Practicing Proper Etiquette

Updated: Apr 26, 2020

What is Etiquette?

· Practicing good manners.

· Knowing how to behave in a given situation.

· Knowing how to interact with people.

Prospective and future employers expect it. Proper etiquette helps you make a great first impression and stand out in a competitive job market.

Communication is Key

Verbal: What you say and how you say it.

Nonverbal: Handshake, posture, eye contact, facial expressions, and confidence.

Basic Social Etiquette

· Always be punctual.

If invited to a function bring no one, unless the invitation states "and guest".

· Don’t smoke, chew gum or tobacco.

RSVP on an invitation stands for the French phrase "Respondez s'il vous plait”, meaning “Reply, please”. In other words:

- Respond to indicate whether you will or will not attend.

- Don’t show up without having responded.

- If you said yes and your plans change, let the host know you need to cancel.

- Don’t be a no-show.

Social Functions

· Avoid hanging out exclusively with your friends; mingle and make conversation.

· Make attempts to meet as many people as possible.

· The art of small talk is asking questions.

· If alcohol is served and you are underage, don’t drink!

· If alcohol is served and you are over 21, drink conservatively!

· Cocktail parties are not about the food! Don’t hover around the hors d’oeuvres!

· If you are of legal drinking age, it is best to keep your head clear and don’t drink.

· Wear your name-tag on your right chest area.

First Impressions

· It takes 30 seconds for a person meeting you for the first time to form impressions about you, your character, and abilities. You never get a second chance to make a first impression !

· You’re always ―onstage. Always be prepared to look and sound your best.

Good grooming is essential.

· Smile and make eye contact.


In the business arena, the person of lesser importance, regardless of gender, is introduced to the person of greater importance, regardless of gender: ― President Jackson, I’d like to introduce (student name).

When being introduced:

· Stand up.

· Look them in the eye.

Give a firm handshake.

Greet them - "How do you do?" or "How do you do, President DeFleur?"

· Speak slowly and clearly.



· Standard/expected in greetings, introductions, saying goodbye.

Firm handshake conveys confidence, assurance, interest and respect.

While it doesn't matter who extends the hand first; extending your hand first shows confidence.

· Treat men and women with equal respect.

Look directly at the person and smile.


· It’s critical to be clean/neat from head to toe.

· Piercings and Creative Hair: Yes, you have a perfect right to be who you are. Just remember, employers have just as much right to say that lip rings are not the image they are trying to project. You will have to decide if your personal statement is worth more than the job. Of course, there are fields - fashion and music to name two - where no one would care about excessive piercings or creative hair.

· Tattoos/body art: if you have it, make sure it won’t be visible. Same reason as above.

· Clean nails and hands. Nail polish, if you wear any, should be conservative.

· If you wear glasses, make sure the lenses are clean.

· Don’t overdo cologne or perfume. In fact, none can be a wise decision.

· Have a conservative haircut, which is neatly combed. No hair in face. 
Check hair, face, teeth, and clothes before entering a room. Fresh b