Being Punctual

Punctuality is a critical quality for any professional to have. While this may seem obvious, a lot of professionals struggle with being on time in this busy modern world. Even unemployed job seekers need to be aware of time frames and deadlines when interviewing for and applying to jobs. For now, we will focus on the importance of being on time for a job interview and provide some rules to help make sure you are always punctual in the future.

Rule #1: Don’t be late.

  • If you realize ahead of time that you are running late for an interview, call your interviewer immediately and let them know your situation. Be sure to apologize for the inconvenience.
  • In a tough job market, hiring managers have their pick when it comes to capable candidates. Even showing up five minutes late for a job interview could disqualify you for a position.
  • If a hiring manager can’t trust you to show up on time for an interview, they have no reason to trust that you will be on time for work or meet project deadlines.

Rule #2: Being too early is the same as being late.

  • Do not show up more than fifteen minutes early for a job interview unless you were otherwise instructed.
  • Showing up too early for an interview can make you appear desperate to hiring managers. Think of a job interview as a first date, you wouldn’t want your date to think you were overeager or desperate either.
  • The same as if you were late for an interview, a hiring manager will attribute you showing up a half hour early to your bad time management skills.

Rule #3: Know where you’re going ahead of time.

  • If you have time and are unfamiliar with the area, visit the company’s office prior to your interview so that you know exactly where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there.
  • If you don’t have time to physically scope out your route, use the Internet to plan it in advance.
  • If you are driving to your interview, make sure you know where you are going to park. You don’t want to be late because it took twenty minutes to find a parking space.

Rule #4: Show up early, but don’t go in.

  • The best advice we can give you is to intentionally allow yourself extra time to get to your interview. This will give you some wiggle room in case you run into unforeseen trouble such as traffic or delays on public transportation.
  • Even if you don’t hit any delays and end up outside of the office twenty minutes early, don’t go in! Find somewhere nearby you can kill time prior to your interview such as a coffee shop or deli. Use the extra time to review your notes one last time.

Writing the Perfect Cover Letter

The most important part of writing a cover letter is understanding the purpose of a cover letter, and that is to explain why you are the perfect candidate for the job you are applying to! In order to write an exceptional cover letter, you simply need to explain what qualities and experience you have to offer a potential employer. To do this, you will need to study the job description or posting carefully and ensure that you understand what the hiring manager is looking for. Make a list for yourself of the major qualities listed in the job posting. Then you will need to draw upon your own experiences and qualities to prove that you meet those qualifications. They want someone with a business degree? Be sure to mention your Bachelor’s in Business Management. They want a strong team player? Mention that time you helped your coworker finish a project in order to meet a big deadline. Once you have covered all of the bullet points on your list, you will want to include a few sentences explaining why you want the position and why you are interested in working for that particular organization. At this point, you should have an excellent cover letter on your hands! Be sure to proofread your work for spelling and grammar mistakes and make sure it is properly formatted, and then you are ready to submit it with your resume for consideration!

Adjusting to Life as a Young Professional

Going from having a few hours of class a day to working eight-hour days five days a week can be a huge adjustment for any young professional. Learn how to make your transition easier by reading our advice below.

  1. Balancing Act:
    • The first rule you need to learn is how to balance your work life and your personal life. Both are very important to you, but when they begin to overlap you can find yourself in some very stressful situations.
    • Don’t text your friends or check your social media pages while on the clock, wait until your lunch break to check your phone.
    • Avoid bringing your work home with you. If you are stressed about a mistake you made at work, leave your problems at the office. Going home in a bad mood is a surefire way to ruin the rest of your night.
    • Don’t make personal phone calls or run errands on the company’s dime. Try to schedule appointments over your lunch break or on the weekends.
  2. Keep it Moving:
    • Sitting at a desk for the majority of your waking hours can very quickly begin to take a toll on you. Avoid moving your sedentary self immediately from your office chair to the couch at home.
    • Join a gym, sign up for classes, or find a running buddy. Getting even a half hour’s worth of exercise every day will have great benefits on both your body and your mind.
  3. Put Away Your Paycheck:
    • As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, learning how to manage your finances can be a very difficult lesson for most young professionals to learn.
    • Save as much money as possible. The amount of money in your first paycheck may be more than you made collectively in high school, but with your new monetary gain you are probably also facing new expenses.
    • It’s important to have an emergency fund waiting for you in the bank in case you meet some unexpected expenses or find yourself suddenly unemployed.
  4. Enjoy the Weekends:
    • While you might just want to sleep in late on the weekends and enjoy your limited free time, make sure you keep yourself active and social.
    • Your weekends might be the only time you have to see your friends or family, so spend your time wisely.
    • You will be in much better spirits come Monday morning after a great weekend with friends than you will be after a long weekend with your couch.
  5. Don’t Get Lost in the Routine:
    • Joining the real world comes with a new level of monotony most young professionals probably have not faced before.
    • Living the same routine day in and day out can get tiresome and boring, so make sure you embrace any opportunity for newness or change.
    • Try a new restaurant, wake up a little earlier to exercise before work, or try joining a recreational team. Although you may be feeling old, remember you’re still young!

 

 

Why It’s Important to Be Nice to Everyone

When job seekers go on interviews, they typically focus solely on impressing their interviewer(s). Next time you go on an interview, be sure to be friendly, polite and professional with every person you encounter. You never know the importance or professional status of each individual, so it pays to be nice to everyone! First impressions are critically important, especially on a job interview, so make sure the impression you make at a potential employer’s office is a positive one.

Some professionals might be surprised to learn that many hiring managers actually consult other employees around the office to get their impression of the interviewed candidates. Hiring managers realize that you put your best foot forward with them, so they want to know how you acted and treated others when you weren’t in their presence. For example, many hiring managers will ask their receptionist or administrative assistants what their impression was of the interviewed candidate. The receptionist is typically the first person you interact with at a job interview and the way you treat them says a lot about you. Hiring managers want to know that you were polite and professional with their support staff, because your behavior will demonstrate what kind of coworker you will be if hired.

Another reason it is important to be nice to everyone at your job interview is that you never know what an individual employee’s status is within the company. For example, say you steal a parking spot from a driver in the garage and then that person ends up being the CEO of the company you are interviewing with! Or, you neglect to hold the door open for a woman who ends up being the human resources manager of the organization. From the minute you arrive at the office to the time you leave, you should make a good impression on every single person you encounter at your next interview.

Getting a Late Start

You wake up one morning in a panic; it’s 8:15 and you need to leave in the next ten minutes or risk being very late for work. We have all been there before, and we will probably be there again, so make sure you have a “get ready quick” plan in place for those dreaded mornings.

  1. Have a couple back-up outfits ready and waiting in your closet. Each season, pick out two outfits you can throw on in a flash. Try them on to make sure you are happy with the look and fit, and set them aside in your closet. This way, when your alarm fails to go off in the morning, you won’t have to spend any time in front of your closet making heavy decisions.
  1. Have a couple on-the-go breakfasts ready. Don’t skip breakfast when you’re in a rush, take it with you instead! Grab a banana or a granola bar on your way out the door to make sure you’re properly fueled and ready to face another day of work.
  1. Invest in some dry shampoo. If you don’t have enough time to wash your hair in the morning, dry shampoo is a great alternative for touching up your roots.
  1. Call your boss. If you are running late in the morning and unsure whether or not you’ll make it to work on time, let your boss know ahead of time. Explain your situation and let them know you will be there as soon as possible, and apologize for the inconvenience.
  1. Stay calm, cool and collected. Working yourself into a frenzy while rushing out the door is a bad start for an even worse day. Keep your calm and recognize that mistakes happen before stressing out too much. You are sure to have a better day all around and avoid making any further mistakes if you keep your composure.