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Business Etiquette : Proper Attire, Language, and Behaviors

Business Etiquette
Etiquette is about presenting yourself in a way that shows you can be taken seriously. You can show your good manners throughout the job search process and professional career.

General Business Etiquette:-
Show your appreciation; always follow up with sincere thanks to everyone you meet
Don‘t litter on company property
Don‘t be late for interviews or work (most companies have a policy that you can be fired for tardiness)
Don‘t take a sick day or vacation day just because you are allowed one
Don‘t take items from the workplace, even if it‘s ―just pens, note pads, tape, or paper
Don‘t argue with co-workers or your supervisor
Don‘t simply give one-word answers
Don‘t use foul language or swear words
Don‘t take credit for someone else's work
Don‘t treat service providers or other employees as inferiors
Never make jokes or remarks that mock another's race/gender/age/disability/sexual preference or religion
Don‘t use iPods or mp3 players in a work setting; if you are listening to music, it‘s likely that you are not listening or not working
ALWAYS RSVP for an event or meeting

Don't contact your network only when you have been laid-off from your job or decide you want to look for a new position
If you only network when you want something, you will get a ―user reputation
Networking is a two-way street. You need to assist people in your network, too


Phone Etiquette:-
When talking on the phone with a potential employer or other business contact, never put them on hold to answer another phone call
Concentrate on the person you are with – he or she should be the priority, not your phone calls, emails, or texts
Always return calls, even if you don‘t have an answer for them yet or don‘t want to talk with the caller
Don‘t talk loudly on the phone in public places

 Scheduling Etiquette:-
When someone contacts you for an interview, do not give excuses about when it is convenient for YOU to come in
There is always someone else who is eager to meet the employer‘s timeline!
Cancel your personal plans if needed
Be enthusiastic on the phone
Don‘t be a no-show!!! Recruiters talk!
Even if you decide you no longer want the job, go on the interview for the practice. (Don‘t tell them that!)

Introduction Etiquette:-
Introduce the more important person first. You should address your client and say "Mr. Beta, I'd like you to meet our CEO, Ms. Alpha.― Regardless of your client‘s or customer‘s position, that person is always most important
Both men and women should stand for handshaking and all introductions
Wear a name badge on the right shoulder
Treat business cards with respect and always have cards of your own

Interview Etiquette:-
Make it a point to arrive ten or fifteen minutes early for an interview. Lateness is considered rude and ruins your chances
Be very well prepared for interviews and meetings—you are using someone else‘s time. Use it wisely
Wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Remember body language and posture: sit upright and look alert and interested at all times. Don't fidget or slouch
Avoid using poor language, slang, and pause words (such as "like," ―you know, ―I mean, ―you know what I‘m saying, "uh," and "um")
Listen carefully during the interview. Don‘t think of answers to the next question—listen. If they have to repeat the question, it‘s as if you didn‘t care what they were saying
Don‘t interrupt
After the interview, take time to write down the names and titles (check spelling) of all your interviewers, your impressions, remaining questions, and information learned
Follow up after the interview with a thank-you letter or note. Employers regard this as evidence of your attention to detail, as well as an indication of your final interest in the position
When given a choice between two equal candidates, the one who wrote a thank-you letter will be chosen
No matter what job search strategies you choose, follow-up and record keeping are important for success
Maintain a careful record of all interviews, thank-you notes sent, referrals made, and follow-up actions
Job seekers who fail to maintain this information often lose valuable contacts as well as credibility with prospective employers
Follow up within 24 hours!!

 Email/Online Etiquette:-
Beware of e-mail use (spelling, grammar, and the way it comes across)
Do not use emoticons in business e-mails
Business e-mails should be written in a formal manner, rather than a familiar or casual manner
Have an e-mail address, and NOT one like

 Recruiters say they've eliminated a candidate based on the information they uncovered online—nothing is private on the Internet
Don‘t post photos of yourself at parties drinking, or doing anything you wouldn‘t want an employer to see
No derogatory jokes or comments or any risky hobbies

 Etiquette of Appropriate Dress:-
Interviewers make judgments about you in the first few minutes that could impact their decision to hire you
Your handshake, eye contact, body language, posture, listening skills, clothing, grooming, and accessories tell them a lot
Have a firm handshake (web & wrap)

     Proper Dress--Women:
Have an attractive, modern hair style. No wild dos or ―fun colors
Don't wear too many accessories
Wear little or no perfume
Brush your teeth and use mouthwash
Never chew gum or smoke. Don‘t smoke in the car on the way to the interview. Don‘t wear clothes that smell like smoke
Do not use excessive makeup
Clean your glasses, including the nose grips
Wear a clean, pressed outfit or suit
Clean and polish your nails with a soft color or clear
Wear conservative hosiery—a skin-tone shade is best—NOT suntan or any color (i.e., black, navy, cream)
Clean and polish your shoes. Your purse should match your shoe color
Carry a conservative purse (no big buckles or chains, no bright colors) or briefcase
Tattoos and piercings should not show other than one pair of earrings
Do not wear white shoes or carry a white purse to an interview
NO SANDALS or bare feet!


      Proper Dress--Men:
Have clean, trimmed hair in a professional style
Have a fresh shave or trim your facial hair
Wear little or no cologne
Brush your teeth and use mouthwash
Never chew gum or smoke. Don‘t smoke in the car on the way to the interview. Don‘t wear clothes that smell like smoke
Clean your glasses, including the nose grips
Wear a clean, pressed shirt and suit
Wear a clean, fashionable but conservative tie
Make certain your collar covers your tie in the back. Your tie should touch the top of your belt buckle
Clean and trim your nails
Clean and polish your shoes. Your belt should match your shoe color
Carry a briefcase or portfolio
Tattoos and piercings should not show
Wear flat-front pants, as pleated pants make you look heavier
Your dress shirt should be solid in a neutral color, preferably white, but certainly a light color
Wear solid-color socks that cover your whole shin/calf—no leg hair should show if you sit down or cross your legs
Opt for navy or charcoal suit, not black

Always err on the side of conservative dress—dress for the job you want, not for the job you have (or don’t have YET!)
You should wear a suit (and tie for men) to every interview. Period. The only RARE exception is when the interviewer specifically tells you not to. Even if the company has casual dress, you still wear a suit. It shows respect. If you underdress, the impact is huge; if you overdress, the impact is minimal.

 Mealtime Etiquette:-
You may have an interview during a meal
Don‘t call any attention to what you order— should be something of low to mid expense, and nothing messy
Don‘t order an alcoholic beverage, even if others do
Even if they act casual about the meal, treat it very formally. They are watching you to see how you behave
Don‘t chew with your mouth open, and don‘t talk with food in your mouth

The fork goes on the left. The spoon and knife go on the right
Food items go on the left, so your bread plate is on your left. Drinks, including coffee cups, should be on the right. Remember BMW (bread, meal, water)
When sitting at a banquet table, you may begin eating when two people to your left and right are served. If you haven't been served, but most of your table has, encourage others to start.
Reach only for items in front of you; ask that other items be passed by a neighbor. Offer to the left; pass to the right. If the bread (or other dish) is in front of you, do not take a serving. Pass it and take yours last.
Using a soup spoon, scoop soup away from you. Soup is taken from the side of the soup spoon
The meal begins when the host unfolds his or her napkin. If there is no ―host, put your napkin in your lap when drinks are served
Starting with the knife, fork, or spoon that is farthest from your plate, work your way in, using one utensil for each course. The salad (smaller) fork is on your outermost left, followed by your dinner fork. Your soup spoon is on your outermost right, followed by your beverage spoon, salad knife, and dinner knife. Your dessert spoon and fork are above your plate or brought out with dessert.
Bread/rolls should never be eaten whole. Break into smaller, more manageable pieces, buttering only a few bites at a time
Take butter from the butter plate and place it onto your bread plate. Don‘t butter your bread from the butter plate.
Pass salt/pepper as a set
Don‘t cut all of your food up. Cut one bite at a time
If you do not want coffee, turn your cup over
As you eat, leave your knife across your plate at the top
Leave your plate where it is in the place setting. When finished, do not push your plates away or stack them
The common way to show that you have finished - your meal is to lay your fork and knife diagonally across your plate. Place your knife and fork side by side, with the sharp side of the knife blade facing inward and the fork, tines down, to the left of the knife. The knife and fork should be placed as if they are pointing to the numbers 10 and 4 on a clock face.
Once used, dining utensils should never again touch the table

Leaving Your Job:-
If you dislike your job, your boss, your company, your co-workers…
   > DON‘T just quit your job. That is immature.
   > DON‘T tell anyone at work how you feel.
   > DON‘T spend time at work looking for a new job.
   > DON‘T tell off your boss.

DO your best work and continue to do a good job until you quietly accept another job
DON‘T forget that every employer can give a reference…DON‘T burn your bridges
After you notify your boss and have had a discussion about leaving, you can then notify your co-workers
Do not take any company property
Do not delete company files—EVERYTHING on a company computer belongs to the company— even your personal documents (you should NEVER save personal files on a company computer)
You can be sued for erasing company files
Take home your personal desk property before your last day
Get copies of your performance reviews and any info from your HR file you may need
Prepare to be ―escorted out on your last day — you will no longer have any access to the building or anything else

 Workplace Etiquette:-
Be careful at office parties—don‘t drink too much, make crude jokes, or act unprofessional
Many workplaces have rules against employee dating. It is best not to have a relationship with someone at work
If you go on a business trip, be sure to attend all the meetings and stay the whole time. Don‘t spend time playing golf, shopping, or wasting company time.
Be careful what you say about your boss, co-workers, or company online. People are fired every day for posting derogatory information
Remember that you represent your company 24/7, even when you are not ―on the clock. Your personal behaviors will influence how your boss views you as an employee.