive a Moon$hot (the fastest way to get paid in the gig economy!) for the work.


These simple tools are easy for the job owner (and you!) to use to help you do the job efficiently and get paid fast!

Always remember that people want to get things done as fast as possible so the less work they have to do to hire you, the better. Messaging efficiently and intelligently will go a long way in your chances of getting hired.

Content is King of the Hill

Not everyone is a writer, so some of these tips might seem daunting. But, no worries! Here are a few ideas of what exactly to say. Use these as a guide, but make sure you stay unique and let your personality and talents shine through when you’re talking with someone. Don’t forget to loosen up — you won’t need to post your whole cover letter or resume; Moonlighting is a free and open platform so you don’t have to be as formal as if you were interviewing for a job. Here are a few tips on content you should incorporate:

  1. Info requests are good ways to start but not to end. Anyone can push an info request button so follow it up with a personal touch. Seeing a lot of info requests can make a job owner disregard you, no matter how qualified you might be.
  2. Introduce yourself. Say hi. Send a second or third message and let them know why you’re here to help them.
  3. Make those sentences count. You want them to be short and to the point. Sum it all up in one or two sentences and perhaps 2 or 3 individual chats.

The key here is to reach out to them so they don’t have to work to reach out to you. For example, if you’re applying for a painting job, tell them you have been painting home interiors for seven years and that their job for painting a guest room will take you one and a half days at $40/hr. Give them a reason to talk to you and respond — that information will allow them to negotiate, accept, or ask additional questions. The ball will get rolling faster and you’ll be closer to helping them get something done and putting money in your pocket.

Best Practice Takeaways

Your main avenue of communication should always be messaging. Be unique, clear, concise and do as much as you can to give them the information they need and want. In the end it’s up to you to make yourself stand out as much as possible; be personable, be confident and be resposive. And remember, speed, intelligence and communication are the keys!

Try out your new skills today–head to that job you’ve been eyeing and start messaging today!

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