Graduation Etiquette


In a month, I will be walking across a stage to accept my undergraduate diploma, and as this event draws nearer, I have been launched into the world of all things graduation. From announcements, to pictures, to planning lunches, dinners, and other festivities, graduation can not only be a very nerve-racking time, but also be very exciting. It also is a time to be your best self because on graduation day, especially, all eyes will be on you. Graduation etiquette may be the last thing on your graduation list, but it is a very important aspect of the big day. Here are some tips on proper graduation etiquette to give you one less thing to stress about:


  1. Invitations vs. Announcements. At my current institution, we only get five tickets for graduation. So, when it comes to invitations, I will not be able to invite my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, since there are only five available seats. Invite only those that you want at the actual ceremony. For announcements, you can send those to your extended family and any individuals you wish to tell about your graduation. Furthermore, when it comes to announcements, go beyond a simple email. You are graduating from college and that is a big deal!
  2. To Party or Not to Party, That is the Question. Whether you have a party to celebrate your graduation or not, that is up to you. For example, I plan to just have a nice lunch with friends and then a dinner with my parents to celebrate instead of a full on extravaganza. Again, it is a big deal to graduate from college, so the choice is entirely yours. If relatives come to your party or dinner, as well as your friends, it is important to honor both parties. It is important to spend time with your friends because you all might be parting ways after graduation, but it is equally important to spend time with relatives. especially if they have traveled a long distance or you do not get to see them that often.
  3. This is something we all think about, but we never know if we should give a gift or not. If you receive an announcement, you can give a gift, but you do not have to. If you are invited to a graduation party, you do not have to bring a gift, but a card is a nice gesture since the grad did invite you. Next, if you are a grad and are going to another grad’s party, the same applies, you do not have to bring a gift, but a card is something that should be given.
  4. Thank You Notes. I’m a firm believer in the hand-written thank you note. If you are graduating, it is important to send thank you notes for every gift and card you receive. Yes, even if you just get a card, it is still kind to honor that person with a note that thanks them for thinking of you. In life, thank you notes are wonderful gestures that will never go out of style. Remember to send thank you notes off in a timely manner so as not to make them appear as an after thought.
  5. Dress to Impress. Most institutions may have a dress code and you will obviously be wearing a gown on graduation day, but it is important to dress up and look good. As mentioned earlier, this is a huge deal, so dress like it! Business casual or business attire will do, you do not need to be too fancy. Also, wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking on stage in front of many, many people and falling or wobbling about will not look good, and it is important to be comfortable throughout the ceremony.


These are just a few tips on graduation etiquette, but they will go a long way. Etiquette will serve you well in every aspect of your life, especially on occasions such as graduation. To those graduating, congratulations and best of luck! This is a wonderful time in life, so enjoy every minute of it.

Image found on Google Images.

The Dying Art of Manners

57972419In today’s world, it has become a rare occurrence to witness chivalrous acts or come in contact with individuals with manners. We remember the little things like strangers holding doors for us or saying “please,” “thank you,” et cetera. It has been commonplace for manners and courtesy to be seldom occurrences. We have replaced face-to-face communication with digital communication and its imperative that we restore manners in our society. We have seen posts about random acts of kindness and individuals having their “faith in humanity restored,” but why has common courtesy become reduced to very little? My mother’s side of the family is very Southern, so “Southern Hospitality” is something that has become ingrained in me. In middle school, I took three years of Cotillion training, also known as etiquette training. I am not saying I am the epitome of model manners and etiquette because I will be the first to say that I am not, but, for me, manners are all about effort and trying to be polite and courteous. Here are some tips to help resurrect the dying art of manners:


  • Hold doors for people. Whether you are male or female, hold a door open for others. I know opening a door is not rocket science, but little gestures like this can brighten someone’s day and is a way for you to honor someone.
  • Say “please” and “thank you.” These are two words that are at the foundation of any manners lesson. They are simple, yet can make a huge impact in conversation. Using these words so respect and honor, which are two traits everyone can benefit from.
  • Watch your body language. Rolling your eyes, not facing someone fully when you greet them, and many more non-verbal cues can not only deter someone, but can also give someone a pre-determined view of your attitude. You know the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, body language is worth two thousand.
  • Do not use your phone at the table or while talking to someone. Nothing is as rude as having a texting or using your phone while having a face-to-face conversation. If you need to use it to show the individual something or to look up something relevant to the conversation that is fine. However, being preoccupied with your phone while the person is talking to you, it makes the individual feel you do not want to listen to what they are saying and does not show the person honor, it shows disrespect.
  • Do not gossip or divulge other people’s information. So, this one is easier said than done. Gossiping puts others down and is not only rude, but it showcases the person who is gossiping in a poor light. Furthermore, having a conversation with someone and then going to someone else and spilling everything that was said is a no-no. Confidentiality is key in any situation. If someone tells you something, that does not give you the green light to tell others.


There are a myriad of manners that can be brought up, but these are the basics. By practicing these manners daily, you will feel better and that will rub off on those around you. In today’s world, we remember those that are well-mannered. Although manners should be commonplace, we all know they are not. In order to keep the art of manners alive, we must showcase manners and etiquette in life in order to set an example. You may also get remembered in the process.

Image found on Google Images.

Professional Etiquette

Etiquette in the professional world is imperative. From the job search to your day-to-day life at work, etiquette is key to landing a job and maintaining it. Here are a few tips to proper etiquette in the working world.

Job Search Etiquette:

  1. Writing Etiquette: Your resume and cover letter are most likely the two first impressions that the employer will get from you. Grammar, punctuation, and voice are all key elements to any job search document. By rereading and editing your work, you will be able to make sure your documents are correct and do not have typos. It is also a good idea to have another person look over your work before you send it to prospective employers.
  2. Interviewing: There are many elements to interviewing. Here are a few imperative elements in which proper interviewing etiquette is important:
  • Dress to Impress. Business professional is the dress code for interviews. Make sure your clothes are not wrinkled and that your hair is neatly kept. A polished look will not only show employers you are serious about your interview, but will also give you the confidence you need to ace your interview.
  • Write a Thank-You. It is important to properly thank those who interview you. You can email a thank-you note, but a handwritten note goes a long way. Be sure to get the names and spellings of those who interview you, so your thank you is correct. Also, try talking to employers about something specific or complimenting them on something that you can refer to in your thank you.
  • Speak Clearly and Be Specific. When answering interview questions, speak clearly and try to avoid using “like,” “um,” and other sentence fillers. Also, talk about specific examples (that relate to the question) from your previous experience, so you can better showcase your skills.

3. Be punctual. Be sure to arrive to interviews on time, as well as meet all deadlines that relate       to your job search (such as meeting the application deadline or arriving to job fairs and other       events on line). Remember, “to be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be         late is not acceptable.”

Workplace Etiquette:

  1. Be Professional. This is a broad point, but it is key to workplace success. Speak with coworkers and customers in a professional and respectful way. Speak to understand, not to be understood, which includes actively listening and not degrading or insulting others. Furthermore, do not raise your voice or speak about inappropriate personal topics.
  2. Don’t Be That Person. Another broad point, but this means do not be the person that steals food from the office fridge, is constantly doing every other thing but work, or the person that is singing so loudly the entire office hears. These are all examples of annoying and inconsiderate workplace actions. Working should be fun, but there are some things that cross the professional line.
  3. Be Productive. Even if you have finished all duties and tasks for the day, ask your supervisor if there is anything else that needs attending to. Start on projects even if they do not need to be done for a while, and do not put off until tomorrow what can be done today. Showing you are productive, especially in times where there is not much to do, will show your supervisor that you are a go-getter and hard working.
  4. Limit the Use of Social Media. Unless you are a Social Media Manager, try not to be constantly on social media throughout your day on the job. This also goes for other sites that do not relate to your position. It is okay to have a break or two throughout the day and go on these sites (as long as it is okay with your supervisor), but it is best to the limit the use of social media while you are working.

While these tips just scratch the surface of job search and workplace etiquette, they are key habits to form. Etiquette is imperative to daily life, especially in the workplace. By demonstrating these tips, you will lead a better working life and it will pay off in the long run.

Social Media Etiquette

9c1e921b18d53c17bfff59b02fe0ef12Social media is now part of the cultural norm. Everywhere, every day you see people Tweeting, texting, or posting to Facebook from their tablet, phone, or laptop. We are glued to our phones and other devices, hungry for news and information we find through social media. Social media has become a great tool for professionals, businesses, and others who like to keep tabs on the world around them. Social media has also become a key part of the job search process for prospective employees and the hiring process for employers. Our online presence has become an integral part of our society and a constant in our daily lives, but what happens when your social media presence hinders your job search or the way others view you? It won’t be pretty. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your way through social media, in a positive way.


  • Steer Clear of Party Pictures. You might have had a wonderful night on the town, but pictures of you with a drink in your hand, bloodshot eyes, and a party scene behind you, are not the most flattering. If you are job searching, party photos can deter an employer from hiring you. It’s best to keep any negative pictures of your profile.
  • Keep It Positive. We all have bad days, but constantly updating your status with “Ugh, I hate my life. When will this day end?” or “I swear, if I have to talk to another customer today, I’ll scream #getaway,” will give others the wrong impression. No one likes to read negativity or posts about a bad day. Keep it positive, and your social media presence will be better off. Furthermore, steer clear of ill-willed trash talk. Friendly banter can be okay, but done right rude language or harsh words should be avoided at all costs. Remember, once it’s on the Internet, it’s there forever.
  • Save the Details. Have a busy day or a lot of errands to run? Your social media audience does not need to know every detail of your day. Social media is great for catching up with old friends, seeing what your favorite celebrities are up to, and for sharing your interests, however, your audience is most likely not interested in the fact that you are at the grocery store or at the gym. If your presence is geared towards fitness or food, then these errands may be relevant, but if you are constantly updating social media with every little detail, this will turn away your followers and friends.
  • Keep Your Profile Updated. It’s important to keep your social media up to date. If you just post once and a while, this will deter potential followers. Post weekly, if not daily, in order to keep your profile relevant and  engaging to your followers and those who find your profile.
  • Engage. By socializing with your followers and those that you follow, you will be able to build up your social media profile and presence, while networking with individuals who have similar interests or who are in the same field. Socializing and engaging your audience will allow you to build connections, while giving your profile a more personal touch.

Social media is great forum for us to share our thoughts, skills, and other need-to-know information, but netiquette is key to avoiding social media disasters. By following these above tips and thinking before you post, you will have a better social media presence and the world will thank you for it.

Image found on Google Images.

Etiquette for College Students

c6d1641b86af60c407b1be511ea2d9577204f310a40f2b66cae4206d6a8763f8For the past three years, I have walked by, had class with, and encountered many college students. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of behaviors. Here’s a few guidelines for better college behavior:

Go to Class and Arrive Early
8 am classes are a pain, especially when your alarm rings and all you want to do is stay in bed and sleep for a few more hours. We all have the moments where something more exciting or interesting comes up and the only issue is that it conflicts with a class. Well, skipping class is a college etiquette cardinal sin. Not only are we paying for these classes, but we also should attend every class because the professor is dedicating his or her time to teach us skills or concepts that will be beneficial in the long run. Arriving early shows you’re willing to learn and the professor will take note. I usually get to class 10 minutes early. Freshman year, my Ethics professor noticed this and told me that being early is a good habit to be in.

Adhere to Deadlines
Deadlines are everywhere at school. Assignments, projects, meetings, and the list goes on. It’s imperative to stick to these deadlines. If you turn in assignments late, you can lose points or the professor will not accept the late work. Deadlines will be ever present in the working world, so it is best to have this practice down before graduating.

Keep Your Promises/Commitments
If you begin to miss meetings, not follow-up on tasks, et cetera, then you will not only have a tough time, but also others will begin to think you are not reliable. Keeping your promises and commitments will show others that your word is your word. This will help you build relationships and your network. Furthermore, honoring your promises and commitments shows your valuable character traits that will be beneficial to have throughout your life.

Put Away Your Phone
It is easier said than done, but when you put away your phone, this will show that you are eager and willing to learn. Also, nothing is more rude than someone texting or playing on their phone during a lecture or guest speaker. Professors will be thankful that you put your phone away and you will be, too, because you will now be able to actively listen to the teaching.

Residence Hall/Roommate Etiquette:

Keep It Clean
Dirt, grime, dust, and stink are all things that no one wants in their living space. Your roommates will be unhappy if you do not keep your living space clean. If they are the messy ones, kindly talk to them and develop a cleaning schedule in order to keep things liveable and have a more harmonious time with your roommates. Messy living spaces is one of the main causes of a roommate conflict, therefore you should clean up after yourself to save yourself from headaches down the road.

Ask First
Having guests over? Want to watch TV or talk on the phone while your roommate is doing homework? Ask them first. This is both courteous and respectful. Not asking first is rude and your roommate might become angry or frustrated. You can also go over guest, TV, and other rules in a roommate agreement, which will help you in the long run. If you do not do a contract, asking will help alleviate any possible issues.

Overall, just be respectful of your roommates, the other residents of the building, and the building itself. The residence hall is your home away from home, so it should be treated as such. Therefore, do not rip down bulletin boards, draw on the walls, or punch holes in anything. Be courteous to those around you, too. We all come from different backgrounds and residence halls are a melting pot of all types of individuals who may not agree on topics or have the same living habits. Keep an open mind and be respectful this will help you in college and in life.

These are just a etiquette tips for the college world. Follow these tips and you will have a better time with your professors, peers, and other individuals on your campus.

Image found on Google Images.