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Ethical Conduct

Principles for Professional Conduct for Career Services & Employment Professionals

Career services and employment professionals are involved in an important process; helping students choose and attain personally rewarding careers, and helping employers develop effective college relations programs which contribute to effective candidate selections for their organizations. The impact of this process upon individuals and organizations requires commitment by practitioners to principles for professional conduct.

Career services and employment professionals are involved in this process in a partnership effort, with a common goal of achieving the best match between the individual student and the employing organization. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), as the national professional association for career planning, placement, and recruitment, is also concerned with this process. The concern led NACE to the development and adoption of the Principles for Professional Conduct. The principle presented below is designed to provide practitioners with a basic precept for students involved in the recruitment process.

Principles for Students in the Career Search Process

Career services professionals will advise students about their obligations in the recruitment process and establish mechanisms to encourage their compliance. Students' obligations include providing accurate information; adhering to schedules; accepting an offer of employment in good faith; notifying employers on a timely basis of an acceptance or non-acceptance and withdrawing from the recruiting process after accepting an offer of employment; interviewing only with employers for whom students are interested in working for and whose eligibility requirements they meet; and requesting reimbursement of only reasonable and legitimate expenses incurred in the recruitment process.

Accepting a job offer is a contractual agreement, and students are expected to honor the commitment.  After accepting a job offer, students are advised to discontinue the job search.  It is not ethical to withdraw the acceptance of any job offer.

The following are basic guidelines:

  • It is ethical to negotiate in good faith for better terms.
  • It is not ethical to accept a job offer while continuing your search for another job or waiting for another company to offer you a better position.

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