Welcome to the module on professional etiquette!
In this module, you will focus on professional etiquette in order to work on your networking skills and improve job prospects.
There are three parts to this module:
- Part I: “Professional Image”
- Part II: “Professional Communication”
- Part III: “Dining Etiquette”
You have the opportunity to learn:
- How your appearance and social media presence shape your professional image.
- How to enhance your verbal and written communication skills within various contexts.
- How to sharpen your dining etiquette and table manners for mastering business meals.
We recommend that this module be completed as a whole. Mentees, if you choose to complete specific topics, please let your mentor know what parts you will focus on in advance of your meeting.
Total time for this module
Two to three hours.
Time required to prepare for team meeting
Mentee: Two hours to review the handouts, watch videos and complete activities.
Mentor: 75 minutes to review readings, handouts and complete reflection and mock email correspondence.
Time required for team meeting
Forty-five minutes to an hour. This meeting can occur in person, by phone, or via a video-conferencing platform.
Part I: Professional Image
To understand how to dress appropriately for different business or networking functions.
- To understand how your appearance and attire create your professional image.
- To understand the difference between business and business casual attire.
- To understand how one’s social media presence, punctuality and response time to business communications shape a professional image.
Total time for part I
Mentee: 45 minutes to reflect, review required readings and watch two videos.
Mentor: 30 minutes to reflect, review required readings and complete a social media search.
- Mentee Pre-Session Activity: Reflection
- Mentor Pre-Session Activity: Reflection & Social Media
- Review and watch Forbes article and video titled “8 Tips to Dress For Interview Success.”
- Watch the KPMG video titled “Managing Your Virtual Brand.”
- Review Boston Consulting Group’s Tips for Making a Good Impression handout.
Suggested Reading MaterialsMentee Pre-session activity: Reflection
Please take a moment to reflect on your professional image. Consider asking:
- How do you currently interpret business and business casual attire?
- Place yourself in the shoes of a human resource manager at a company where you’d like to work, who has looked up your social media accounts. How would that person rate your social media presence?
- How do you think a person makes a good first impression?
Please take a moment to reflect upon your professional image and social media presence. Think back to when you graduated college and first started your career. Consider asking:
• What was your interpretation of business and business casual attire?
• What were the norms for professional image when you graduated? Have they changed?
• What is the best advice you received in crafting your professional image?
Please take a couple of minutes to do a social media search on your mentee and note any red flags, and communicate those to your mentee.
Mentor Guidance for Session
Your mentee should complete the required readings and videos in advance of your meeting. When you meet, reference the articles to support your conversation and help illustrate how professional etiquette shapes professional image. The reflection worksheet and social media assessment can serve as talking points for you and your mentee. You may encourage your mentee to dress business causal when you meet in person or via skype.
Part II: Professional Communication
To understand the best format and delivery for communication.
- To enhance verbal communication skills within various contexts including meetings, informal work discussions and voicemail.
- To sharpen written communication skills for email and business communications.
Total time for part II
Mentee: 30 to 45 minutes to review handouts and conduct a mock email correspondence with your mentor.
Mentor: 30 minutes to review articles and participate in a mock email correspondence with your mentee.
- Review the Do’s and Don’ts of Email Etiquette (PDF).
- Review the “How Do I Communicate?” handouts.
- Pre-Session Activity: Conduct a Mock Email Correspondence.
- Discuss appropriate communication methods.
- 25 Email Etiquette Rules That Are Worthy of a Reminder
- Email signature for College Students- 5 Tips for Students!
Suggested Reading MaterialsMentee Pre-session activity: Mock Email Correspondence
Mentee, you are exchanging email correspondence with your mentor as a recent college graduate. Please write your emails as if you recently connected or have not met before.
Your mentor is one of the following (make a selection based on your background and/or career interest/field):
- A professor who has an opening in his or her research lab. You would like to set an appointment to discuss his or her research, your experience and any opportunity for you to join the lab as an undergraduate research assistant.
- A HR manager you met at a networking event who works for a company or organization you are interested in and admire. You are applying for an entry-level position and would like to schedule a meeting to learn more about the company and see if you would be a good fit on the team.
- An advisor for a graduate or professional school to which you are interested in applying. You are writing to schedule a visit, book a tour of the program and talk about your application as a prospective student.
- Other: Feel free to create your own scenario.
You are a/an:
- Professor and your mentee is contacting you about an opening in your research lab. He/she would like to set an appointment to discuss your research, his/her experiences and any opportunities to join the lab as an undergraduate research assistant.
- HR manager who recently met your mentee at a college graduate networking event. He/she is applying for an entry-level position and would like to schedule a meeting with you to learn more about the company.
- Advisor for a graduate or professional school to which the student is interested in applying. Your mentee is writing to schedule a visit, a tour of the program, and talk about his/her application as a prospective student.
Provide feedback during your team meeting.
Mentor guidance for session
Your mentee should complete the required readings in advance of your meeting. When you meet, reference the articles to support your conversation on the methods and formats for professional communication. Debrief the mock email exchange and provide insights and recommendations for improvement.
Part III: Dining Etiquette
To sharpen dining etiquette and table manners so you can master business meals.
- Understand how to correctly use utensils and eat courses in a meal.
- Sharpen your manners when it comes to taking a seat, conversations and posture at the table.
- Get an understanding of the do’s and don’ts of table manners.
Total time for part III
Mentee: 30 minutes to review articles and watch two videos.
Mentor: 15 minutes to review articles.
- Watch the Niagara University video titled “Business Dining Etiquette” for a one-on-one lunch interview example.
- Watch the KPMG video titled “Mind Your Manners Dining Etiquette” for an example of a group setting with a table host at business dinner.
- Business Dinner Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts of Dining with Colleagues
- Dinner Conversation Etiquette
Please review the required reading materials so that you can be on the same page as your mentee. The videos are optional.
Mentor guidance for session
Your mentee should complete the required readings and videos in advance of your meeting. When you meet, reference the articles to support your conversation and help illustrate how important dining etiquette is by sharing personal anecdotes about business meals at conferences, fundraisers or interviews.