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Etiquette & Professionalism

Writing Tips for the Engineer

When starting your job search, the first step is to have an excellent resume. But don’t forget that every bit of communication with an employer will have an impact on your chances of landing a job!

More and more job search communication is happening electronically, whether it is an online application form, an attached resume, or a prospecting email.  Electronic communication doesn’t mean that the standards of grammar are relaxed though. Employers often receive emails with typos, grammatical mistakes, and overly casual language that leave a bad impression.

What can you do about this? First, always run spell check! It’s not perfect, but it can help you catch simple errors. Another great way to avoid mistakes is to have someone else read your document before you send it. One problem with self-proofing is that YOU know what you meant to say, but sometimes it’s difficult to catch missing words … 

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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 … 

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Politeness. It's still cool.

Good manners are something that never go out of style, and while what constitutes “good manners” can vary widely between cultures (and yes, can even go out of style), the idea is always appropriate. Treating others with courtesy and respect is something that will never lead you wrong. As Clarence Thomas once said, “Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.”


Remember this advice—it will serve you well during your job search and beyond. That person you made a rude gesture at in traffic on the way to your interview could possibly be the person you are going to meet. Did you smile and thank the receptionist who greeted you? If not, be sure that your new potential boss will hear about it.


Good manners are like any other skill. They take knowledge and practice to perfect. Unfortunately, bad manners are a difficult thing to … 

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Take this quick quiz:

  1. You have an offer with Company A, but you have not accepted. You have been invited to an interview at Company B but the interview is prior to the deadline for your decision with Company A. Should you go to the interview?

  2. You have already accepted an offer but decide to continue interviewing at other companies because you want to make sure you have made the right decision. Is this proper?

These are the dilemmas many of you might be facing.  So, how did you do on the quiz? The answer to #1 is Yes. It is OK to attend an interview if you have not accepted an offer from another company.  So, obviously that makes the answer to #2 NO.  Once you have accepted an offer, you need to honor that and cancel any upcoming interviews. You have made the decision and  need to … 

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What People See When You Think No One is Watching

Working at the front desk of Engineering Career Services allows me to have a front-row seat to recruiting season. And while I do my best to make sure that no one goes into an interview with a crooked tie, a flipped collar, or a piece of toilet paper stuck to their shoe,  I can’t fix everything. I’d like to offer some common sense advice on ways to make sure that you don’t sink your interview before it’s even begun.

  1. Be early. It’s the most important thing you can do to make sure that the first thing a recruiter sees is you looking calm, cool, and collected. Planning to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early allows you to not rush (few things are worse than sitting in a small room with someone who just ran in a suit), to check yourself in a mirror to make sure everything’s where it should … 
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