Here’s a little article from newsletters that college career counselors read…
Thought you might like to know what is going onnnnn.
Employers are looking for more professionalism from the college students and recent grads they hire for internships and entry-level jobs, according to the 2010 Professionalism in the Workplace Poll conducted by the Center for Professional Excellence at York College in Pennsylvania.
The study questioned more than 400 business leaders and human resources executives across the United States. Its key finding: 38.2% of the respondents said that less than half of all new college graduates demonstrate professionalism in the workplace.
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Start meetings on time. If you hold up meetings for latecomers, you are treating the people who did show up on time as if their time is less valuable. If you make a habit of starting late, people will assume your 9:00 AM meeting really begins at 9:20 AM and at 9:00 AM they will all still be grabbing coffee and wondering out loud about who took the last doughnut.
Respect your audience: end on time. Have an agenda and stick to it. If you are speaking at the meeting, be prepared with your material. People who are unprepared talk and talk and talk until attendees are slipping under the table.
We all know of certain people who can talk the leg off a chair and those who can derail a meeting onto the strangest topics. As the meeting leader, you are in charge. In your mind, you may be tackling them at the knees and throwing them to the conference room floor. In reality, a simple, “We seem to have slipped off topic and we need to return to our agenda…” will do.
Ever get to the end of a letter and ask yourself, “How do I end this?” Here are some ideas on how to close:
Best closing for a business letter: Sincerely, Sincerely yours, Very sincerely,
Also appropriate for business and slightly less personal: Yours truly, or Very truly yours,
(Yours, by itself, is something you yell out to your partner in doubles tennis.)
Acceptable, but a little on the chilly side: Cordially or Cordially yours,
To someone you know well, but not enough to kill the fatted calf over: Regards, Warm regards, Kindest regards, Best wishes, All the best, As always, As ever,
For a family member or close friend: Love, With much love, Fondly, Affectionately, Affectionately yours,
Addressing clergy or members of high political office: Respectfully, or Respectfully yours, Faithfully, Faithfully yours,
Thanking someone: Gratefully, Gratefully yours,
It’s “Tough Love Week” at the Culture and Manners Institute. And this is difficult for us to say, but we only say this because we care.
Not everybody is going to like you. No matter how nice you are (and we know you are!), no matter how hard you work or how much you contribute, some people will find something not to like about you. We know it’s hard to believe and it’s very sad. (sniff…sigh)
Now that you know, it’s time to pull up your big boy pants (big girl pants) and say, “That’s THEIR problem.” Try not to make their problems your problems. Always look for the good in others and be kind to the people who do not like you. In fact, smile at them — frequently. Don’t let them win.
Do you talk with your hands? For the safety of everyone around you at the table, please put your knife down and do not use it to gesture.
Knives at your place setting are always “blade in” (the blade faces towards your place setting.) On a bread plate, the butter knife rests horizontally across the top (think 10 and 2 on a clock), with the blade facing you. Similarly, when you are eating American style, a knife not in use should rest horizontally across the top of your plate, blade in. When eating Continental (also known as European) style, the fork and knife are placed in an upside down “V” on the plate, with the fork tines down on the right and the knife, blade in, on the left. (An easy way to remember the upside down V is to set them down exactly as you were holding them.)
When you are finished, fork and knife are placed diagonally on the plate (think 4 on a clock) with the fork closest to you and the knife, again, blade in. This signals to the wait staff that they may remove your plate.
Want to take years off an education? That is what happens when one uses crude language and profanity like: “That sucks.” “Bite me.” “I screwed up.” “I’m so screwed.” “Crap!” “O-M-G.”
Profanity does not command authority, it shows a lack of control and makes the user seem less educated. One should not let profanity undermine the education one has worked so hard to get, but rise above it.
The cherry tomato. So little and round and cute atop your little foothill of salad…and yet so hazardous. Everyone is faced with the dilemma. Is it small enough to pop the whole tomato in my mouth? Or do I have to slice it in two? Have you ever tried to cut a cherry tomato only to have it explode like a geyser and splatter your outfit? (No, you can’t tuck your napkin into your collar to prevent that.) Or in the attempt to cut the slippery orb in two, you launch it like a salad dressing-soaked cannon ball onto the floor or your neighbor’s lap? (In an important dinner, Murphy’s Law says it’s headed for the lap.) Some fear the cherry tomato and let it sit there mocking them.
Enjoy your tomato. Trap the little monster against your knife and put one tine of your fork through the top, where the tomato was once connected to the vine. Push the fork in a little deeper…niiiiiiice and slooooow. Now that the tomato is trapped with the fork in it, you may use your knife to gently divide and conquer. Savor the victory.
By Frances Cole Jones
For those of you scratching your heads (Sorry, I’m in a punning kind of mood) at the title—and the topic—of this piece, here’s a newsflash: many, many people spend as much (or more) time thinking about how they’re going to wear their hair at their presentation as they do thinking about what they’re going to say at their presentation.
(And while I will admit the preponderance of these conversations tend to be with women, I have had in-depth hair conversations with my male clients, too.)
My trouble is that I can think of few people in the world less qualified to talk about hair than myself. Mine mystifies me, which is why I outsourced the whole project to my wonderful stylist, Dickey, and why I sat down with him recently to get the answers to some of your most pressing questions:
By Culture and Manners Institute
Too many people think an interview or sales call begins when you meet the interviewer or client. Your interview begins with the security guards when you enter the building. Kill with kindness any security personnelandadministrative professionals you meet along the way. They are all part of your interview process. Be upbeat, pleasant and make eye contact with everyone you meet on your way in and out.
In the wake of the communication revolution with text messaging, e-mailing, and a jubilee of other forms of “talking” with people at our finger tips, many of us, including yours truly, seem to forget about the importance of communicating over the phone and actually talking to someone. And due to recent events and classified information received here at the Career HQ (aka Career Services), I will kindly reveal to you the tricks of the trade when making on the dreaded phone call to potential employers or Midd Alums.
If you’re contacting someone for the first time over the phone, whether it is an actual conversation or just a message, remember, it is your first impression so you want it to be a good one. I know that phone calls can be a bit nerve racking, your heart starts to race, palms start to sweat, you don’t know what you want to say, and you just want it to be over, quick. Whoaaa, pump the brakes, its fine, you can get through it, we are here to help, fact.
So before I direct you to a sweet article outlining proper phone etiquette, I wanted to give you my two cents on the do’s and don’ts.
Pretty self explanatory, but it’s always nice to get a friendly reminder.
So, as promised here is a nice website that goes into a bit more detail about business phone etiquette:
Wasn’t that so fantastical? Absolutely. And as always, if you have any questions, contact Career Services or pop your head in for Drop-ins (Mon.-Fri. 2-5 PM). Over and out.