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Posted June 14, 2016 by

7 ways to make a good impression during business dinners

Attending business dinners and professional networking events often brings on anxiety for many people, particularly college students and recent grads. It should! It’s not something most people do on a regular basis, and it requires a special skill-set. How do you remember which fork is which? Should you place your napkin next to your plate or in your chair when you stand up to shake someone’s hand? And what if you take a bite of something disgusting and need to spit it out—oh geez!?!

The possibilities for embarrassing moments at business dinners are seemingly endless.

If that weren’t enough, you’re most likely attending business dinners for specific purposes. You’re either attending to network with coworkers, supervisors, or potential employers, or you’re attending as part of the interview process. Either way, you’re under pressure to demonstrate your best table manners.

This short video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, suggests seven quick ways to make a good impression during business dinners.


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1.Skip the alcohol.

If offered alcohol, consider passing for multiple reasons. Drinking in the company of coworkers, supervisors, and potential employers can be dangerous. If you’re underage, it’s a clear no-no. If you’re of legal drinking age, it’s still questionable because you may inadvertently consume more alcohol than intended and wind up singing karaoke in the bar next door to the restaurant with your future boss watching. Need I say more?

A good general rule to apply to business dinners is “all things in moderation.” Don’t eat too quickly. Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu, but don’t order the cheapest item either. Don’t fill up six plates on the buffet. Don’t hog the conversation; listen as much as you talk.

2. Don’t comment on food.

When possible, stick to pleasant, neutral topics of conversation like family, weather, weekend plans, and hobbies. Avoid commenting on what you’re currently eating; it’s considered rude. You should also avoid discussing religion and politics, but of course, take the lead of your host and/or supervisor to an extent. If your boss engages you in political banter, you might follow her lead, but remember to tread lightly. What you say can and may be used against you at work!

3. Try to avoid being picky or whiny.

Unless you have a legitimate food allergy and receive items which may trigger an allergic reaction, don’t make demands or send your plate back. If you behave in a picky, demanding manner, this behavior says something about you and not about the restaurant or wait staff.

4. Attend career services’ etiquette dinners.

When you have the opportunity as a college student, attend etiquette dinners hosted by career services offices. These events might seem boring while you’re in college, but after you attend your first business dinner, you’ll wish you’d attend them. You’ll learn the ins and outs of formal business dinners. Sure, you can look these tricks of the trade up online and Google infographics on how to set a formal dining table, but there’s no teacher like experience. If in doubt, work your way from the outside in with flatware and take the lead of your fellow diners who seem experienced and comfortable, particularly your supervisors and potential employers. Perhaps the greatest mistake you can make is to appear really flustered and to allow your nerves to keep you from making conversation with those around you.

5. Treat servers well.

Be kind to the restaurant staff. There’s nothing which speaks more loudly than snobbish behavior toward servers and wait staff. Remember, what you say and don’t say—your non-verbal skills—speak loudly to your employers and future employers. Soft skills truly matter, so be kind and courteous to everyone around you.

6. Don’t chew with your mouth open!

This one is common sense. Don’t chew and speak simultaneously. It’s just plain gross.

Whatever you need to say can wait until you’ve swallowed your food—promise.

On that note, the best way to obtain great table manners is to practice them on a daily basis, so consider chewing with your mouth closed every day, even when you’re eating alone. If you don’t, you might find yourself smacking your pizza with your mouth wide open while sitting across from your potential boss. And you know that won’t impress her.

7. Say thank you.

As always, an attitude of gratitude always makes a great impression on others. Say thank you to your hosts, servers, to people who open the door for you, and to others who extend kindness to you during the meal. Again, it reflects well on you and your soft skills when you treat others well.

Need more networking tips to help you obtain a great internship or entry-level job? Keep reading our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted June 24, 2015 by

5 Awesome Ways to Jump-Start Your Business after MBA

Group of business people in a meeting seated grouped around a table having a discussion with focus to a smiling man at the head of the table

Group of business people in a meeting seated grouped around a table having a discussion with focus to a smiling man at the head of the table. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you have completed your MBA and want to start your own business, then one important question might pop up in your mind is “How to jump-start my business?” There are some tips that (if stringently followed) enhance the effectiveness of your business operation. When it comes to advice on how to operate your business most effectively, it seems as though everyone you know has an answer, not to mention the thousands of articles circulating the Internet offering numerous tips and information on how best to make your business successful. While some advice might actually work for you, other tips certainly won’t apply, so how do you know which advice to take and which advice to ignore. The answer is to listen to the advice and tips that work for most, regardless of industry or type of business. (more…)

Posted March 13, 2015 by

12 Tips for Studying Abroad

Sarah Landrum photo

Sarah Landrum

It hits you the moment the plane touches down – you’re in a new country, and an exciting journey is about to begin.

Studying abroad is filled with new places, people and experiences that will teach you things you cannot learn in your homeland. It can also be a bit overwhelming at times, but no worries. Here are 12 tips to help you make the most of your time abroad: (more…)

Posted January 01, 2015 by

The Job Interview: A New Look For the New Year

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

It’s that time of year again—the opportunity to start fresh as you plan for the job interview that’s coming your way in 2015.

Being invited for an interview is a good sign. It means you’ve said something in your cover letter or resume that prompted the employer to call you. So rather than letting worry or fear drive you, focus on the positive aspects of a job interview and look at the experience in a new way for this new year. (more…)

Posted October 16, 2014 by

12 Writing Tips for Creating a Perfect Resume

Cari Bennette

Cari Bennette

It’s a bit of fine line, isn’t it? Knowing exactly what to put in your resume can be confusing. Too much irrelevant information will get you passed over. And not enough information may cause suspicion, as though you’re trying to hide something.

So, to compose the perfect resume, apply the following 12 tips from industry experts to ensure success. (more…)

Posted September 23, 2014 by

From the Pros: The 13 Secrets of Landing That Dream Teaching Job

Teacher helping pupils studying at desks in classroom

Teacher helping pupils studying at desks in classroom. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Teaching is rewarding for many reasons, yet landing a job in this sector is not as simple as teaching the ABCs. It’s a special profession, which warrants job skills as well as deep empathy.

Others may tell you that it’s who you know in addition to what you teach, but aside from acquaintances and inside relations, check out the following_ secrets presently employed teachers used to land their dream job. (more…)

Posted September 17, 2014 by

Following Up After Interviewing for an Entry Level Job? Here are Some Rules

After interviewing for an entry level job, make sure you follow up using these rules from an infographic in the following post.

One of the most perplexing subjects for job seekers: how and when to follow-up after a job interview. Everyone knows they should follow-up (although truth be told, few actually do). But how? When? At what point to you go from a quality candidate to a creepy stalker?

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Posted September 10, 2014 by

Recent College Graduates, Haven’t Heard Back about the Jobs You Applied for? 7 Rules for Following Up

Recent college graduates who have applied for jobs can become impatient if they feel it’s taking too long to hear back from employers.  In the following post, learn how they can follow up by applying these seven rules.

Proper follow up is an integral piece of your job search, and how you execute can make or break your chances at snagging an interview, or even an offer. And while we live in the digital age where immediate information at our fingertips is the norm, it’s not quite the way the hiring process works.

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Posted September 08, 2014 by

14 Phrases Employees Might Appreciate Hearing from their Employers

Business team celebrating success with arms raised

Business team celebrating success with arms raised. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you are an employer looking to increase the morale of your workers, the following post shares 14 phrases your employees might like to hear.

Todd Patkin shares 14 phrases that will help you connect with your employees.

“I need your help.” The age of rule-with-an-iron-fist, top-down leadership is fading fast. More and more, organizations in all industries are realizing that there’s an almost-magical power in the synergy of teams. Here’s how that applies to you: Your employees all have unique skill sets, experiences, and ideas—so tap into them!

“Yes, your employees will be looking to you to steer your company in the right direction, but I promise, they know you’re human, and they don’t expect you to have all the answers,” Patkin comments. “So the next time you’re facing a difficult decision or brainstorming options, ask your team for help. (more…)

Posted August 21, 2014 by

Tips for the Post-Graduation Job Search

Mother and daughter at graduation

Mother and daughter at graduation. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

After studying abroad, either during your undergraduate or graduate years, you face the unavoidable task of finding a job. Though it may seem like a daunting task, studying abroad has already helped prepare you for the job search by making you a better candidate. By doing your research, finding a job after graduating does not have to be overwhelming. To help you get started, check out our best tips for your job search.

Even before graduating from school and starting your job search, you can gain experience and build your resume by getting internships and jobs in the field you are interested in. These positions give you valuable experience while also showing your dedication to your field – making companies more likely to hire you. Internships and jobs also help you build connections in the industry, whether that means an internship turning into a full-time job or networking with employers your boss knows. (more…)