Skip to main content
SFU Co-op Student

empty
Peer hand shake
These are two things about business etiquette that I have learned on my way to discovering my career, and I hope that this will someday help you make the impression that you want to make on others.

Ever wonder what exactly makes a good impression when it comes to business? With my new job under my belt, I’ve networked and met several influential individuals.  Upon introducing myself, shaking hands and getting to know these people, I have come to realize that there is a certain business etiquette that everyone that hopes to make a good impression should know.

If you can’t prevent embarrassing yourself in person, the person you’re trying to make an impression on will think you lack the self-control to do what’s needed.  Business etiquette is also important because it shows that you can present yourself comfortably while showcasing how comfortable people will feel around you.

Here are some tips on two essential areas of business etiquette: handshakes and emails.

HANDSHAKE

Strong & firm

“Web” to “web”: The insider sides of your hand between your thumb and index finger should connect properly.

WHY? I have had the worst handshakes that have left negative impressions on me. I can only imagine giving a terrible impression just from a simple gesture. The handshake sets the tone of the meeting and ultimately a loose and/or incomplete handshake feels like the person isn’t taking the meeting seriously. Of course, in this day and age people are overly concerned about germs.  If that is in fact the case, it is better to tell the person that you would rather not shake hands for this reason and express your enthusiasm for meeting them verbally.

EMAIL ETIQUETTE

  • Easy to read, perfect grammar

  • Important information in the first paragraph

  • Summary of information/attached files

  • Specific subject line with marked relevance

  • Include a signature with name & contact information

WHY? Emailing is another important aspect of communication similar to that of your resume and cover letter. If your emails lack etiquette it also reflects poorly on your work ethic.  The one thing to remember is that everyone is busy, so make sure you aren’t wasting anyone’s time with an unprofessional or inappropriate email.

These are two things about business etiquette that I have learned on my way to discovering my career, and I hope that this will someday help you make the impression that you want to make on others.

SFU Co-op Student

You Might Like These... Prospective, Professional Development, Career Exploration

Co-op students jumping in the air
The Co-op Connection Helps Retention

In this blog post, Heather shares with us why co-op is an important experience for all students, whether it be to further career aspirations or to gain future employment opportunities. 

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

Hands holding a volunteer badge
Sana Siddiqui: Volunteerism Opens up Endless Possibilities | Part Two

She has been involved with SFU LEAD, Peer Programs and the SFU Muslim Students’ Association, just to name a few. Now, Sana Siddiqui, a Criminology student, reflects back and shares with us the invaluable academic, personal and professional skills and opportunities volunteering opened for her, read on to find out what she has to say about getting involved on campus and in the community.

You Might Like These... Co-operative Education

Taylor Playing Softball
An Interview with Taylor Gillis, a Varsity Co-op Alumna

It's no easy feat being able to stand out from the crowd when job-seeking after graduating. For Taylor, her unique SFU background comes from her combined SFU Athlete and Co-op work experience. Read on to learn more about why she recommends fellow athletes to join the Co-op program.

Scrabble Tiles spelling out the phrase "origins are usually messy"
Starting Your First Co-op at a Start-up Company

Being part of a start-up company can be scary enough, but doing it as a Co-op student who is brand new to the industry can be absolutely terrifying. This is what I learned about working for a start-up over the last 10 months as a Communication & Multimedia Associate!

Kettlebells at Kiki's Gym
My Co-op Experience with Performance Institute

"What do you want to do with your degree?” It’s not a simple question, but the place you find your answer can surprise you. Read as Kiki goes through her co-op experience to find out more.