Here's an easy cheat sheet and checklist for the do's and don't's of getting a professional job! 

1. DON’T print your resume on regular printer paper…. NO this may seem like not a big deal but print it on RESUME paper. The career services office at DU will do it for you for FREE so take that extra 10 minutes and DO IT. I saw so many people with their resumes on printer paper and slightly wrinkled from being left out. Take a file folder and keep your resume nice and neat. The little things will set you apart. 

2. DON’T not show up to an interview. I thought this was common sense, especially in the hard pressed economy we live in, but apparently it’s not. In my two weeks I’ve seen five people not show up to a second round interview. Even if you’re not too sure about the job, you got an interview so take advantage of that opportunity and just GO. If you already know you don’t want the job think of it as a practice interview for an interview in the future that will really count! If you decide not to go, call the office and let them know. Honest is the best thing you can be; simply say, "I don’t think this is a good fit, I’m sorry", it’s respectful and the owner won’t be left hanging high and dry.

3. DON’T quit after the first day. In the last two weeks I’ve seen 3 people do this. They show up to the office for their first day orientation and you never see them again after that. If you’re worried about whether or not you’ll like a job, once you’re offered the job, ask if you can come into a morning meeting or shadow someone for a day before you make your decision. An employer has to respect this and if they can’t allow you to do it, then ask for 24 hours to think about it. Be honest and say, “I’m honored you’re offering me the position, but I’d like 24 hours to think it over, so that I can rationally make a decision considering all aspects.” This gives you a day to be excited over the offer but also sit down and really consider all of the aspects of the job. I know how exciting it is to get offered your first job. I took the first job I was offered and it turned out that it wasn’t the best fit for me and my lifestyle and so I had to call them back (see number 4 for this). But rationally thinking over everything allowed me to pick the job that was best for me and my lifestyle, not just my bank account. 

4. DON’T ghost on your new employer. This goes right along with number three. If you’re offered a job and you accept you need to either show up and give it a shot, OR call and say, never mind, no thank you. This is a very hard thing to do and you have to swallow your pride, but I personally called an employer that I’d accepted a job with and said, “I’m sorry I’ve had a change of plans and can no longer accept your job offer” it was a super awkward call that I didn’t want to make, but on that phone call, the owner of that company thanked me for calling and being honest. I was the only person who had ever done that, he too said he’d had three no shows.

5. DON’T ask the wrong questions. Remember that saying, “no question is ever a bad question” that was drilled into us as kids? Throw that out the window, welcome to the adult world, there are A LOT of bad questions. So things you should NEVER ask about include, money and benefits packages, drugs or drug testing-that’s a dead giveaway and you’ll never be considered, and office drama. Many of us are worried about money, and rightfully so, but your first round interview is NOT the place to talk about money or benefits. If you get to the second round interview you may ask, but NEVER ask in the first interview. Now that I’ve been in the business a while, the person who hired me, straight up told me that anyone who asks about money isn’t considered. Don’t ruin your chances by worrying about logistics, instead focus on building a relationship with who is interviewing you and take things one step at a time. As with money, living in Colorado we all want to know if we can keep up our guilty weed pleasures, but asking if a company drug tests is a dead giveaway that you’re a user and you don’t want someone to pin you as a stoner who can’t do a job. You want to put your best foot forward, leave the guilty pleasures at home until you’re well into a company and you know the rules without having to ask. And lastly, NEVER ask about office drama. Sure it may be an honest question, no one wants to work in a high school drama filled office, but an employer will not see it as that in your interview. Instead, ask about the company culture and the office dynamic. Employers like knowing that you’re interested in personally investing yourself into their company, so if you show you’re willing to invest in company culture, they’ll love you.



1. Do print your resume on nice resume paper and take one to EVERY interview! 

2. Do dress professionally (See “It's All About the Power Pants”)

3. Do communicate well- both through emails and calls! Always send a thank you follow up call or email right after your interview!

4. Do sell yourself, don’t be too reserved- that’s the whole goal of an interview, this is an OKAY time to brag about yourself just do it in a professional way. 

5. Do ask questions in your interviews- some good ones I used include

  • What is your company culture like? (goal here is to asses those “office drama” questions in an professional way)
  • What is the ideal candidate for this position? (goal here is to try to understand if your personality and character traits are a good fit for the job)
  • What are the expectations of a normal day? What does a typical day in the office look like?
  • Is there anything about my resume that concerns you? (goal here is to give yourself a chance to redeem a doubt they already have about you from your resume)
  • How much outside time is expected with this job? (Ex: I have meetings 3 nights a week that are unpaid yet expected)
  • Where do you see this company and everyone in it in 5-10 years?
  • What are the opportunities for growth here? (goal here is to assess how far you can grow without hitting a glass ceiling)
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years with this company? (goal here is to get them to walk you through what your next 5 years will look like)