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Lisa Richey, an etiquette expert, speaks about how to make a good impression when searching for a professional job.

Penn students discovered yesterday that sometimes all it takes to successfully market oneself is maintaining direct eye contact, giving a good, firm handshake and flashing a confident smile.

These were among the more commonly-known business etiquette tips shared at part one of the Life After Penn series, entitled "Building a Solid Professional Foundation." Lisa Richey, president and founder of the American Academy of Etiquette, was the speaker at the seminar held at the Penn Bookstore. Part two of the series will be conducted there today at 3 p.m.

The goal of the presentation is to encourage students to regard themselves as personal name-brands looking to increase their marketability and improve their self-worth.

"The objective of today is to plan your brand before someone else beats you to it," Richey said. "We are all in sales, especially as we move further in our careers," she added.

Her speech included the importance of communication in the business world, how to correctly introduce professional people to one-another and what is considered proper e-mail etiquette.

"E-mails need to be short and to the point, without many typos and abbreviations, and they should always contain full contact information" Richey said.

Among the things she considered to be damaging to one's professional reputation are having a bad attitude and arriving late to work. She also stressed the importance of keeping good posture, standing before greeting people and asking questions to solicit feedback. These things, Richey said, "will show the speaker you're paying attention to the message because not giving full attention is the missing link in customer and client service."

Director of Administrative Services for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions Elizabeth Hughes was among those in attendance to hear Richey's message to students about moving forward in the workforce after graduation.

"I think for someone just coming out of college she made some very useful comments," Hughes said.

College of General Studies student Daireen Garcia, who Richey used to demonstrate a correct handshake, said she was anxious to start practicing her newfound business etiquette techniques.

With regard to the "web-to-web handshake" Garcia said, "[It's something] I don't do that I will start doing." She added, "[Richey] came across as someone very easy to talk to and I wish her speech would've been longer."

Richey left students with a valuable bit of information that summed up her entire visit in one short sentence.

"Carry yourself like you know where you're going," she said.

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