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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

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