Monday, November 19, 2012

Advice to the young professional

I've been working as a mentor for a local universities and I help coach our client’s kids before they head out to find their “real job”. I’m finding a few trends with the young professionals that need to be changed.
  • To meet someone stand up straight, look them in the eye and shake hands.
  • Sit up straight during the meeting don’t slouch and, again, look the person in the eye. 
  • Don't chew gum.
  • Don’t play with your pen, paper, or anything else your hands find. It's distracting.
  • Turn your phone off or silence it.  Better yet, leave it in the car.
  • Unless you have a photographic memory (being very sarcastic here), take notes during the meeting. It shows interest.(You know what, even if you have a photographic memory, take notes.)
  • Show up to meet your interviewer dressed professionally. You don’t have to show up in a three piece suit but ditch the back pack, jeans and hoodie. You need to look like I can take you to meet a client.
  • Ladies – do not wear “hooker heals” to a business meeting. If you love your high platforms, make sure they are on the conservative side, or at least the rest of your outfit is. Business dress is not the same as night club dress.
  • Polish your shoes, brush your teeth, and wear minimal amounts of perfume/cologne.
  • If you are going to a lunch or dinner, brush up on your table manners. Yes, the basics like putting your napkin in your lap and what fork to use when.
  • Always send a thank you note after you've met with someone.
All of this seems simple, but it's surprising what some of the young professionals think is professional nowadays.  Recent grads, my final words of advice to you: keep it simple, be polite and show your interest in whoever you are meeting with!