Whether you are just entering the job market or you’ve got a couple years under your belt, keeping business etiquette in mind will go a long way towards improving your chances at career advancement.

Our alumni, along with Chris Valentin, Corporate Marketing Director and Lindsay Cleverly, Corporate Communications Director at Cushman & Wakefield, came to campus to host the SMART Start: Ask an Alum series providing tips on excellence in professionalism.

  • Professional Appearance: When you are in the office, dress as if you could be called into an improtu meeting at any time.  When it comes to meeting with clients, a good rule of thumb is to dress to the level or above of the person you are planning to meet.
  • Sensitive Subjects/Environments: You’ve heard it said many times, don’t talk politics or religion. Hot button issues can lead to a hostile work environment which damages productivity, team synergy, and building your brand.
  • Basic Courtesy: Open doors for people, smile, be polite, listen. Isn’t this everything you learned in Kindergarten? The way you treat people doesn’t change as you get older, you simply get better at mastering the technique.
  • Social Networking: As much fun as it is to share funny pictures and crazy time with your friends, remember that more and more employers are doing google searches on potential employees. It might be time to change the privacy settings on some of the more creative pieces you have out in the public arena. Your social presence isn’t just a concern at the beginning of employment.  Keep in mind how you would react if your supervisor found the picture of what you did last night.
  • Body Language: Be sure to make eye contact, have a firm handshake and smile. The positive outward appearance shows respect for the other person, as well as your confidence. When you’re in meetings, be sure your hands are flat on the table rather than clasped together. Sit at the edge of your chair to demonstrate you’re engaged and listening to the conversation.
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