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Student Professionalism Expectations and Recruiting Policies Building your professional reputation while building your career

Through the Office of Career Engagement, students have exposure to employers and alumni through career fairs, panels, networking receptions, and on-campus interviews. Every interaction with the Office of Career Engagement, employers, and alumni involves developing your personal brand, reputation, and professionalism. Therefore, we expect you to act with the highest standards of integrity, good judgment, timeliness, honesty, and open communication. 

The Office of Career Engagement follows a strict no-show policy for career activities and employer-related events, both on- and off-campus.  

 

Expectations & Student Responsibilities

Treat all your commitments with the office as if they are business meetings and apply the same standards:

Building a good professional reputation requires consistent positive decisions and actions; one negative act can damage your reputation and possibly impair your career. Similarly, as part of the Kogod community, your individual actions help (or negatively impact) the Kogod brand and all its stakeholders, most importantly current and future students. As part of its mission to provide lifelong career management skills, the Office of Career Engagement enforces consequences for unprofessional behavior that align with those that will occur in your future workplaces and career.  

Information Sessions, Office Hours, and On-Campus Interviews 

*Arrive on time, be prepared, and be ready to engage with all on-campus events.  

  • If you RSVP "Yes," then we expect you to attend any event that you’ve registered for. If you cannot attend, you are required to cancel within the timeframes outlined below. It is critical that students fulfill their obligations and honor all scheduled employer and alumni events.  

  • Only register for information sessions, office hours, on-campus interviews, and other on-campus recruiting activities with employers that you are truly interested in and that do not conflict with other commitments. If you cancel late or fail to show-up, this reflects poorly on you as well as the university. This will also jeopardize Kogod’s relationship with employers and/or alumni. Your registration represents your commitment to arrive on time, prepared and professional. 

  • Information Sessions: If you cannot attend, you must cancel within 24 hours. If you fail to show up for more than two events in a semester, you may lose access to Handshake. If an emergency arises at the last minute, notify the host as soon as possible. If you are not sure of the host, call our front desk at (202) 885-1908 or email kogodcareers@american.edu

  • Office Hours: If you cannot attend, you must cancel before the schedule closes. If you cancel after the schedule closes or do not show up, you will be considered a no-show. If you are you a no-show for office hours, you will be required to meet with the Assistant Dean before being cleared to register for any future Office of Career Engagement opportunities. 

  • On-Campus Interviews: If you cannot attend, you must cancel before the schedule closes. If you cancel after the schedule closes or do not show up, you will be considered a no-show. If you are you a no-show for office hours, you will be required to meet with the Assistant Dean before being cleared to register for any future Office of Career Engagement opportunities. 

Advising Appointments and Programs 

The advising team provides targeted support through market-relevant programs, high impact programs, and online resources. Students are empowered to understand themselves, identify career goals, and create a personalized strategy. When engaging with advising appointments and programs: 

  • Advising Appointments: Check in on time and be prepared with the topics you’d like to discuss. If you have tasks due from previous meetings, bring them completed to your appointment. Showing up 5 or more minutes late will typically result in the appointment being cancelled. Late cancellations (less than 24 hours notice) and missed appointments may result in the loss of privileges.  

  • Programs and Workshops: Attend all programs and workshops for which you register and be prepared to be an active participant.  

Exercise good judgment in your attire for office events (anything with an employer or alumni present) 

Business Attire 

Tailored, dark suit (black, charcoal gray, navy blue) or subtle pattern (pinstripe). The suit jacket should fit well, pants or skirt should be perfectly hemmed. Skirts should end at, or one inch above, your knee. Pressed collared shirt (long-sleeved white or conservative, solid color), or for some, a knit shirt or silk camisole. Silk tie with subtle colors or patterns. Polished dress shoes with dark socks, flats or closed-toe heels (black or brown) with pantyhose or tights. 

Business attire is strongly recommended for attendance at job fairs, networking receptions, and interviews, whereas business casual attire is often appropriate for employer information sessions, panel discussions, and other presentations.   

Business Casual 

Dress or tailored separates, such as slacks, skirt, blouse, sweater, sweater set, or jacket. Collared or knit shirt, sweater, or blazer. Suit without a tie and dress pants or pressed khakis with leather belt. Stylish flats or closed-toe heels with pantyhose or tights. Or polished dress shoes with dark socks. 

Other Guidelines 

Avoid distracting jewelry, sleeveless shirts without jacket on top, excessive makeup or perfume/cologne, unbuttoned shirts and other exposing clothing, and clothing that is very fitted, baggy or trendy. Hair and facial hair should be neatly groomed. 

Represent yourself accurately and honestly: 

  • Update your Handshake profile and resume regularly (at least once a semester) with academic, co-curricular, and work information. 

  • Include only activities or information that have already happened on your resume, not what you think will occur in the future. Answer interview questions fully and honestly. 

  • Ensure emails, cover letters, resumes, and online profiles are error-free and have a professional tone. Make an appointment with a career advisor for a review if needed. 

Conduct your internship and job search with integrity: 

  • Pursue positions in which you have a genuine interest and that fit your qualifications. Only apply if you would accept an interview. 

  • Withdraw your candidacy as soon as possible if during the process you lose interest or accept another position. This allows other interested students to apply.  

  • Accept interview invitations only if you are fully prepared for the interview, can adjust your schedule to participate, and are committed to pursuing the position.  

  • Send a thank you note within 24 hours of an interview and indicate if you are still interested in pursuing the opportunity. 

  • Meet with a career advisor when you receive an offer to discuss accepting or declining professionally.  

  • Accept or reject an offer in a timely and gracious manner so you continue to build your relationship and provide the opportunity for other students to be considered. 

  • Keep your commitment(s) to an employer, such as acceptance of an interview or job offer. 

Communicate your job and internships: 

  • Notify the office of your acceptance so we can celebrate your good news and focus on students still searching. 

  • Complete KSB and Office of Career Engagement surveys, including the Post-Graduation Survey. We aggregate this data and send it to external ranking organizations (e.g., BusinessWeek, US News & World Reports, Princeton Review, etc.) which improves the value of your degree. 

Manage your reputation: 

  • Accept an offer only when you are ready to make a commitment to work with the employer. Although they may represent the two biggest decisions of your life so far, accepting an offer for employment is not the same as accepting your offer to attend American University. Reneging on a job offer acceptance can destroy your brand just as you are entering the market and have long-term repercussions on future employability. 

  • Meet with a career advisor as soon as possible if you have any doubts about accepting an offer or are feeling pressured to decide prior to exploring all your options. We can help you decide objectively or develop a negotiation strategy to give you the necessary time. 

  • Withdraw from any outstanding searches as soon as you accept so you are not tempted to continue your search. 

If you have any questions about these expectations or need clarification, please contact the Office of Career Engagement at (202) 885-1908 or kogodcareers@american.edu 


Impact of Unprofessional Behavior 

Building a good professional reputation requires consistent positive decisions and actions; one negative act can damage your reputation and possibly impair your career. Similarly, as part of the Kogod community, your individual actions help (or negatively impact) the Kogod brand and all of its stakeholders, most importantly current and future students.

As part of its mission to provide lifelong career management skills, the Office of Career Engagement enforces consequences for unprofessional behavior that align with those that will occur in your future workplaces and career. Our guiding questions in enforcing professionalism: What would your boss do if you performed this way on the job? How are Kogod's relationships and reputation impacted by your behavior?

When your conduct does not align with the above expectations and you fail to meet your responsibilities, the office will immediately address the situation so you can learn and proactively resolve the situation professionally. Examples of failing to meet these expectations include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Missing an event to which you have RSVP'd (Industry Days, Site Visits, Employer Information Sessions, Career Management Advisor Appointments, Workshops, etc.)
  • Failing to participate in a scheduled on-campus interview
  • Misrepresenting yourself in your Handshake profile, your resume, cover letter, or an interview
  • Dressing inappropriately for an event
  • Breaking a commitment to an employer such as accepting an interview or job offer and then reneging.

If the Office of Career Enagagement perceives you have behaved unprofessionally, you will be notified in a timely manner to meet with a staff member to discuss the incident. In the interim, access to office resources including Handshake may be suspended. 

Consequences will be determined by the Assistant Dean of Career Services based on the severity of the negative impact of your action, and can include the following:

  • Loss of access to office resources and/or services (Handshake, appointments, online tools, etc.)
  • Inability to attend office functions (Industry Days, Information Sessions, Interviews, etc.)
  • Referral to Kogod Dean of Students for further disciplinary action
  • The duration of loss of services and requirements to regain eligibility (such as writing an apology letter to an employer or alumnus) are at the discretion of the Assistant Dean of Careers Services.

If you have any questions about these expectations or need clarification, please contact the Office of Career Engagement at (202) 885-1908 or kogodcareers@american.edu

 

Questions?

Office of Career Engagement
Phone: (202) 885-1908
Email: kogodcareers@american.edu

Hours:
Monday through Friday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Evening Hours by Appointment,
Monday through Thursday


Drop In Advising with a Peer Consultant:
Monday through Friday
from 1 to 4 p.m.

Meet an Advisor

Career advisors can help you improve your resume and develop a job search strategy.

Schedule a time