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5 Tips to Make a Great Impression on Your First Day at Work

Congratulations!  You’ve just landed a new job and you’ll be starting very soon!  It’s an exciting time! (Especially if you sold yourself on a bunch of ‘skills’ that are actually still in development.) Now, lest you think that you’re sitting pretty, let us casually remind you that making a solid first impression with your new boss and coworkers on the first day is still an important task to accomplish.

With that firmly in mind we’d like to take a moment to give you 5 tips on your first day at the job. If you’re keen to start your new job on the right foot take a moment to read them and then take them to heart.

1) The Introduction.  OK, first things first.  Everyone is going to be asking you who you are and what you do.  Your best bet is to practice your introduction, like your elevator pitch, so that you can rattle it off at a moment’s notice. Remember that you have a job now and are, in effect, a different person and customize your spiel accordingly.

2) Take advantage of your status as the ‘new’ guy or gal and ask as many questions as possible. Remember that, after a few days and certainly a few weeks some of the questions that you have now will seem foolish or even ‘dumb’ so get them out of the way as fast as you can.  Heck, you can always blow over a dumb question asked by simply saying ‘sorry I’m new’ and shrugging your shoulders but keep in mind that this won’t last for long.

3) Speak up and speak clearly.  There’s no shame in being a little shy or taken aback when you first start a new job but, on the other hand, you can also take the opportunity to let people see your confident, passionate side as well. They don’t know you from Adam and so, if you like, you can recreate yourself in whatever image you wish. Communicating firmly and clearly is a great way to start.

4) Of course another part of communication is the listening part so, when appropriate, shut your pie-hole for just a sec and take in what people are saying without replying. You can certainly give intelligent responses to show that you are following the conversation but the fact is that people like to hear themselves talk and love a good listener.  As long as you don’t let them push you around with their words you’ll do good to just listen until you’re ready to really speak up.

5) Finally, if it’s possible, take notes.  This will not only help you later when it’s time to remember a key phrase, name, or whatever but will make the people talking to you feel more important because you’re noting down what they’re saying. Taking notes lets you feed their egos and make yourself some important ‘info snacks’ to munch on later when you have a moment to gather your thoughts.

And there you have them.  5 Tips that will make your first day(s) a little more pleasant and will leave a pleasant taste in the mouths of your new coworkers. Use them well grasshopper and good luck in your new position.

100 Best Jobs for 2013

Are you planning to get a new job or start a new career in 2013? Well you should head over to US News and World Report‘s website. They just put out their ranking of the 100 best jobs in 2013. The top 10 jobs are either healthcare-related or computer-related. I see this trend continuing for at least the next 5 years. What is interesting to me is that the # 1 job is dentist. I really didn’t even imagine this as being in top demand just because I only see my dentist twice a year. But I can tell you that every time I try to make an appointment, it is very difficult since they are booked solid.

Getting a Job is an Inside Job

Firstly, I want to take a moment to wish everyone happy holidays.

With the economy in a slump and the unemployed rate steadily rising, many people are finding themselves jobless and searching without any luck. Having a degree and experience sometimes just isn’t enough. You can have a perfect resume, but that does not mean you will find employment. Many people nowadays rely solely on sending out applications online or submitting their resumes to employees with little to no interaction with anyone who works at the company. While that may work with some people, it doesn’t always guarantee success for landing a job. It is important to develop personal relationships with the appropriate people in order to find proper employment. In the end, it is those relationships that will have employers coming your way and will expose you to more job opportunities.

It’s an unfortunate fact that many are suffering from long term unemployment. Even those with experience in a certain field and/or a college degree are finding their job inquiries unanswered, are not being called back for interviews, or are having their resumes ignored in general. This is because companies aren’t likely to hire people they don’t know. The only way to solve this problem is to get involved with those people who are affiliated with these companies and make connections. In order to do this, you will have to do some in person marketing and try to “hang out” with people who have connections, and make connections of your own. By knowing the right people, you can get your foot in the door so to speak. Companies are more likely to hire people they are familiar with, than people who blindly send in resumes or apply online. It is also easier to make an impression during an interview this way.

You will be more likely to get an interview if you are referred to the company by someone who works for the company and has the trust of the manager. By gaining the trust of people affiliated or employed by a company, you are also indirectly gaining the trust of the higher-ups in the company, increasing your chances of getting hired. It is important to make these connections that will get you recognized by employers. Sending in a resume online isn’t enough.

Many people go by the assumption that using websites to get jobs is the best choice. It certainly is the easiest. It doesn’t require going on any interviews and it is much faster and impersonal. However, most employers don’t thoroughly review all of the applications they receive online, and that certainly will be a high number considering the amount of people who rely solely on searching for jobs online. If the hiring manager of a company is familiar with the type of work ethic you have based on accounts from people whom are employed by the company, then your chances of being hired have been increased. You are more likely to get hired by knowing the right people than by depending on the internet alone.

6 Tips on Writing a Thank You E-mail After a Job Interview

In today’s culture, writing a thank you e-mail after a job interview is a lost art. Most people would rather text or tweet a ‘thank you note’ than take the time to do it the traditional way. I would argue that writing a thank you e-mail would be looked upon more favorably because no one does it anymore. Below are 7 tips that you should follow when crafting your thank you -email.

1. What’s the purpose of writing a thank you e-mail?

It shows you’re interested in the job and gives you an opportunity to express gratitude to interviewers who take time to talk to you or to meet with you.

2. What’s the content of a thank you e-mail?

Keep your thank you e-mail short. However, you should express appreciation, reiterate qualification, highlight values you’ll bring to the position, ask for the job, or ask for the next step of the interview process in your thank you e-mail.

3. What else should I pay attention to besides the content of a thank you e-mail?

Spell check your thank you e-mail and ask a friend to proof read your e-mail prior sending it. A thank you e-mail is a reflection of you. A thank you e-mail is full of spelling and grammatical errors will reflect you poorly.

4. How soon should I e-mail a thank you e-mail?

A thank you e-mail should be sent within two business days after the interview.

5. How do I e-mail a thank you e-mail if I don’t have hiring manager’s e-mail address?

Ask your recruiter to forward the thank you e-mail. Ask the contact person who sets up the interview to forward the thank you e-mail.

6. Should I send a thank you e-mail after a phone interview?

Yes, everyone loves a thank you e-mail as long as you convey your sincere appreciation towards interviewers in your thank you e-mail as long as you don’t come across as desperate for the position.

6 Reasons Why You’re Not Moving Up the Ranks in Your Career

Hearing that you have been passed up for a job promotion can be very disappointing. The truth is that your boss is probably just as uncomfortable delivering the news as you are receiving it. Usually we end up walking away wondering why we were not chosen for the promotion. The following reasons can be insightful as to why you are being passed up:

1. Lacking the skills required for the position. Employees commonly have misconceptions that promotion decisions are based solely on their performance in their current position. Although this is certainly considered, this does not necessarily mean you will succeed in the new position as well. The key to getting ahead is to become familiar with the job requirements of the position that you want, and determine the skills that you will need to improve on in order to succeed in the position. Tell your boss that you are interested in moving up the ladder, and ask for their advice on how to get there.

2. Lacking the necessary soft skills to do the job. You will need to have mastered some soft skills such as dealing with people, leadership and business communication.

Develop the soft skills that you will need in order to succeed in the position that you want. Then, show the skills by volunteering to lead a presentation or by mentoring a new employee, etc.

3. Not handling constructive criticism well. Your boss is only telling you how to improve your work performance, and this is crucial information when you are chasing after a promotion. When you receive feedback, resist the urge to defend yourself. Instead, take the info and see what you can learn from it.

4. Lack of professionalism. How you behave and dress, your ability to maintain confidentiality, your participation in office gossip are important both in the company of coworkers as well as management. For example, you should not take out your frustrations about problems in the work environment to the break room, but instead look for a solution.

5. Not taking initiative. Becoming a problem solver shows that you have concern for your career as well as the long-term health of the business. Do not simply document problems that you see. Analyze them, and find ways to participate in developing a solution.

6. Thinking like an employee, rather than a manager. If you act as though you are only showing up for work to receive your paycheck at the end of the week, it is unlikely that you will be on the list of candidates for a promotion. It is a good idea to express your own interest in things that happen in the workplace.

Being passed up on a promotion should not be the end of the world, but a great learning opportunity instead. Review these reasons, learn from the past, and keep working towards the promotion that you are wanting.

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