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From Resumes to Getting the Job: Advice & Strategies

Resumes, cover letters, interviewing tips, and job hunting

How to Act On the Job

After you have secured a job, or even while you are still looking, there is some etiquette that businesses expect you to know. If this is your first job, then search this page and brush up on it so that you can make the best impression to your new employer. 

Quick Tips

Do:

  • Be punctual. Employers want to know that you are responsible and reliable. Your tardiness places unnecessary stress on your coworkers. 
  • Dress formally. It's best to err on the side of formal rather than informal. After you have learned the culture of your new workplace, you can modify your attire.
  • Ask questions. If you don't know something, ask! New employers understand that there is an adjustment period and it's best to learn as much as possible when you're still training than come across something later that you don't know how to do.
  • Use good judgment. Sometimes this requires asking someone else, "Would it be okay if I did X" and listening to what they have to say. Coworkers who have been around longer will know what is acceptable and what's not.

Don't:

  • Suggest "fixes" without invitation. Sometimes there are reasons why something is done a certain way in a company's culture.
  • Don't bother your boss. It's fine to ask for feedback from your boss once every so often, but don't do it every day or after every job duty. Managers want someone who can work with minimal supervision. If you have questions about day-to-day assignments, try asking a seasoned coworker or your trainer.
  • Request a raise after less than a year of employment. You'll come across as pushy and out-of-touch with professional norms.

Common Mistakes You May Be Making

Pushing for more responsibility too fast.

Though you are eager to learn, constantly pushing for senior assignments can come across as pushy. Make sure that you thoroughly understand your job and complete tasks with attention to detail and on time. Management will take that as a sign that you're ready for more work. If you still aren't getting more responsibility after a year, then it might be appropriate to ask for more work or more complex assignments.

Making suggestions for improvement right away.

If you immediately make suggestions on how to improve work processes, it can seem aggressive. Many workplaces have processes in place because of reasons you might not yet understand. If, after you've learned the culture and how things work at your new job, you still feel improvements can be made, you can bring them up after a year. 

Calling in sick all the time.

Sick time is there for when you are sick. If you use your sick time as "vacation time", employers do not look favorably at this. Save the sick time for when you're truly ill.

Making excuses when given feedback.

Good managers will give feedback and try to help you improve. If your manager gives you feedback, don't immediately give excuses or react defensively. Take a deep breath, focus on the positive, and say, "Thank you for your feedback." Remember, they don't want to fire you and hire a new employee, they want you to improve and meet their standard of performance. Feedback is not cruel, it's constructive.

Proper Etiquette

Business Etiquette Online Resources