If someone texts you (a reference) an update about their job hunt (where they've applied, from whom you might hear, etc.), and then ends the text with thanks and I hope you're enjoying the summer with a smiley face, is a reply warranted? Or is it rude/unprofessional not to reply?
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I think a simple thanks you too is probably good I mean why not reply?0
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What was the purpose of their reaching out to you? It sounds like they just want you to know how they are doing. If so, perhaps just reply encouragingly with sounds great, good luck or similar.
They are applying to new jobs. Keeping me in the loop I guess?
Yeah so it's up to you. Might be nice to reply saying thanks for the heads up, best of luck.