Knowing how to be professional is essential when searching for a career.
Imagine being in an elevator with the CEO of the company of your dreams and saying the wrong thing, or having an important interview and not knowing what to say. Sounds scary right? As crazy as it sounds, this happens quite often. A lot of people do not stress the importance of professionalism until it is too late. We have so many different resources that are accessible for enhancing your professionalism skills, including clubs and organizations right here on campus. Knowing how to be professional is essential when searching for a career or even just for networking amongst your peers.
Here at UNC Charlotte, we offer the opportunity to work on your professionalism through clubs and organizations, such as the American Marketing Association (AMA). AMA is a marketing organization that is all about marketing yourself. In other words, they assist you in the process of building your professional skills and make it so that by the time you need to have an interview for any reason, you are heavily prepared. They have events that allow you to network with former UNCC students who are now very successful in their careers, as well as meetings every other week with topics ranging from the difference between different business styles and how to prepare yourself for an interview.
Another resource on campus is the University Career Center. The purpose of the career center is to help you with your resume, and provide insightful detail on how you can improve your professionalism. On their website you can see when the next career fair will be, and other events that benefit you such as mock interviews, resume workshops and how to set up your Hire A Niner page. You can make an appointment to the career center or you can also just drop by, as they have walk in appointments as well. If you take advantage of the events on the website and try to attend as many workshops as you can, you will be destined for success!
One of the hardest things to do when it comes to an interview is knowing what to wear. There are several different styles, such as business casual and business professional. Business professional will almost always include a suit. For men, a suit and tie is the safest thing to wear to a business professional event. For these events I would definitely recommend playing it safe, do not try to add any extra flavor to your outfit. Keep the colors neutral, nothing too bright (the safest way to go is to wear black). For women, this would include either a pantsuit or a dress or skirt with a jacket.
On the other hand, business casual is a different story. Many people assume that business casual means that you can be casual, but that is not the case. A good word to use when you are searching for a business casual outfit is formal. Business casual, in other words is a formal outfit of your choice. The color scheme for business casual is way more broad than the color scheme for business professional. For men, a simple pair of dress pants and a collared or buttoned shirt will do. For women, a simple pants and blouse will do, or a nice dress.
As you can see, we have quite a few resources on campus that will help you develop the skills you need to succeed in life. When it comes to knowing what to wear to professional events, stick with neutral colors, nothing too flashy and bright. When it comes to interviews, do not just wing it. Practice answering questions and have responses ready for different subjects. Stick to these guidelines and everything should fall into place for you.