Top 10 Tips for Job Search Etiquette

1. Dress up: Even if you are applying for a job in a casual workplace, be sure that you are dressed as well as the best-dressed person in the office. An interview outfit is not the same as a workday outfit. You are showing respect by dressing with extra thought and care.

2. Be punctual: When it comes to being on time for an interview, being punctual means being early, not just strolling in at the exact time the interview is scheduled. Being respectful of the interviewer’s time, by arriving 10-15 minutes ahead of schedule (but not much earlier than that).

3. Be polite. No one wants to hire a pushy, arrogant or rude employee. Wait patiently for your opportunity to speak to your future employer. Shake hands when introduced, and call potential supervisors and higher-ups by their formal title (Dr., Mr., Ms, Mrs.), unless you are told otherwise. Remember that being assertive is a positive, but that does not preclude you from being polite.

4. Listen. Remember that while you have practiced the answers to your interview questions and your elevator pitch in preparation for the interview, listening may be overlooked – and it shouldn’t be. This will allow you to give even better responses and to show the kind of respectful colleague and team player that you can become within the organization.

5. Be prepared. Demonstrate that you have spent time and energy learning about the potential employer. Preparation for an interview will score you points with your employer, while also gaining serious etiquette points. Preparation is a key skill to demonstrate.

6. Appear upbeat. Even if you are having a bad day, do not let outside circumstances affect your demeanor in a job-search situation. A positive attitude — which includes things like enthusiasm, smiling, good posture, and strong eye contact — can go a long way to making a lasting and positive impression. People want to work with happy, friendly people.

7. Communicate well. While most job-seekers have learned how to communicate in face-to-face situations, there is often quite a bit of room for improvement in phone and email communications — and because more of the job-search has moved into these non-personal methods, you should learn rules of phone and email etiquette. Regardless of the venue, good communication is essential to job-search success.

8. Avoid interruptions. Before heading into any potential new job-related event, turn off all of your devices – cell phones, ipads, ipods, watches, pagers – everything. At the very least, a device may distract you and the individual you are having a conversation with, and at worst, your future employer or contact will be annoyed and offended by your lack of etiquette. It (almost) goes without saying, never take a call, answer a device or post on Facebook in the middle of a job-related event.

9. Mind your manners. Brush up on simple table manners before any food or drink-related event. Avoid alcohol if at all possible, or limit yourself to a few sips of wine or beer with a meal.

10. Show appreciation. Write a short thank you note to potential contacts or future employers after meeting them at networking events, job fairs, and job interviews. This could be the differentiator that gets your the job.