It is imperative to conduct a job search in an ethical and professional manner. Your behavior will affect how employers perceive you, as well as your classmates, your department, and Yale University. By participating in any OCS activities, you agree to adhere to the following guidelines.


Job Application Process

All materials in your job applications, including resumes, cover letters, and writing samples must be accurate, truthful, and your own work. Be sure information regarding your GPA and employment dates are correct. Do not overstate your responsibilities.

Once you decide to accept a job or internship offer, notify the employer by phone and follow up with a letter, which can be in the form of an email. An employer may have a formal acceptance letter which they will ask you to sign, along with additional paperwork confirming the terms of employment, including salary and start date. After accepting, inform other employers to which you’ve applied that you are withdrawing from their consideration.

It is unethical to continue interviewing after you’ve accepted an offer. Reneging on an offer (i.e., accepting an offer and then rejecting it) is unprofessional, and damages your reputation and the reputation of Yale University.


Professional Etiquette

The professional etiquette guidelines listed below may apply in a variety of situations during the job search process, including networking events and interviews. Please note, protocols may vary internationally.

First Impressions

  • Making a good first impression is important in all of your professional encounters, and treat everyone you meet with respect.
  • Arrive several minutes early for all your engagements. Late cancellations or no shows are unprofessional and will damage your reputation.
  • Both the verbal and non-verbal messages you send to a professional contact matter.
  • Make sure your attire is appropriate for the event you’re attending.
  • Practice your handshake to make sure you’re confident when engaging in the common greeting.
  • Eye contact and posture play a part in how others perceive you and send messages about your confidence and comfort.
  • Make eye contact with the person with whom you’re speaking, smile, and nod appropriately to show your engagement while listening.
  • Sit up straight and be wary of folding your arms across your chest, as this may make you appear unapproachable.

Communication

  • In all forms of communication, exhibit professionalism and timeliness in your correspondence.
  • Respond as quickly as possible to requests for information, and take care to follow any guidelines when handling confidential information.
  • When communicating, limit your use of filler words such as “um,” “like,” and “you know,” as they take away from your confident communications.
  • Leave your phone on silent during meetings and avoid checking for missed messages, as this may make you appear distracted.
  • Your voicemail should demonstrate professionalism and clarity as potential employers may reach your voicemail.
  • Email correspondence should demonstrate proper spelling and grammar and avoid using emoticons.
  • After an interview, communicate with everyone who participated by sending thank you notes within 1-2 business days at most. As with all of your professional correspondence, thank you notes should be error-free and grammatically perfect.

Review sample thank you letters and other correspondence.