Besides having the right clothes and a killer resume, you'll also need to have the correct mannerisms to get ahead in a finance career. The Globe and Mail spoke with Frances Cole Jones, author of "The Wow Factor: The 33 Things You Must (And Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today's Business World," about a few simple rules that can hasten your ascent to the top.
1. Whether during an interview over lunch or meeting at your MD's house, always accept a drink if it's offered. According to Cole Jones, who is also principal of Cole Media Management, taking that cup of coffee or water "give[s] a little bit of a camaraderie to a group session."
2. Don't salt your food before tasting it. Adding salt to a food not only can insult the chef, but it also displays your eagerness to act before knowing all the information. It can come off as "poor impulse control," Jones said.
3. On the subject of food, don't send a steak back if it's rare and you ordered medium-well. Being picky is off-putting when you're not dining with family.
3. Make a point to mention your days as a tight end on the school team. Highlight your involvement in team sports on your resume and in conversation. It can be reassuring to a hiring manager who wants proof you can work with others.
4. Keep a clean desk. If your boss walks by and clients' income statements are scattered all over your cubicle, you'll come off looking like you're still in grade school. Add messiness to the list of Instant Credibility Underminers.
Etiquette for Women in Finance
If you're a woman, all of the above still apply, but also keep in mind some other points. Materials taken from a Citigroup workshop urge women to put themselves forward and avoid remaining behind the scenes so they can move up the ladder. Some of their advice:
1. Speak loudly.
2. Don't groom in public.
3. Lean forward at the table in a meeting.
4. Speak early in the meeting.
5. Don't ask permission.
6. Don't apologize for every little thing.
7. Don't smile too often as it can dilute your message.
8. Don't always obey the rules.
9. Don't let competitors take credit for your work.
10. Use a firm handshake.
Write to Julie Steinberg