"I eat my peas with honey, I've done it all my life.
It may taste kind of funny but it keeps them on my knife."

This is one of the only poems I can repeat from memory, a poem oft-quoted by my mother, and--often in the same breath as "Mabel, Mabel, strong and able...keep your elbows off the table."

Regardless of whether manners and etiquette are important to you, you can count on the fact that they may be important to the employers and individuals who help you in the job search. Fortunately, many of the "standards" for behavior are generally universal in scope--firm handshakes (for the U.S. based job search), saying "thank you for your consideration" in a cover letter, and sending a follow-up note post-interview.

What's less clear is etiquette protocol surrounding Web 2.0 and cell phones. Given that my mother has never sent a text message, I need more go-to resources on this...(and I find many of them through my friends at Career Hub).

In her latest post on Water Cooler Wisdom, Alexandra Levit shares Five Burning Questions about Tech Etiquette from Real Simple magazine. This piece provides expert answers to all of these questions you might even not have thought to ask.

1. You’re walking down the street and listening to your iPod when you run into someone you know. Do you need to remove both earbuds to talk to her?

2. Is it rude to check your PDA at a friend’s house?

3. How quickly must I respond to an e-mail? Are the standards different for work e-mails versus personal e-mails?

4. If someone calls you, can you e-mail the person back or send a text message if you’re not in the mood to talk? What if you text or e-mail someone and the person calls you back?


 5. Is using BCC on an e-mail considered sneaky? (Note: I especially liked this answer, as it had information I had not previously considered).

To learn the answers to these questions, check out the posting on Alexandra's Water Cooler Wisdom blog.