Etiquette, as Emily Post once declared, is the science of living. It may seem stuffy and outdated to some but having established social protocols can be helpful in unfamiliar situations. A job search, for example, is a time where it can be a blessing to have guidelines to follow to make sure that you don’t embarrass yourself. Here are some etiquette tips to keep in mind while you’re looking for a job:
- Use a professional e-mail address with your name or your company’s name. Don’t send e-mails about your career from a username that involves your dog’s name or your favorite beach.
- Don’t think of e-mail as an informal space. Keep your writing just as polished as it would be in a printed form of communication.
- Include an appropriate subject line, such as the position you’re inquiring about. This increases your chances of having your e-mail opened.
- Make everything easy to read by sticking to a standard font (Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica) and using a point size between 8 and 12.
- Respect your prospective employer’s time by keeping your resume to one page. Don’t include temporary work or jobs unrelated to the position you’re applying for.
- Proofread your entire resume, once when you finish creating it, and once before you send it to an employer.
Cover Letter Etiquette:
- Always send a cover letter. There are more people who prefer to have one than don’t, and omitting one is a bigger mistake than including one that isn’t wanted.
- Address it to a specific person. With the prevalence of LinkedIn and companies getting involved with social media, this is easier than ever before.
- Get to the point quickly. Don’t make someone read four paragraphs before you get to the point of what you can do for their company.
- Arrive on time. Never be late, and try not to be too early, as it’s possible that the person you’re interviewing with may have another meeting or task to complete before you arrive.
- Your interview begins the moment you step into the building. Turn your phone off and be courteous and attentive to everyone you encounter.
- When you shake hands, always use a firm grip and make eye contact with the other person.