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Corporate Life

impression. Take into account to remove excessive jewelry, polish shoes, choose clothes that fit the company culture, color coordinate, and comb your hair an appropriately for the business environment.

4. Sell your brand. Your resume lists previous work experience and you want to stand out in a positive way. When discussing your experience, use examples that support your achieve- ments or show career growth. You can never have too many examples. When preparing your answers, consider questions that may seem unrelated or unimportant to the resume. These include strengths or weaknesses, how would you tell your boss if you disagree, tell me about a time that you suggested a new idea, what would co-workers say about you, or what is the last good book that you read? The interviewer’s aim is to deter- mine whether the candidate is a good fit for the company as well as qualified.

Etiquette and good manners are an important part of relationship building. social interactions and attitudes impact business success.

5. Practice, practice, practice. Practicing your interview skills will allow you to focus on your answers. Ask a family member or friend to perform a mock interview so that you can get a feel for the process and how to shape responses. Your answers should focus on what you can bring to the company. Your closing statement should focus on you linking yourself to the company which will allow the interviewer to visualize you as part of the company.

6. Communication is key. Proper communication techniques are crucial to success. In the business world, it is important to be aware of the communication methods. These include the telephone, voicemail, and email. In today’s business world, telephones and cellphones allow us to contact others immedi- ately, so we are constantly “on call.” In the workplace, meet- ings, projects, and bosses prevent us from talking to others. It is important to quickly state your reason for calling. When call- ing a co-worker who does not answer, it is good business prac- tice to leave a message that addresses who you are, when you are calling, why you are calling, and if there is some follow-up action. Leaving a message such as, “Hey, it’s me in accounting. Call me,” does not give the receiver enough information to

16 HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | Fall 2014

reply. An appropriate detailed message would state, “Hi Dave, this is Henry in accounting, and I am calling you on Wednes- day, May 7, 2014 at 11:30 am. I have a question about your reimbursement request from last week that you submitted. The hotel has charged you for 3 nights and your request states 2 nights. Give me a call to discuss. My extension is 134.”

7. Social media influence. Many business professionals are using email or texting for responses that can be briefly an- swered. Proper electronic etiquette requires that you are com- fortable with the message content and the format is appropri- ate for the setting. With the prevalence of social media and text messaging abbreviations, keep in mind that responding to your boss’s inquiry about the whereabouts of a co-worker with, “I.D.K.” is not an appropriate response. Be mindful that companies can keep conversations for years, which includes telephone, text, and emails. These formats can be backed up and stored on servers or company main frames for years. Something written in haste or as a joke early in your career could be the stopping block for your career advancement in the organization.

8. Choose your words wisely. Be aware of what you say to others. The use of nonstandard or informal words can alter the in- tended message meaning. Some common examples include the word “irregardless” instead of “regardless” and “ain’t” instead of “is not” or “are not.” Being aware of and correcting these com- mon mistakes will quickly set you apart from others, giving you an advantage when senior executives are looking to promote an employee who can properly represent the organization.

9. Remember the name. When meeting new people, it is important to remember his or her name. This can be difficult when being introduced to several people at the same time. An easy method is to repeat the person’s name when saying hello. With group introductions, break them up one by one. For example, instead of saying “Hi Kelly, hi Karen, Bob, Sam,” focus on each person individually. Start with “Kelly, it is nice to meet you. Hello, Karen, it is nice to meet you, too.”

10. The art of the handshake. Believe it or not, your handshake can define you. The handshake is an intimate exchange be- tween two people and can tell the other person about you. For example, a loose grip can make you seem uninterested while a strong grip can make you seem overly aggressive. Grip the other person’s hand firmly, shake three times, and let go. Stand at arm’s length. If you need to lean in or take a step back while shaking someone’s hand, then you are not at arm’s length. The hands should be web to web and palm to palm. Make sure to have eye contact when shaking someone’s hand. This may seem like a lot to be aware of yet it is a useful skill for everyone.

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