Writer: Justin Bannister, 575-646-5981, firstname.lastname@example.org
Knowing how to look and how to act in the business world can mean everything to a young professional's career. That is why it is one of the most important lessons New Mexico State University's School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management hopes students take away from courses.
"These are skills taught in every one of our classes," said HRTM Director Janet Green.
She said instructors explain the importance of behavior, body language, how professionals dress and interpersonal skills. They also explain how these areas come into play during interviews and other business situations.
"These things are important to grasp so the students come through with confidence and they are comfortable with themselves," said Thelma Domenici, an expert in business etiquette invited to head a recent workshop for students.
Domenici said her goal was to help students prepare for the workforce. During the workshop she set up mock interviews with students, explaining how best to handle themselves. She said students should be prepared before they even walk into an interview. Resumes should be honest and concise. Job seekers should identify their skills.
Domenici said students also need to understand what it means to represent their company after they are hired.
"Social behavior is important because it directly relates to how successful you are," she said. Domenici said research shows most people who lose their jobs in the first year do so because they don't possess the skills necessary to properly interact with others.
Each semester the School of HRTM also puts on a dinner to teach students how to handle themselves in professional social environments.
"Etiquette, as far as the dinner is concerned, is very important," said Green. "Students need to know which fork to use, which conversation topics to expand on, which ones they should avoid."
Domenici said employers aren't just looking for the smartest person to hire; they also want to know who the person really is first.
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