Be Professional During Your Job Search College students and recent graduates looking for their first real job as a professional often do not understand that potential employers judge them along many different criteria. In particular, they look at how the candidate comports him or herself. This is important because they are looking for someone who is professional, mature and trustworthy. They also look for someone who will represent the employer well in front of customers and clients. So keep the following in mind. Manners count. This means that you do not simply fail to show up for the interview. Every now and then first-time job seekers simply stop going to interviews once they get an offer they like. The problem is that they do not even bother to let the people with whom they are still scheduled to interview. Talk about bad manners! In a similar vein, when they do go to the interview they sometimes arrive late without calling ahead of time to let the interviewer know and check whether he or she may need to reschedule. What both of these behaviors have in common is that they show a lack of consideration and respect for the other person. Many times interviewers arrange their schedule in order to make time to meet with you and could make valuable use of that time if they were informed beforehand that you could not make it. This is a matter of basic etiquette and displaying a lack of etiquette makes you memorable for the wrong reason. Plus, since people in the same industry or field often talk with each other this is not an impression you want to leave with a potential employer. Still, in keeping with the theme of the importance of manners be sure to be on your very best behavior with everyone associated with the potential employer. This includes receptionists, assistants and secretaries, and anyone else who may play a part in arranging for or facilitating your interview. In fact, be on your best behavior the second you leave the house for the interview. You never know if the person you cut off in the parking lot or the person for whom you fail to hold the elevator door may have the ear of the employer. Also, make sure that you dress appropriately for the interview. While not every job interview requires that you wear a business suit or even a jacket you should air on the side of dressing up rather than dressing down. Make sure you understand what the norms are for the type of position and for the employer with whom you are applying. Even your hairstyle, along with any piercings or tattoos you may have gotten thinking that they were fun and showed your individuality, might be viewed as inappropriate by a potential employer. Again, the key is to check what the norm is to make sure you are not going outside it. Lastly, be mindful that you are an invited guest at their place of work. Be careful not to seem as though you don't respect their space. In particular, this means avoiding certain behaviors from the moment you walk into the employer's place of business to the moment you leave. It means shutting off your cell phones. It means not making or taking any calls. It means not checking your e-mail. It means not using social media. It means that if you bring a mobile device you do not use the Internet unless it is to do research about a topic for school or about the employer. And finally, it means that if you must do some research while you are there, you have a note pad out so that you can be taking notes as you are using the device. This makes it clear that you are not just on it surfing the net or participating in some form of social media. While these are all basic rules and should not have to be mentioned it is surprising how many first-time job seekers fail to observe them. So keep these rules in mind when you go for the interview and just go get that job!
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