Top 10 Etiquette Tips for Young Professionals

  1. First impressions count: We all have our bad days, but limiting how they affect your attitude and appearance is best. You are often remembered for the rest of your life by your initial presentation. Look your best, offer a free smile and present the best possible version of you, every time.
  2. Tact always wins: We all get a little frustrated and perhaps even worked up sometimes, but tact ALWAYS wins. Take a breathe. Walk away. Spend a moment alone. Do whatever it takes to always remain graceful and exude tact.
  3. Respect your social network: Employers, associates, friends, colleges, colleagues and pretty much everyone else checks your social networking pages and they likely have searched for you in search engines like, Google, Bing and Yahoo. Is your online presence acceptable?
  4. Be grateful: Did you get a gift lately or did someone do something nice for you? Thank them by first verbally saying thank you, then by sending them a hand written thank you note. (Emailed thank you notes are ok, but hand-written notes and cards are magic.)
  5. Mind your body language: There is so much than can be said without saying a word. Your posture, your eye contact, folded arms or excessive leaning can communicate vibes that you are not truly trying to communicate.  Be mindful of what you are saying…without saying anything.
  6. Names…Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: If you are a human, you likely are amongst your other fellow humans in struggling to remember names. While mastering the art of names takes a while, the best way to begin the journey is to repeat their names as much as possible throughout a conversation. Everyone wants to feel special and the most simple way to make someone feel special is to know, utilize and respect their name.
  7. To eat or not to eat: Interviews and meetings occur in so many different formats and venues. At some point, you will have to conduct an interview or a meeting over a meal. Generally speaking, interviews and meetings over meals are not designed for you to have the meal of your life. They are a convenience factor because you have to eat and so does your meeting counterpart. They also offer an opportunity for your counterpart to see how you conduct yourself outside of an office environment. Three quick tips for dining over meals are: don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu, prepare to pay your part of the meal or the entire meal if you called the meeting and limit your alcohol intake.
  8. Some things are a given now: As a young professional, there are now things that should go without saying. A few things include: always turn off your cell phone or silence it in professional or business settings,  learn how to shake hands the right way; no bone crushers or wet rag shakes and respect others time by always being on time, but preferably arriving early.
  9. Sneak texts: It’s incredibly obvious when you are disengaged in a situation and more engaged in texting instead. Save your reputation, respect the presence of others and spend a little more time with humans versus your electronic communication pal (your phone).
  10. Dress the part. If you are invited somewhere and a dress code is indicated, respect it and adhere to it. If you are unsure of the dress code, always dress up versus dressing down.

Until Next Time,

Scarlet Signature

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