Importance of Professionalism

The way in which you act and present yourself can create lasting impressions that will have an impact on professors, advisors, and others with whom you interact.

  • Email: E-mails are a form of professional writing. Each Email that you send represents you and leaves an impression. Emails are considered writing samples and represent your ability to communicate effectively and in a professional manner. Just because you can send an email quickly, doesn’t mean you should write it quickly.
  • Use a professional email address: kegstandchamp@ does not send the right message. Remember to type/sign your name at the bottom of the email, so they know how to address you in response.
  • Respond Promptly: You should respond to all E-mails within 24 hours. If the email requires an answer that you cannot provide immediately, at least email back saying you will follow-up shortly. This applies to phone calls, too.
  • Do not write in CAPITALS or all lower case: Your recipient may view capitals as if you were yelling. All lower case sentences are seen as unprofessional.
  • Refrain from abbreviations or emoticons: Your recipient may not know the meaning of BTW or LOL, and generally “smileys”  :) are seen as unprofessional.
  • Honoring commitments: If you make a commitment to a phone call or a meeting, follow-through. Employers (schools) assume that all of your actions are a reflection of how you would act on the job. Even if your commitment is for information only, do not burn bridges – people talk.
  • Create a professional voicemail message. First impressions make a huge difference and often this is the first interaction someone may have with you. “Dude” or “yo” type language is inappropriate. This also applies when you answer your phone.
  • Always send a thank you note. It is expected that you will follow-up with a thank you note after all requests for recommendations, networking, meetings, and interviews. It is professionally required that you send a thank you to anyone who has taken the time to assist you.
  • First impression: If you meet someone in person, look them in the eye, shake hands and introduce yourself, “Hi my name is ____. I am a junior at UNH majoring in Psychology.” If you are calling a contact to schedule a meeting or make a request, introduce yourself and let them know the purpose of the call.
  • Turn off your cell phone: Give the person talking with you your full attention. Do not check messages or answer calls while in a meeting or interview.