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Etiquette & Professionalism

Professionalism on the Job

Today's blog post is written by Jillian Baer, ECS Graduate Assistant

Whether you will be participating in a volunteer, part-time, co-op, internship, or career employment position this summer, you will want to make the best impression possible to ensure a good reference and build your network for future employment.  You are a representative of The Ohio State University as well as the company that has hired you.  This means you must meet professional standards.  Based on a collection of resources, ECS has compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts to consider when managing your professionalism on the job.

Relationships on the job:

  • Do find a respected co-worker to be your mentor and sounding board
  • Do make sure you clearly understand what your supervisor expects from you
    • Check in frequently and ask a lot of questions!
  • Don’t take things personally, but use the constructive feedback as an opportunity … 
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Most desirable traits in new hires

After visiting several companies in Ohio for the 2013 Job Shadow Program, I found employers emphasizing two necessary skills in candidates. Employees from all levels of companies (vice presidents, managers, recruiters, first year engineers, etc.) stressed the importance of communication and teamwork abilities in employees. Without a doubt, these particular soft skills will help students be competitive when applying for internships, co-ops, and career employment.

An annual survey of the job market for recent college graduates reveals that certain qualities show up on employers “most desired” list time and time again. According to the results of NACE’s Job Outlook 2013 report, employers rated the “ability to communicate with persons inside and outside the organization” and the “ability to work in a team structure” as the two most important candidate skills/qualities.

As a future employee, you will need to work in teams that involve many company departments in order to … 

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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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