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Professional Etiquette

Career ID Code

In addition to your words, your first impression is a combination of your writing, your appearance, your attitude, and your actions. When you’re a job seeker, you need to make a positive first impression. The information and tips below help you to do that. Talk with a career team member for more information.

In Writing – Your Networking Pitch Email 1. Begin with their name. “Dear…” Try to find contact name; avoid “Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.” can be helpful in identifying a specific person to write to. 2. Identify how you found the contact whether through a friend, a website, a directory, etc. 3. Identify yourself. Mention your major and most recent position or other pertinent information. Keep it short. 4. Mention why you are contacting them. Be specific, but not too demanding. 5. Mention what you are wanting out of the communication, usually a meeting. List specifically the format and time you’d like to meet. Set times that work for you; give options that you are comfortable with. Remember, if you invite someone to coffee, you are expected to pay. 6. End it. Maintain professionalism. Always be grateful.

Dear Dr. Madsen, I hope this email finds you well. Sara Eltabib, a classmate of mine at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, recommended that I reach out to you in regard to your work with the city of Asheville. As a member of the GIS, Mapping, and Geo Technology Professionals on LinkedIn, I recently came across your profile. I am currently a senior geography major and am concentrating in GIS. During my time at UNCG, I worked for the National Park Service in Yosemite National Park as an intern. While there, I increased my skills in mapping. Recently, Sara and I were discussing my career goals and she thought you would be a great person to speak with in regard to urban planning, another interest of mine. I was hoping that you might have some availability to speak with me. Might you be available for a short phone call at some point next week? I am free on Monday and Wednesday mornings before 11am and on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons after 2pm. Would you have a 15minute timeslot on Monday, April 15? If that is not a good time, I would be happy to work around your schedule. Thank you in advance for your time. I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience. Please feel free to reach me at this email address or by phone at 410-2349270. Sincerely, Jacqueline Jobseeker

In Speech – Your 30-second Commercial Networking takes place every day. You should be ready anytime, anywhere. When approaching recruiters at a career fair or answering that first interview question “Tell me about yourself”, or when meeting new people in your everyday world, you should have a clear and precise response. You have less than 5 minutes to make a connection. The more prepared you are, the better you will be able to sell yourself. Preparing a 30 second “commercial” about you can help break the ice and get the interaction started in the right direction. Once you have your commercial, practice! With maintaining good eye contact, good posture and positive body language, you will make a positive, memorable and confident impression. That’s the goal!

General Format Name Major How you fit in with the company What type of job are you looking for and when Lead into a question Now it’s your turn. This should help get you started… “Hello, my name is ___________, and I am a (year in program/alumnus of UNCG) (majoring in/with a degree in) ___________. Recently, I have been (working/interning/volunteering) with ___________ in the ___________ department to gain experience in ___________. My strongest interests lie in (teaching/management/CIS)- ___________, so I’m looking for a (summer/currently looking/ post graduation) position in ___________. I’m particularly interested in (company name or industry) because of ___________ and find your company’s (enter research findings—new market openings, business strategies, community involvement, etc…) particularly interesting. Could you tell me about how this will affect employees in (position of interest)?—or other relevant question.”

In Action – Giving Out Your Business Card A business card is a great way to share contact information and establish a relationship longer than your interchange, but there is a certain way to do such a transaction. 1. Ask for a business card from the other person FIRST. 2. Ask permission to present a business card to the other person. 3. This is usually done at the end of the exchange, as a conclusion. 4. If you take a business card, be sure to follow up with that contact!

On YouTube - Etiquette of Exchanging Business Cards from BNet.

As a student you are striving to further yourself and your opportunities. Part of creating a professional image is making contacts that could help you in the future. Your business cards can be used in a variety of ways, including:  Give them out at job interviews  Networking events  Use them at job fairs on campus  As an invitation  Anytime you would otherwise need to write out your phone number or email

If you do not have a business card, you can get them with the official UNCG logo from Spartan Printing, the on-campus print shop. The template allows you 7 lines of information. You can include whatever information you want including your major, your LinkedIn or website address, other social media, an email/phone number, etc. You could even include a motto or tagline that summarizes your career identity. Talk with a career team member regarding more about using business cards.

In Body Language – Your Handshake A good handshake is vital to your first impression. In networking events and on interviews, the handshake is a typical American custom of introduction. Show you want to be taken seriously but offering your hand when you meet someone new. Make good contact with the other person and maintain eye contact as you shake their hand. The world is full of bad handshakes; try yours with a career team member today! And check out this video on YouTube – How to give a business handshake by Executive Etiquette.

In Dining Out – Your Tips for Success Many employers today are conducting interviews and business meetings over meals. In these situations, it is important for you to perform with grace and poise. Be knowledgeable and self-confident using the skills needed for a successful social and business life. Remember the purpose of the meal is to interact…eating is secondary. 1. Stay focused and remember the point of the meal 2. Be ready to order when it is time, choose something in the mid-price range 3. Avoid dessert, things that drip, finger foods, opt for penne pasta, fish, or a salad 4. Try to relax and enjoy more casual conversation 5. Be sure your cell phone is turned off. 6. Once seated at the table, place your belongings under your chair. 7. Use proper posture; sit up straight with your arms near your body. Never hang your elbows on the table. 8. Only have an alcoholic drink if all others at the table are drinking and you are of legal age—but be aware of your limits. Don’t feel pressure to drink alcohol if you don’t and everyone else is. 9. As the guest, your host will take care of the bill, but be sure to thank him/her for the meal. 10. Wait for everyone at table to be served before you begin eating. 11. Ask those around you to pass food—don’t reach across the table. 12. When in doubt, follow the lead of your host or hostess. Lastly, be discreet. Check out our for upcoming events regarding professional etiquette. We host annual etiquette dinners and networking events to help you perfect these situations BEFORE you encounter them in the real world.

Updated 6-2014

Professional etiquette  
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