Building workplace relationships is an important component of being successful in your career. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely extroverted in every situation, but it does mean you need to make an effort to get to know the people with whom you work and learn about what skills and abilities they bring to the table. Related: 4 Tips For Becoming The Co-Worker Everyone Loves Although you are at work to do a job, it will be a much more pleasant experience if you enjoy the company of the people on your team or in your department, so try to get off to a good start. The expression about only getting one chance to make a first impression is absolutely true, so make sure you put your best foot forward each and every time you have an opportunity to build new workplace relationships. If you’re giving your best effort every day, your co-workers will begin to realize they can depend on you to do a good job. Also, as hard as it may be sometimes, try to have a good attitude at work. No one likes to work with someone who is constantly negative and complains about every little task.
Finding out information about other people is much easier than it used to be. Professionals are now going to great lengths to create a personal brand online. Related: How To Build Your Own Brand: Strategies For Success For example, many people have purchased their own name as a domain and use the space for a portfolio, online resume or personal blog. Domain names are relatively inexpensive and it might be worth the cost to show prospective employers what you have to offer. A personal website can expand upon what you fit into your resume and may be particularly beneficial for people who are seeking jobs in design, art, and technology fields to showcase their work. Whether you decide to create your own website or not, make sure your online presence is consistent. One of the best ways to do this is to search for your name online and see what results come up. If there are search results that are not appropriate for employers’ eyes, take action to fix those items. Be aware that anything you post online could be in the public domain. If you’re posting comments or images online, they may be visible to prospective employers. Online postings can be used for positive messages, too. For example, you can show your expertise in a certain area by posting comments on other people’s blogs or creating your own. Consider subscribing to blogs and website feeds that offer tips for the industry in which you want to work and in your area of study. You’re likely to learn something new and you may have an opportunity to engage with others in your field by posting comments and being a part of an online community. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, sign up for the free version and post your resume. Once you have an account, you’ll have an opportunity to join groups of similar professionals. There may also be groups that cater to people who work for certain companies, people who attended your college, various areas of interest, and more. The groups allow users to post their own questions, as well as respond to questions others have posted. This is yet another way to become a part of an online community and network with people with whom you wouldn’t ordinarily be in contact. Once you have your offer letter in hand and all of the details of your employment have been confirmed, you should update your profile to reflect your new position. This information will show up in the status updates section of your fellow connections. If you’re concerned about how to build your network within LinkedIn, think about sending connection requests to current and former professors. It is also wise to connect with classmates and stay in touch with them as their careers (and yours) progresses. You never know when you might be in need of a contact at a particular company, a reference or a new job opportunity. Google allows you to set up an alert that will email you any time your name shows up online. It’s not fool-proof, but the free service does pick up the vast majority of instances your name is in the media. If you have a common name, you may need to define your search criteria to include the city where you live. This post was originally published on an earlier date.
Social media tools, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, can be valuable resources in not only networking with people you already know, but also with expanding your network to others. The old adage about it’s not what you know, but who you know is alive and well in the world of work, so use social media and your connections creatively to find and secure a job. (Psst! Can’t get hired? Watch this free tutorial.) Social media, though, also has dangers for the young professional. Savvy young professionals know there are social media guidelines that must be followed. Here are some social media guidelines that every young professional should think about...
Communication in the workplace can take many forms, so you’ll need to determine what the accepted norms are for your employer. For example, some teams have weekly meetings to check on everyone’s progress and chat about any issues that have come up during the prior week. Some teams work remotely and only communicate via email and phone. That's why it's important to have good communication skills - especially as a young professional. RELATED: Need some career advice? Watch these tutorials! Whatever type of communication you are using, make sure you are participating in the discussion, asking questions where necessary and providing responses when asked. No matter what, make sure your communication is professional in its tone. What you say is a huge reflection on you, so make sure you think before you speak. No one expects you to know all the answers, so freely admit if you’re not sure about something and offer to get back to the person once you have more information. If you’re able to establish credibility early in your career, you will have a much easier time going forward. Tell the truth and be sincere. You will quickly earn your co-workers’ and managers’ trust if you exhibit these qualities. In many workplaces and career fields, there is an expectation you will work with other people on projects during the course of your employment. It’s sometimes tough to get along with varying personalities and that is precisely why clear communication is so important. Take time to listen to other people’s points of view. You may not always agree, but it’s likely you can learn something new by being open to other perspectives. As a young professional, you will be expected to communicate with co-workers, your manager, and possibly more senior leaders within the organization. Many colleges require public speaking courses and a basic introductory communications class to better prepare students for the workplace, but sometimes this isn’t quite enough. If you need help finding your voice and speaking in front of others, practice does help. There are also organizations like Toastmasters International that coach professionals in their presentation abilities. Also, remember that a big part of communication is receiving a message. Young professionals need to be open to receiving direction and feedback from co-workers and managers within the organization. Most seasoned professionals can tell you they have been on the receiving end of criticism at some point in their careers. Listen to the feedback and then take action to improve upon whatever was cited in the discussion as an area for improvement. No one is perfect, so don’t expect to know everything. Take initiative to correct the issue going forward and learn from the experience. This post was originally published at an earlier date.
Mock interviews provide candidates with an opportunity to test out their interview skills with someone who isn’t evaluating them for an actual job. A mock interview may be offered through career services for students or recent alumni, by a career coach or through a local workforce services office for candidates in the process of transitioning to a new opportunity.
In a perfect world, candidates would only be asked questions that are 100% legal. Unfortunately, job seekers have to deal with illegal interview questions all of the time. It’s very easy for an interviewer to go into those illegal areas without even realizing it. Sometimes, interviewers are untrained and don’t realize the error of their ways, and sometimes they just mess up. Related: Interview Hack: Document Everything! Either way, candidates should know their rights and responsibilities about what can and cannot be asked in an interview. Here’s a brief summary of topics that may come up during an interview, what can legally be asked, what can't, and how to handle illegal interview questions: