Professional Etiquette

Meeting etiquette

  • Be on time; arrive 15 minutes prior to your meeting.
  • A firm handshake and good eye contact demonstrate confidence.
  • Avoid filler words such as “uh,” “you know,” “like.”
  • Dress appropriately for the situation, organization or activity; research or call ahead to ask about the appropriate attire.
  • What you say, how you say it, and your choice of language matter; “please” and “thank you” always work.

Interview etiquette

  • Follow up on each job application with a phone call or email.
  • Honestly report your GPA, dates of employment, work experience, etc.
  • Always send thank you notes after interviews.
  • When offered a job or internship, it is better to ask for more time to consider than to accept the offer and decline it later.
  • Once you have accepted a job offer, stop interviewing with other organizations.
  • If you are interviewing with multiple organizations, inform all parties when you get a job offer.
  • Do not forward communications without consent.

Telephone etiquette

  • If you are not available to take a professional call, let it go to voicemail and call back when ready.
  • When answering your phone, use a greeting such as “Good morning, this is Juan Rodriquez.”
  • Set up your voicemail and use a professional greeting: “You have reached Sarah Smith. I am not available to answer my phone right now, but if you leave your name, number and best time to reach you, I will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you and have a great day.”
  • Be sure to talk slowly, clearly and concisely, and return phone calls as soon as possible.
  • Keep messages brief and remember to leave your name and phone number. Say the number twice.
  • Arrange to have Skype interviews in a quiet, private location and dress professionally.

Email and social media etiquette

  • Treat your email like any other business communication; watch your spelling, grammar and verbiage.
  • Fill in the subject line and use formal greetings when emailing professionals.
  • Use an appropriate email address for all business communication (firstname.lastname@
  • Avoid all capital letters; capital letters indicate shouting.
  • Text speak (i.e. thru, u, etc.) and excessive exclamation points are not for professional writing.
  • Read what you have written before you send the email.
  • Employment correspondence over email is legal and official.
  • Set your Social Media profile privacy settings to high and keep any information posted online (Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, etc.) professional.

Dining etiquette

  • Greet and introduce yourself to everyone at the table.
  • Sit only after your host sits.
  • Put your napkin in your lap and sit up straight.
  • Keep your elbows and forearms off the table.
  • Silence your phone or turn it off and do not place phone, keys or purse on the table.
  • Begin to eat only after everyone has been served.
  • Pace the speed at which you eat to those around you.
  • Use “please”, “thank you,” and don’t talk with food in your mouth.