Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, oh my! The ways we communicate with one another has certainly changed over the decades but when it comes to etiquette and personal branding, the following tips have lasted the test of time.
And something tells us as more social media sites emerge and technology continues to evolve, we’ll still be kicking it old school with the following tips.
1. Be nice! This sounds so 1950s of us like something Mrs. Cleaver would have said on Leave it to Beaver, but seriously be a nice person. What’s that adage? “You get more with honey than you do with vinegar.” It pays to be nice. Simply be nice for the sake of being nice. Treat others how you would want them to treat you. End of story.
2. Show up. This entails showing up for yourself, looking presentable and being punctual for all of your meetings. So basic, isn’t it? In management it’s always a shame when a top notch employee has potential to be a rock star but alas, they look disheveled, they show up late on a consistent basis and their energy is low. Take care of yourself by showing up.
3. Be formal. When you have a new contact, err on the side of formality. You can always make your communication (as well as appearance) less formal as time marches on.
Let’s say you’re trying to connect with an ad sales executive. Why not sign your email with one simple word like “sincerely?” Or address your new contact formally like, “Dear Ms. Jones?” Give it a whirl and try it on for size.
Of course, if you’re already on a first name basis with someone there’s no need to go formal on them but initially when making new contacts and subsequently making a good first impression, lean to formal rather than informal.
4. Don’t discount anyone. Yeah, we’re talking to the mail guy, the receptionist and the UPS delivery man. See point number one above. First, not only is it just cordial to be respectful, you never know who’s watching and you never know who they know.
For instance, a candidate once got poor feedback during an interview because the receptionist told the recruiter she was rude, thereby putting the candidate and her interview in a negative light before it even began. (Knowing this first-hand…I was that recruiter!).
Especially in this day and age where everything is transparent both online and off, be that respectable person you’d want to get around that you were kind. Reputations follow you so why not choose to create a sparkling one?