Kia-Marie Peer Helper Blogs

 How to survive your first day/month at a new job?

Monday 27th November 2017 – Kia-Marie P.

So, after reading all the previous blogs about how to search for a job and prepare for interviews it is also important to think about what you once you lock down a job. Below are some tips to help you make the most of your first day and leave a good impression.

  1. Set out your clothes the night before:

It is important that you prepare for your first day on the job from the night before to ensure you do not run into any delays on the next day. Plan a specific outfit and put it together. Dress professionally; it is better to be overdressed than underdressed until you can observe how the other employees at the company dress so you can follow their example.

  1. Arrive early and leave late

Being timely is a great way to showcase yourself as someone who is diligent and serious about your job. You should also not be the first person to leave when the workday ends. Counting down the time for the workday to be over and rushing to leave as the time comes can leave a bad impression. It may seem like a small thing to you but managers notice these behaviors and draw conclusions about your work ethic.

  1. Have a positive attitude and introduce yourself

Take the initiative to introduce yourself to the co-works you encounter during your first day. Your manager may take you around the company and introduce you to people but if not it would be up to you to take initiative. Smile and use your interpersonal skills to begin establishing relationships and connections with your colleagues. This is a form of networking and you will be able to use the connections you make among your colleagues to benefit you in future job searches by keeping in contact through websites like LinkedIn.

  1. Take notes and stay organized​​

Your manager will most likely give you an orientation on the rules and guidelines of the company. Bring a notebook and take notes during explanations, as they will be invaluable to you in the future if you cannot remember something. You should also take the time to figure out a system that works for you to stay organized when keeping track of meeting and tasks or assignments given to you. You can do this using a daily or weekly planner, a desk calendar or even using an Excel sheet to create to do lists.

  1. Don’t be disheartened if the job does not meet your expectations

Not every job turns out to be exactly as outlined in the job description online. You may come to realize as you learn more about the day-to-day expectations of your role that it is not what you were expecting to be doing. However, this is an opportunity for you to reassess your goals for and still make the best of it by determining what you can learn in such a role that will be beneficial for your future.

  1. Listen more than talk

Now I know this maybe a very hard concept to accept especially if you are an extrovert and are very outgoing but in your first few weeks on the job it would be in your benefit to try to talk less and instead listen and observe your colleagues. You will find that you understand more about the day-to-day operations of the company as well as the company culture by doing so and it will help you to assimilate into the role faster. I do not mean that you should stay completely silent and not contribute at all, rather determine the appropriate times for you to contribute and ask questions. This is a skill we all must learn to be successful in the workplace.

Some other things you can do to make the most of your job experience especially when it is a contract job that has a short duration are:

  1. Find a mentor among the senior staff to get advice on how you can develop
  2. Track your accomplishments to use as examples in future interviews
  3. Set goals both short term and long term that you want to accomplish in your role
  4. Show your appreciation and stay in touch when you leave

Thanks for reading,

- Kia

LinkedIn 101: Your Career Profile for Success

Monday, November 6th - Kia-Marie P.

LinkedIn is a business social networking platform that is quickly becoming the go-to for job searching, recruitment and networking platform in this digital age. It is becoming one of the most common ways for Recruitment/ HR personnel to screen candidates and find potential candidates to add to their company’s workforce.

I would highly recommend making an account if you do not already have one and completing all the profile fields if you have one, but have not finished it yet. Fill in all the fields with information about your work experience, volunteering, achievements and passions. This is a digital professional profile to direct potential employers to see an expanded version of the experience you were not able to fully capture on your two-page resume.

Whether you are a co-op student looking for a new work term placement or in your final year of school and looking for a job for after graduation, having a LinkedIn profile offers you numerous benefits, including the following:

  1.  Building a Professional Network

LinkedIn allows you connect with people you have met or worked with over your time in University. It is important to stay connected with the people that you have worked with in the past, as 80% of jobs today are gained through networking rather than regular job search channels. This means that building a strong network on LinkedIn would allow you to capitalize on jobs opportunities that your peers and former colleges may be aware about.

  1. Conducting Company Research for a Job Interview/Search

One major factor when preparing for an interview is researching the company and ensuring you fully understand the job you are applying to. You can visit company pages to find out information about the hiring process, company values and see what people are saying about the company. You can also look up employees who work in companies or fields that you are interested in and message them to conduct informational interviews where you ask them about what they do in their job, what they like about a company or what the company culture is to improve your knowledge and understanding. When doing this, you should always ask to join the person’s network so you can continue to stay in touch.

  1. Access to Job Boards and Direct Applications

LinkedIn is a great place to start your job search to see what opportunities are available. Many companies will post openings on the job board in LinkedIn and some applications may allow you to apply directly using your LinkedIn profile, which makes application processes easier and more efficient. LinkedIn also has Job email alerts which allows you to receive recommend job lists frequently based on the information and skills you have listed on you profile too.

  1. Let Recruiters come to you:

Recruiters and HR personnel can pay to have access to more features on the back end of LinkedIn, which allows them to carry out recruiting activities. The skills section of your profile is essential for this to benefit you as recruiters refine the people they are looking at based on a list of skills that they would like you to have for the position they are hiring for. Filling out the skills section of your profile will give you a greater chance of a recruiter seeing your profile and offering you an interview.

Some tips to keep in mind when using LinkedIn to capitalize on the job searching opportunities presented by the platform are:

  • You must have a picture on your profile

It is recommended that you have a professional headshot as your profile picture, however even a selfie of you alone is better than no picture at all. When potential connections are searching up people on LinkedIn it is more likely for you to show on their lists if you have a photo.

  • Utilize the Private mode feature

The Private mode feature is a very helpful feature on LinkedIn for when you are doing company research and are looking at people’s profiles. LinkedIn automatically tells each user when and who looked at their profile, which may be unwanted if you are doing research to prepare for an interview. Using private mode would mean that while people would still be notified that someone viewed their profile, it will just state that it was an anonymous user and not list your name.

  • Let Recruiters know you are open to opportunities

Under the Privacy menu in settings on LinkedIn you are given the option to turn on the feature that would allow recruiters to know that you are currently seeking a job, which is a great opportunity for jobseekers as it increases your chances of appearing during searches. This feature must be switched on every 90 days, as it does not remain active permanently.

  • Skill development courses

You may not realize it but LinkedIn has a section that offers online professional development courses that will allow you to be able to add new skills to your LinkedIn profile once you complete them. This is a helpful section as professional development courses are usually very costly, however LinkedIn offers free trail periods for you to access the courses. The online professional developmental opportunities are convenient and done at a time that is feasible for you.

Hopefully these tips help you make the most of your LinkedIn profile as a career tool


J -Kia