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Santa Monica College|Student Services|Career Services Center |Etiquette Tip of the Week

Etiquette Tip of the Week

Etiquette Tip of the Week: Be a Contender, Not a Blender

Everybody thinks etiquette is about blending in. But sometimes etiquette is about standing out.

A lot of hiring and purchasing grinds to a halt in November and December. If you are job hunting or selling, it’s easy to get discouraged.

In January and February, commerce comes back to life. Hiring and purchasing heats up. Companies start afresh with new budgets.

If there were little things you could do to separate from the pack, you would do them, right?

Try a little enhanced etiquette:

Everyone is filling out online applications. Get face to face through networking events, alumni associations, trade associations, Chamber of Commerce events and professional improvement organizations like Toastmasters. Nothing sells you, like you in person.

"It's nice to meet you," is common. Be uncommon with a smile and, “How do you do?” If you are really a star, repeat the person’s name back to them: “How do you do, Timothy?”

In addition to an email thank you after an interview or sales call, send a typed thank you by postal mail. The email thank you is the minimum, but letters leave a lasting impression.

Others wait for their phone to ring. Make things happen with a follow-up call to inquire about the status of the position or purchasing decision. It shows enthusiasm and persistence. It says, “If you hire me or buy my product, I won’t disappear.”

Dress better. Press your clothes. Brush off the pet hair. Etiquette is about being attentive to others – dress out of respect for the ones you want to win over.

Be attentive to receptionists or office assistants. They are part of your process. Others overlook them, but you are more personable and they put in a good word for you.

You are not everybody. Let people know with enhanced etiquette skills.
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The Etiquette Tip of the Week may be forwarded to others who really, really need it, pinned to billboards, taped to the water cooler, blogged, Tweeted or used to fill that last little hole in your newsletter. Giving credit to the Culture and Manners Institute at is the polite thing to do.

The Culture and Manners Institute is all about respect. Therefore, your email address will not be sold, traded or gifted to other parties, as that would not be a polite thing to do.

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