Things You Won’t Learn in the Classroom.

Photo by Pete Prodoehl

There are not enough hours in the day for student to sit in class and learn every single detail of how to be successful in a job, which is a good and bad thing. Some things teachers just can’t teach us because they can only be acquired in your own experience.

What you should have learned in college (but probably didn’t) by Meredith Coburn offers some really great tools we all need to know in order to be successful in the job search and job world.

1. Phone Etiquette.

Thanks to my internship at March of Dimes I have made endless phone calls. At the time I really didn’t enjoy it, but now I appreciate the experience. Before this opportunity I was a terrible phone talker. I would get nervous or stumble on my words. After a lot of practice I can talk to just about anyone on the phone without a problem. I would have never learned how to talk on the phone in the classroom.

Here’s some advice:

-Speak slow and clear

-When answering a phone say good morning, the name of your company, and your name, and “how can I help you.”

Here’s how I do it. “Good morning, March of Dimes, this is Olivia how can I help you?”

-If you don’t know the answer to something don’t panic, politely put them on hold and ask someone else for the answer.

-Always return a phone call.

-Before hanging up, ask if they have any other questions for you. Say thank you for calling, have a nice day! It is important to make your company look professional while on the phone.

2. Multitasking.

I am a forgetful person and can’t seem to remember all of the things I need to get done unless I write them down. Coburn puts emphasis on the importance of a daily to-do list. I need to remember this one. We all have a million things to do in a day so making a simple but thorough list of the things you need to do each day will help you avoid forgetting to do something important.

3. Keep it Simple.

I have never been one to use outrageous words while writing but I have friends who do and it makes me scratch my head while trying to understand what they are saying. People like things made easy. No one wants to spend an extra ten minutes looking up word meanings while reading an article. A good rule of thumb from Coburn, “Would the average reader have to look this up?” If the answer is yes, pick a different word or phrase.

4. Forget About Lengthy Paragraphs.

Everybody is on a time crunch these days. No one wants to read long paragraphs. Keep it simple and get straight to the point. You’ll get more readers that way.

5. Grammar.

The grammar issue comes up again. The better your grammar is the more intelligent you will sound. Employers aren’t going to spend the time teaching you proper grammar, they will find someone who already knows how to write. The AP Stylebook, aka the grammar bible will help you avoid any silly grammar mistakes. Use it!

These are all very simple steps, but each one is very important. Take the time to recognize each of these things and make sure you are following them. Employers will love it.

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