Friday, February 10, 2012

Professionalism and Business Etiquette

By Krista Youngpeter, Career Assistant

Here we are, five weeks into spring semester! How time flies, and pretty soon it will be summer and you might replace some of your textbooks with summer jobs, internships, volunteer work or that’s your hope anyway! In order to secure a job for summer, time starts now (or if you have already started looking, good job)! Many employers are taking applications now and job fairs are a great way to get to meet employers! The AU Career Fair is coming up on February 22nd at 1 pm- 4 pm in Upper Convo, and it is highly encouraged students go to the Career Fair, so when the end of April rolls around you know you have a plan for summer, and then you won’t be as stressed! I mean come on, when the end of the semester approaches, life is pretty crazy with end of the year papers, projects, and exams!

The time is now to be looking for a summer jobs! It is very important to know how to be professional when mixing and mingling with employers so you look your best! If name tags are required, make sure to wear your name badge on the right shoulder, if you forget right shoulder, remember opposite side of how you say the pledge of allegiance. When you are meeting with an employer, be prepared to introduce yourself! Make sure to have your own personal 30 sec commercial, and when you give a handshake, it should be firm and gender-neutral. If meeting with multiple people, don’t spend too much time with one person, and don’t babble!

However, before you even get to introduce yourself, the employer will see how you are dressed and it should be professional! Ladies, five pounds of make-up, and lots of jewelry is not appropriate so keep it to a minimal! Black pants or skirt is appropriate, but be aware of the skirt hem and/or slit, and wear hosiery underneath the skirt and avoid low-cut or too-tight clothing. These things draw bad attention to yourself, and it will be a turn off to employers and you definitely don’t want that! Another basic thing is shoes, wear low, closed-toe heels, so, although you just bought a new pair of shoes that are brightly colored and five inches tall, avoid wearing them to a career fair or when you are meeting with an employer. Let’s be honest, an employer does not care that those high heel shoes were on sale, and you just had to buy them because they were your favorite color!

Now let’s move on to the gentlemen, a dress shirt with a tie is appropriate, but make sure the tie is appropriate, don’t wear a tie with your favorite sports team on it or anything of that sort! Keep it simple! For the rest of your dress, match your belt and shoes, wear dark socks, lace up your shoes, and no cologne!

Before you meet with employers, make sure you feel confident in how you are dressed and that it is professional! Before you walk out the door, look in the mirror, and ask yourself, “would I hire this person?” If you confidently answer yes, then you are ready to make a great first impression, so go out there and get yourself a job!

Want to learn more about how to behave at a job fair? Attend our How to Work a Job Fair program on Monday at 3:30 pm in the CSC!

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