IADT Shares the Top 10 Unprofessional Practices: Are You Guilty?
July 12, 2011
•IADT Alumni, Career Tips & Resources
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alumna Bri Dold, graphic designer at limerencecreative.com
, shares these important do's and don'ts for representing yourself and conducting business online and off in the Summer 2011 issue of Artistik, IADT's student magazine
Picture this: You are a potential client and you are searching for some information about a job candidate. You enter his name in Google Images and it pulls up a photo of your candidate at the 2005 Gasparilla parade wearing nothing but beads and a smile.
Pushing the envelope and destroying the proverbial box is what creativity is all about, but there is a line when you’re conducting business. You can be edgy and hip, yet still maintain a touch of class. Here are a few examples of common unprofessional practices and what you can do to balance your work/life activities.
1. Don’t: Post inappropriate pictures/status updates/wall posts/notes on Facebook in which clients and people met through networking are your friends.
Do: Make a fan page and keep your personal profile private, with all images and posts viewable only to friends.
2. Don’t: Combine personal tweets with professional followers on Twitter.
Do: Make different accounts (one personal protected account and one professional open account) or edit your words carefully to reflect your brand image.
3. Don’t: Use the CC: or To: option in mass e-mails sent out to professional contacts.
Do: Use BCC: This way your e-mail doesn’t look like a spammy forward and you aren’t exposing e-mail addresses.
4. Don't: Use your real name on public forums that are not related to your profession.
Do: Unless you want your potential clients to Google your name and see where you’ve posted about your “mad elf skillz” on the WOW Role Playing Forum, use a different name unrelated to your brand. Even Amazon reviews tend to come up on a Google search.
5. Don’t: Use a silly e-mail address at an unprofessional domain for professional use.
Do: Use either ‘info’, ‘hello’, your name or your brand as the username and your website as the domain name. If you do not yet have a domain name, carefully choose an e-mail client. Keep in mind that older email services such as Yahoo!, Hotmail, and AOL are often viewed as unprofessional.
6. Don’t: Act like an idiot at a networking event, mixer, conference, or social.
Do: Dress and act professionally. It is still very possible to have fun with your new networking friends without getting up on a table and doing a drunken line dance.
7. Don’t: Have a goofy voicemail message on your business phone like, “Hello? (pause) Who is this? (pause) HAHA! This is just a voicemail! I’m so funny!”
Do: Stick with a basic, appropriate message. Everybody hates those goofy voicemails.
8. Don’t: Complain about clients on public business accounts.
Do: Treat all clients and past clients with the respect they deserve for choosing you. Word of mouth is a huge marketing tool.
9. Don’t: Drive like a maniac while advertising your business on your car.
Do: Keep your car in pristine shape and follow traffic laws if you are using your car as a piece of advertising.
10. Don’t: Use your business blog to post overly personal information.
Do: Separate and make private. I cannot stress this enough. I strongly encourage personal journaling, as I do it all the time, but if you are posting inappropriate or uncensored information, it is vitally important to keep it private. There are ways to keep even WordPress blogs off search engines. In many cases, blogging about personal issues is encouraged in professional blogs. It keeps your brand human to your viewers, but it is important to keep in mind The Line That Shall Never Be Crossed. You create this line; it is directly proportional to your brand image.