More than 137 students and community members attended workshops at the 8th annual International Institute of Professional Protocols to learn the importance of communication and self-image, and how to dress professionally and present with confidence.
The event was held in the McKay Building classrooms at BYU-Hawaii from April 6 to 8. On the event page on Handshake, Barbra Barrington Jones said IIPP started becayse “Genuine Gold must be polished...and this program is what does the polishing!”
Ashlyn Steinhour, a sophomore from Texas majoring in international business, said she went because she thought it would be good to have on her resume. “I’m looking forward to what I’m doing after college, and I thought it would be a good way to prepare for that. The classes have been good preparation for the real world”
Steinhour said the best thing she learned was to not use templates for her resumes. “Not using a template on resumes was new to me. The instructor said they will recognize if you use a template,” she said.
The Dress for Success workshop included three separate classes: Women’s Dress for Success, Men’s Dress for Success, and Professional Makeup. Each class had discussions on the proper dressing and grooming standards for professional business environments.
The Women’s Dress for Success instructor, clothing store owner Diane Workman said, “The way someone dresses plays a big part of how we categorize them. A little bit of effort to look polished will make you feel better about yourself.”
Her tips for women’s dress included:
· Be aware of your body shape and make sure your clothes balance it
· Wear clothes that fit, not just clothes with a specific size.
· Try on outfits before you buy them and look in a 360-degree mirror to get a full perspective
Diane also put together a list “Nevers” for women’s professional dress:
· Showing cleavage
· Nose, lip or tongue studs
· Visible tattoos
· Excessive fingernail lengths and designs
· Wearing a backpack
While Diane’s class focused on looking fashionable and professional, her husband Bill Workman’s course Men’s Dress for Success focused more on classic, conservative professional dress.
When going to an interview Bill recommended men should wear:
· A two-three piece suit in either grey, black, navy blue, or brown
· A long sleeved white, pastel or blue shirt
· A neck-tie
· Matching belt and shoes
· Acceptable accessories included: a metallic watch, pocket square, tie-bar, or a collar bar
The majority of the attendees of the Professional Makeup course were female participants. Taught by Connie Green, who owns her own salon in Arizona, the course focused on using makeup to accentuate identity and not looks.
“When you walk into a room, you don’t want your future employer to see just lips or eyes. You want them to see you,” said Connie.
Connie moved around the class, teaching techniques on proper application and complimenting the class members as they practiced using product provided by the workshop.
“I really appreciated the eyebrow instruction because everyone struggles with them,” said Lani Tautuaa, a BYUH graduate from Tonga. “Sometimes they're cousins, sometimes they're sisters,” she said while laughing. “Knowing about the proper measurements of how the eyebrows should line up was very helpful.”
In the course Resume Building, Bill told the students to have friends tell them skills and traits they have. “Transferrable skills are the way you sell yourself even though you may not have experience in the industry you are applying for.”
Bill also advised students to clean up their social media before they send out a resume. He informed the class that the human resources department at most companies now research applicants’ social media pages before interviews.
His other resume tips included:
· Don’t have gaps in work experience
· If you’ve served a mission, call it a “Volunteer Humanitarian Service”
· Be creative without being adolescent
· Use numbers and statistics to give evidence of skills
· Put schooling on resume even if you haven’t graduated
Debra Washburn, who taught the Everyday Communication workshop, focused on how good communicators have confidence. She said confidence is a learned behavior done by recognizing self-worth and developing identity. Once someone has confidence, they can then show interest in others.
“Be an interested person,” said Washburn. “Be genuinely interested in other people. It will make a big difference when it comes to having great conversations professionally.”
Wayne Green, a self-employed business owner, spoke to students about entrepreneurship and told them to ask people, “What is the biggest problem you have?” The majority of the workshop was full of Green telling stories of finding business opportunities from the answers to that question.
When it comes to business dinners and lunches, the Etiquette and Manners workshop presented by Cucuk was focused on how not to mess up an opportunity and be polite.
Cucuk’s underlying rule for the class was, “You don’t make a big deal out of anything in etiquette.”
To emphasize her point, she told the story of watching a lady at a professional meeting drop a chicken wing from her plate, an embarrassing moment. Rather than making a big deal and trying to pick it up the lady nonchalantly kicked it under a table.
Cucuk concluded, “Even if you’re embarrassed stay calm and don’t make a big deal.”