You are here

Practice professionalism during your job search

Today's post is written by ECS Graduate Advisor Jillian Baer, who advises intern, co-op, and full-time employment seeking students.

Students often hear a lot about professionalism in the workplace.  You may be aware of how to behave on a job or during your internship/co-op.  However, equally important is practicing professionalism during your job search.  You might even consider it more important because of the effect it can have on your ability to find and acquire a job.  An entire series of blogs could be devoted to the interviewing component of this conversation, so for now, we’re going to focus on other aspects where you should apply professionalism, such as:

Missed Appointments:  Missing an appointment with an advisor or other administrator at ECS (or in any office at Ohio State) can begin to diminish your reputation.  Advisors are sometimes asked to comment on students’ abilities and work ethic.  We can be your biggest advocates!  (Side note: Not attending a scheduled ECS appointment without cancelling in advance results in a “no show” status for that appointment.  You will receive notification and could be penalized.)

Being Late: Being late to meet with an advisor—or especially with an interviewer or recruiter for a company—shows a lack of respect for the person you are planning to meet with—and their time.  Plan on arriving early to appointments or interviews, and make sure to bring their contact information so that you can call if there’s an emergency or problem that might make you late. 

Correspondence:  It’s proper etiquette to respond promptly to any messages received from advisors or company representatives.  Whether voicemails or emails, a prompt response shows you understand the importance of their message.  Always respond professionally!  Include your contact information, answers to the questions from the original inquiry, and a thank you to express your appreciation for their time.  Take the extra step by following up on meetings (interviews, job shadow dates, information sessions, career fairs) with correspondence thanking that person for their time.  This helps recruiters remember you, provides them with your contact info, and is a great way to stand out in the crowd.

Greeting Recruiters:  This is your first impression, and you only get one shot at it!  When greeting recruiters, approach with a firm handshake and speak up.  Introduce yourself using your full name and make sure to speak loud and clear so there is no misunderstanding.  Professional attire should always be considered when you find yourself in a situation where you might interact with a company representative.  This includes interviews, information sessions, career fairs, and much more.

Remember that professional behavior begins the moment you walk into the Engineering Career Services office.  We are here to help you get the internship/co-op/job of your dreams, but the responsibility is on you to represent yourself in the best light!

“Behavior is a mirror in which every one displays his own image.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe