How to Make a Great First Impression at a New Job

Published: Oct 05, 2022

 Career Readiness       Changing Jobs       Job Search       Workplace Issues       

After a stressful interview process, you’ve finally landed a new job. While you might think the hard part is over, in reality the journey is just getting started. And the first thing you need to do is prep for your first day in order to make a great first impression. So, here are nine tips that will help you do just that.

1. Find out what the dress code is

Most jobs have some type of dress code. If you don’t already know the dress code, ask the HR manager or person who hired you to send you the employee handbook (or to just pass along what the code is) to get a better idea of how you should dress on your first day—and on subsequent days. If you don’t do this and you arrive under or overdressed, you’re going to feel uncomfortable—and certainly won’t make a great first impression!

2. Learn about your new coworkers

If you were lucky enough to meet some of your coworkers during the interview process, you could look at their LinkedIn profiles beforehand to learn more about them and what they do. Learning about your coworkers as much as possible before your first day begins can help you remember their names and roles, which will help you to make a better first impression on day one.

3. Learn more about your new company

You should have researched the company during the interview process, but now is your chance to dive deeper to help you get better acquainted. Familiarizing yourself with the company can help you understand more about what to expect on your first day and throughout the rest of your time there. Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them during the employee onboarding process to prevent any awkwardness later. 

4. Research your new industry

If you’re entering a new industry, one of the smartest things you can do before your first day is to learn more about it. Even though your title may not have changed from one company to another, or you’re doing the same type of work, your job will likely vary depending on the industry you’re in. Of course, you don’t have to be an expert on your first day, but it helps to learn as much as possible—and the more knowledge you have, the better impression you’ll make.

5. Check your commute

You should be prepared for the commute before leaving for work on your first day. Hopefully, you’ve practiced your commute beforehand and know when to leave to ensure you make it to work on time. Being late on your first day will make an extremely poor first impression. So, why not leave your house earlier than you normally would to give yourself a buffer to avoid being late.

6. Bring notepads and pens

Even though you will likely be supplied with everything you need to take notes on your first day, you should still bring your own note-taking supplies. Not only will this give you something to write on if your hiring manager or the person training you forget but will also give the impression that you care about your job and are someone who always comes prepared.

7. Introduce yourself to your new coworkers

You’re going to meet a lot of new people on your first day, but sometimes people won’t approach you on your first day because they’re busy with work. Instead of walking to every office and introducing yourself, wait until the right opportunity—when someone seems free and not busy with work. And if your company works remotely, you can send a Slack message to the entire team introducing yourself and telling them what your role is.

8. Ask questions

If you’re ever unsure of anything before your first day of work, you should feel free to email your boss or hiring manager. But make sure to avoid sending multiple emails before your start date, as it can make you seem frenetic. So, if you have questions, put all of them in a single email. Questions can be about dress code (as noted above), whether you need to sign any paperwork beforehand, or anything else that you think is important that you’re unsure of

9. Reread the job description

If your interview process took a few months, it’s possible that it’s been a while since you last read the job description for your new job. Rereading the job description can help you understand what to expect on your first day. And when you do reread it, pay close attention to any skills gaps or experience gaps so you can work on them before your first day. If there are any qualifications or skills listed in the job description you don’t have, try to do your best to learn them before your first day. This could involve something as simple as watching online tutorials. Doing this can help you speed through the onboarding process, which will make the transition easier for you, as well as your new company.

Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who shares her knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and personal finance. During her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, reading, and diving deep into her favorite music.

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