By Sarah Wright
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Why Are Manners So Important?
It's always a good idea to treat others with respect. Manners may seem like a stodgy, outdated set of rules, but at their core, manners are about being respectful to others. So how can having good manners get you a job? Well, they can't, really. Not on their own. You can be the most gracious, well-behaved individual on the planet, but if you don't have a good resume, you won't necessarily be the most attractive potential employee. At the same time, though, a good resume alone won't get you very far if you're an abrasive jerk. There are several stages of the employment process that will be more fruitful if you comport yourself well.
As we've mentioned before, networking is extremely important in any job search. Knowing the right people can be important in getting you the kind of job you want. What better time to use your powers of politeness than when meeting an established professional in your field of interest? People like being treated with respect, and good manners are also a sign of maturity. Coming off as mature and likeable is a great way to make a good first impression - one that might keep your name at the tip of someone's tongue when they're thinking of someone who can fill a job opening.
One of the main purposes of an interview is for your prospective employer to 'check you out,' and not in a romantic way. They want to know if you're a normal, sane person with social skills that would make it pleasant to spend eight hours a day, five days a week with you. Having good manners during the interview is a great way to prove that you're aware of social conventions, and you respect them enough to be polite to others.
But the need for good manners at the interview stage isn't over when the interview is done. It's a great idea to follow-up with a thank-you note, letting your prospective employer know that you're thankful for his or her time and that you're excited for the opportunity to be his or her employee. Even if you end up getting rejected, it's a good idea to stay polite. You never know what might happen - if you play your cards right, you could end up with a different position within the same company.
On the Job
Once you get hired, you aren't free to start acting like a jerk. It's important to remain polite on the job, even when circumstances might make you feel quite the opposite. Being courteous to your colleagues - be they superiors or inferiors - can put you on a good footing for promotions and positive letters of recommendation if you should choose to move on to another job.
Of course, there are other factors in play when you're being considered for a job.