1.5 Discussion and Activities

Rachel Dolechek and Rose Helens-Hart

1.5.1 Professionalism in email

Instructions: Consider the e-mail below. How well does it execute care, courtesy, and conventionality? How might you rewrite this message to make it sound more professional?

To: Dana Woods <directorhumanresources@marketweb.com>

From : Tye Ger FHSUfan4lyfe@gmail.com

Subject Line: Problem with your sit


I just tried to submit my application online and when I got to the end of the from it popped up saying there was an error! My internet and computer are working fine so i think your site has a issue, which is really an inconvenience. Is their any way i can still submit my application? J I know it is now after the deadline so I have attached my materials.




“Winter is coming.”—George R.R. Martin


Our job applicant, Tye, has not written a professional e-mail. Let us take a look at some of what could be preventing him from making a professional impression on his reader.

First, Tye’s e-mail address “FHSUfan4lyfe@gmail.com” does not follow business communication conventions. It sounds like a student’s e-mail or a sports fan’s email, instead of a serious job applicant. Tye should consider changing his e-mail to TyeGer@gmail.com.

Second, Tye begins his letter with “Hi” rather than “Hello Director Woods.” It is courteous to address people by name and their proper title if you know it. While some names are typical for certain genders, others are not. In any case, you might not use a person’s preferred pronouns unless they are listed in their contact infomormation. Since the contact person’s e-mail address indicates that they are the director of human resources, Tye can refer to them as “Director.” Tye might also be able to find out this person’s professional title or preferred pronouns by doing some searching on the company website or LinkedIn.

Third, there are a number of typos in this e-mail which indicates a lack of care. Tye types “from” instead of “form”, misspells “inconvenience” and does not capitalize “I” which might indicate he is sending the e-mail from a phone. It is hard to proofread on phones. If you can, wait to write e-mails from a computer with a regular keyboard.

Fourth, Tye’s tone is too casual and he might be perceived as rude. He blames the business for his problem, assumes they will accept his late application, and uses an emoticon, which is overly casual for this first communication as is concluding the e-mail with just his first name. Tye should conclude his e-mail with his full name and contact information. Finally, Tye’s Game of Thrones quote again is overly casual and oddly ominous for a business e-mail.

1.5.2 Sharing office space

Imagine you have just been hired into a new position at a company that believes workspaces should be collaborative. As such, the office in which you will work is a renovated loft space. There are no assigned desks and the only walled-off workspace is a conference room with glass walls that double as writing surfaces. A break area in the corner of the 2000 sqft loft includes a kitchen.

Do a search online to find some general tips for how to exhibit care, courtesy, and conventionality in this sort of shared workspace.

1.5.3 Top skills

Review the eight NACE core competencies in Table 1.1. On a three-point scale (1=need to develop, 2=currently developing, 3=excelling), rate yourself on each competency. Next, reflect on how you can improve in each competency. What can you do this month, this year, or in the next 2-5 years to excel (or continue to excel) in each competency?

1.5.4 Professional associations, moral communities

Do an online search for professional associations in your discipline. For example, if you are a talent development major, you might look at the Association for Talent Development or the Society for Human Resource Management.

Once you have located an association, look for its mission, vision, and code of ethics. With this information in mind, how does one demonstrate professionalism in that professional community?

1.5.5. Professionalism SWOT Analysis

Complete a personal SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) of your professionalism to review your strengths, uncover weaknesses, understand your opportunities, and address any threats moving forward.

1.5.6. Difficult Situations in the Job Search Process 

According to Chelsea C. Williams, founder and CEO of College Code, the biggest challenge with professionalism in job hunting is ensuring all candidates understand what professionalism means within the context of the organization they are applying to and the job function they are taking on (Gray, 2021). In other words, professionalism may look different from one organization to another. There may be instances where professionalism in the workplace may be at odds with authenticity. If you were in a situation where you thought an employer might perceive you to be unprofessional due to your appearance or the way you speak, how would you navigate the situation? Who could you contact to discuss your experience and help you navigate this situation?

1.5.7  Networking Pitch

Write a networking pitch that highlights your employability and professionalism. Practice this pitch and share it with your classmates.





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Introduction to Professional Development Copyright © 2022 by Rachel Dolechek and Rose Helens-Hart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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