Entering the Workplace: Business Etiquette/Dress
By: Shaina Ellis, Achilles Group Intern
October 3, 2011
The way you look and behave is a reflection of the organization for which you work. One of the biggest concerns employers have when hiring new employees is their lack of knowledge regarding basic workplace behavior.
Impressions are often made in the first few minutes of meeting someone; individuals rarely have time to even speak before an impression is made. The majority of first impressions are made through your visual appearance, which employers associate with the performance you will give in the workplace. Make sure you are appropriately dressed by learning the workplace dress code as well as following the guidelines employers expect of their employees. A few tips you want to remember while getting ready for work are making sure you have proper hygiene, clothes are ironed and fit properly, make up is appropriate, facial hair is well-trimmed, jewelry is kept to a minimum, and body piercing and tattoos are covered.
Business etiquette is what is considered to be socially acceptable in the professional world. Understanding the important qualities of courtesy and respect and integrating these characteristics into your daily lifestyle will make it easier to carry out the appropriate workplace behavior. When exercising these manners, you want to make sure you have consideration towards others and appreciation for the efforts that are made. As soon as you greet someone, immediately show the confidence you have by giving them a gentle but firm handshake, smile, and convey eye contact.
Today's business environment relies on current technologies to improve communication; therefore, remember to use technology in the appropriate manner while on the job. Mobile devices should be silenced unless they are being used for business purposes and e-mail and computer usage should only be used for company business. The communication that is used whether it is written or verbal should be appropriate and professional.
Other etiquette basics you should remember are knocking before entering an office, saying "please" and "thank you," apologize immediately if you have done something hurtful, do not use profanity, and be aware of interrupting a conversation. Practicing these components will demonstrate that you are capable of presenting yourself professionally while in the workplace.