8 Ways to be More Professional

Tuesday, September 19, 2017



Whether you're in high school, college, or your career, you're going to have encounters where professionalism is a big deal. When you're interacting with people, you want to show that you mean business! We all know the basics of professionalism - proper dress, behavior, conversation - but I like to take it up a notch and really wow people. Below, I've listed ten habits you can pick up to increase your overall level of professionalism in jobs, interviews, networking, and many more situations.

#1: Send a thank you after an interview. 


Some people will tell you a handwritten note is best, but I find that an email is more practical and timely. A thank you is a thank you, so just make sure you're letting the interviewer know that you appreciate the time and effort they took to speak with you using whichever method you prefer.

#2: Add a personal note to LinkedIn requests.


If you're requesting someone you don't personally know or you may have only spoken with them once or twice, add a little note explaining why you'd like to connect with them. Provide some background so people aren't seeing it as a request from someone they don't know and they'll be more likely to connect with you.

#3: Follow up with an email after you set up a meeting on the phone or in person.


If you call someone to schedule any type of meeting or speak with someone about meeting up, send an email shortly after that includes all of the relevant details of the meeting. Having the details in writing is the best way to avoid any mix-ups and it serves as a reminder for both parties.

#4: When volunteering, stay busy!


You don't want to be seen not doing anything, sitting around on your phone when you're supposed to be volunteering. Actively help throughout your assigned time and if you find yourself idle, ask around and see if there's anything you can do.

#5: Respond to emails and phone calls.


It doesn't matter how important you might be, it's rude and disrespectful to not respond to serious emails and phone calls. Even if it's about a job offer you don't want, get in touch with them and let them know that you aren't interested so they aren't waiting around.

#6: Don't talk about coworkers with other coworkers at work.


You might think y'all are best friends, but gossiping and dissing other employees sheds a bad light on you. Keep your personal opinions to yourself or talk about them outside of work, in a social setting, if you feel so inclined.

#7: You catch more flies with honey.


A lot of people don't seem to believe kindness and professionalism mix, but remember to stay human. You don't always have to be super serious. Being nice will take you a long way, but don't forget the situation and setting by getting too comfortable.

#8: Have a decent profile picture on your LinkedIn and social media accounts.


Realistically, people you're networking with and interacting with on a professional level are going to look you up on something. Make sure your profile picture is a nice photo of you so they're able to recognize your page or get an idea of what you look like if they're searching prior to an interview.


What are your best tips for professionalism? 

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