Why Am I Not Getting Interviews? 15 Common Reasons

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Figuring out why you're not getting job interviews can be frustrating because it requires you to rethink your job search approach. This guide will go over the most common reasons why you can't get an interview, and what you can do about it. You Need More Experience. Here is one of the most common reasons behind why you're not getting interviews. It's fine to be ambitious and apply for jobs that help you further your career. But those jobs should fall in line with the scope of your experience. A lack of work experience is an instant disqualifier, and most hiring managers won't look into your application any further if you don't meet their requirements. Look at the job posting to understand what the company is after. You can make up for less-than-ideal experience levels with education... Read more

Q&A about VA's newest life insurance program

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife) is VA's newest whole life insurance program that offers cash value and very competitive premium rates. Enrollment opens on Jan. 1, 2023, for all service-connected Veterans age 80 and under. Learn more about the program and find answers to some common questions: Who is eligible for VALife? Veterans age 80 or under with any level of service-connected disability (0-100%) are eligible to apply at any time. Veterans age 81 or older may also apply for VALife within two years of receiving notification of a new service-connected disability if they: Applied for a new VA rated disability before age 81, and Received a new service-connected disability after turning 81. How do I apply for VALife? The VALife application goes live on Jan. 1, 2023... Read more

30 Tips For Your First Day Of Work: Preparing For Success

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Your first day of work can feel like a whirlwind, so being as prepared as possible will make a big difference. This list of tips for your first day on the job will help you keep your nerves at bay, make a great impression, and hit the ground running. Make Sure You're Well-Rested. Having the jitters before your first day of work can be a real issue, keeping you up far later than you intended. Take measures to ensure you're getting a full night of rest before heading to work in the morning. A lack of sleep can negatively affect how you process information. It can make you forget small details, causing your attention span to plummet. Plus, constantly yawning and looking tired won't make a great impression! Get to bed early, calm your mind, and sleep for at least eight hours so you'll... Read more

Veterans and transitioning military get a free year of LinkedIn Premium

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

LinkedIn offers Veterans, VA caregivers, and Fry Scholars a free 1-year premium career subscription, including one year of access to LinkedIn Learning. The one year free upgrade to premium includes an incredibly valuable resource — a library of over 16,000 business, technical, and creative courses on LinkedIn Learning. This means that courses on software development, graphic design, leadership, data science, photography, and more are all available to eligible Veterans. Almost every professional skill has a course on LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn Premium also includes features such as InMail, seeing more profiles when you search, access to premium search filters, ability to view expanded profiles, and more. These are great for finding new career opportunities or developing new business leads.... Read more

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Why Am I Not Getting Interviews? 15 Common Reasons

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Figuring out why you're not getting job interviews can be frustrating because it requires you to rethink your job search approach.

This guide will go over the most common reasons why you can't get an interview, and what you can do about it.

You Need More Experience

Here is one of the most common reasons behind why you're not getting interviews. It's fine to be ambitious and apply for jobs that help you further your career. But those jobs should fall in line with the scope of your experience.

A lack of work experience is an instant disqualifier, and most hiring managers won't look into your application any further if you don't meet their requirements. Look at the job posting to understand what the company is after. You can make up for less-than-ideal experience levels with education, but no amount of schooling will make up for significant experience deficits.

For example, a company isn't going to hire a new college grad for a C-suite executive position.

Be realistic about the jobs you apply to and stick to openings with requirements matching your experience.

Your Background Isn't a Good Fit for the Position

You might find a great job that you're seemingly qualified to get on paper. But if your background doesn't match the position, that might be why you're not getting interviews.

This scenario happens more than you think. For example, say that you have several years of managerial experience. So, you focus your search on leadership roles and apply to one that involves leading a team to complete marketing campaigns. But there's just one problem: Your managerial experience is in retail.

In that example, you have zero marketing experience. While you fit the bill in terms of qualifications, your industry background isn't the best fit.

There are Mistakes and Typos in Your Resume

Unfortunately, silly mistakes like this do happen. If your resume is riddled with typos and errors, it's not exactly the best first impression. Your resume should exemplify your professionalism and preparedness.

Issues with basic grammar and spelling are huge red flags. If you're careless about something as important as this, what will stop you from making silly mistakes when you get the job? In most cases, this problem will pull you out of consideration immediately.

Always proofread your resume. When you're done proofreading, check it over again! You can even share it with someone else so they can give it a good look-over.

Your resume should be perfect. Take the time to ensure that it is.

You're Giving Up Too Soon

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when searching for a job is putting all your eggs in one basket or thinking it will be easy. No matter how qualified you think you are for a specific position, it's important to remember that there are possibly hundreds of other candidates vying for the same role. The odds are not always in your favor.

Getting discouraged after applying to a handful of jobs isn't the way to go. The best course of action is to apply for more jobs per week. While this will take more time and effort to tailor your resume for each job, it will increase your chances. Of course, all situations are unique, but you should never assume that you'll get an interview after submitting a small number of applications.

If you're worried about why you're not getting job interviews, you could simply be giving up too early. The more jobs you apply for, the better your odds of landing an interview!

The Job You're Applying for Isn't Near Where You Live

Are you applying for jobs in an area where you don't currently live? That could be making things more challenging.

Job-seekers looking to move often apply long before they uproot their life and settle in a new city. It's the responsible thing to do, and most experts recommend that you don't move to a new place before you have work lined up.

Unfortunately, some companies won't consider applicants that live outside their operational area. You could address this discrepancy in your cover letter. Doing so may prevent hiring managers from rejecting your application outright.

But there are still companies that don't want to move forward with those applicants. Some organizations don't offer any leeway, whether it's because they don't want to deal with the complexities of arranging interviews or they aren't interested in covering relocation costs.

Always check the job description. You may find information about whether they stick to local candidates or if they accept people wanting to relocate. Also, check out our guide on how to get a job in another state for additional tips if there's a certain position or company you're interested in.

You're in a Competitive Field

Sometimes, the answer to your problem is this simple. If you're applying for an ultra-competitive job, there's likely a massive pool of talented candidates trying to do the same thing. Some jobs have a supply that severely outweighs the demand, creating tons of competition during the job search.

There's not much you can do here except make your resume and application as compelling as possible. You can also explore opportunities outside your desired city to see if more options are available. For example, if you are interested in working in New York City finance, expand your search to companies in New Jersey which may be a little less competitive.

One trick that can help is setting up alerts with job search websites. Getting your application in as soon as possible could give you a better chance of getting noticed by hiring managers looking to hire quickly.

Another tip is to tap into or develop contacts inside the companies you are interested in who will serve as referrals.

You're Not Customizing Your Resumes

As we discussed earlier, applying to more jobs can increase your chances of getting an interview. But does that mean you should send the same resume for each open role? While that would save time, it can also work against you.

Tailoring your resume for every job opportunity is the best approach. A tailored resume does a better job of showing the recruiter exactly how you are qualified for the job. Doing this extra work shows you're careful enough to do your due diligence. Hiring managers want to see precisely why you are qualified for the job, and a generic resume won't cut it.

Fine-tune every resume to make your application stand out each time.

Your Social Media Profiles Don't Reflect Well on You

Here's an overlooked reason for applicants not getting a job interview.

We live in a time when learning more about someone takes nothing more than a Google search. The ubiquity of social media makes it easy to find you. Even if you don't provide those links, hiring managers can (and often will) do their due diligence to find them.

If your social media profiles aren't flattering, don't be surprised if you don't get a job offer. This is a common mistake new college grads make. They put all the time and effort into crafting impressive resumes only to get pulled from the running due to some questionable photos taken during their rambunctious college years.

It happens to experienced professionals, too. As a new employee, you would represent the brand. So, you must be extra careful.

Consider wiping your profiles of anything offensive, unflattering, or unprofessional. You can also set your accounts private to ensure that no one sees them but your followers.

There are Gaps in Your Work Experience You Haven't Addressed

If you have sizable employment gaps, that could be a reason why you're not getting interviews. Anything less than six months is usually no cause for concern to hiring managers, but gaps longer than that could be a red flag.

It makes hiring managers wonder what happened and caused you to experience that employment lapse. When it's easier to go with a candidate with no issues, most companies will take you out of the running.

You must be forthright and explain employment gaps on your cover lever. Be proactive about this "red flag" and provide peace of mind. Using your cover letter to explain that gap is better than hoping hiring managers miss it.

You Aren't Using a Chronological Resume Format

There are a few different schools of thought on how to write the perfect resume. However, chronological formats are the gold standard.

You might hear about functional resume formats. They group your work history into functions rather than dates. In theory, it allows you to highlight skills rather than work experience.

But in reality, it often makes things more confusing. Most hiring decision-makers prefer chronological formats. They like to see where you got your work experience and when it happened.

If you don't use that chronological format, that might result in recruiters passing on your resume for one that does list work experience chronologically, therefore, you miss out on job interviews!

You Haven't Included Accomplishments on Your Resume

There's a time and place to be humble. But your resume? That's not it!

Don't be afraid to list out your accomplishments. Acknowledge what you did and how you made an impact in each of your previous jobs. You should at least highlight some of your biggest wins.

For example, saying "Responsible for leading a small team" doesn't tell much about how you worked. But adding details like "Lead a small team to increase revenue by 60 percent in a single fiscal year" is something that will impress hiring managers.

It's a subtle change, but it makes a big difference.

There are Educational Requirements You Haven't Met

Always review the educational requirements in a job description. These could also be certifications. They are usually qualifiers that companies don't offer wiggle room on when considering applicants.

Many jobs require specific degrees or certifications. If you're wondering why you're not getting interviews and you don't meet the requirements, this is likely your answer.

Avoid this issue by narrowing your search down to jobs with educational prerequisites matching your own.

You're Applying to the Same Positions as Everyone Else

Job boards and listing websites are fantastic for learning about new opportunities. But here's the thing: Everyone else is using those same platforms to learn about jobs. If you see a sought-after position on a job board, there's a good chance that many other people have already applied.

Right off the bat, the odds aren't in your favor.

Don't limit yourself to those often-used channels. One way to bypass the job boards is to create alerts directly on the company career pages of companies you are interested in. This targeted approach notifies you when the company posts jobs you are interested in and allows you to apply directly through their career portal.

You should also try networking and reaching out to colleagues in your circle. Social media sites like LinkedIn are perfect for this. Take full advantage of them!

Sometimes, you can learn about open positions before the hiring manager even gets the chance to publish a listing. That gets you ahead of the curve and shrinks the competition pool.

You're Overqualified

Hiring managers might not even consider extending an interview offer if you're overqualified.

But why?

If your work history and experience show that you typically work more demanding jobs, hiring managers will wonder why you would be interested in taking a step back. What's the catch?

It makes them question your motivations. They may think the job won't challenge you enough, forcing you to become complacent and uninspired. Or, they might feel that your goal is to work there temporarily as you search for something better.

Both worries are valid and problematic enough to take your resume out of the running. Try to focus on jobs that match your qualifications.

You Have a Lengthy Resume

It's tempting to stuff your resume with every accolade and relevant tidbit you can think to jot down. But doing so could actually end up with you not getting interviews!

Modern hiring managers want concise documents that show relevant qualifications. It should be easy to read and pull information from. Long paragraphs and multiple pages of text are too cumbersome to deal with.

As a general rule, resumes for those with less than 5 years of work experience are one page. Those with more than 5 years of experience might find it necessary to use two pages. In very rare examples, for doctorate-level jobs, you may need three pages to list your qualifications.

Keep things short, use negative space to improve readability, and say what you need in fewer words.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know some of the most likely reasons why you're not getting interviews, it's time to start addressing them. Take an honest look at how you've been approaching your job search and make the necessary tweaks!

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Q&A about VA's newest life insurance program

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife) is VA's newest whole life insurance program that offers cash value and very competitive premium rates. Enrollment opens on Jan. 1, 2023, for all service-connected Veterans age 80 and under.

Learn more about the program and find answers to some common questions:

Who is eligible for VALife?

Veterans age 80 or under with any level of service-connected disability (0-100%) are eligible to apply at any time.

Veterans age 81 or older may also apply for VALife within two years of receiving notification of a new service-connected disability if they:

  • Applied for a new VA rated disability before age 81, and
  • Received a new service-connected disability after turning 81
How do I apply for VALife?

The VALife application goes live on Jan. 1, 2023, at benefits.va.gov/insurance/valife.asp. The application process is completely online, and Veterans will receive an automated instant decision about their eligibility for the program. If accepted into the program, Veterans can enroll and manage most aspects of their VALife policy online.

What coverage does VALife offer?

VALife offers up to $40,000 in coverage, available in $10,000 increments. There are no medical exams or health questions for enrollment. The policy has cash value that builds over time after the first two years of enrollment.

How much are VALife monthly premium rates?

A full breakdown of VALife monthly premium rates by age can be found here: benefits.va.gov/insurance/valife-rates.asp

VALife premium rates are competitive—or better than—similar programs offered by the private sector. Premiums are based on age upon enrollment and coverage amount selected. Current medical condition(s) or gender are not factored into premium rates. Once enrolled, premiums will never increase on the coverage selected. If coverage is increased in the future, rates will be based on age at that time.

Why is there a two-year waiting period for VALife coverage to take full effect?

The two-year waiting period eliminates the need for applicants to answer health questions or provide proof of good health to be eligible. This waiting period ensures access to guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance for more Veterans than ever before.

Do I have to pay monthly premium rates during the two-year waiting period for my VALife coverage to take effect?

Yes, Veterans must pay premiums during the two-year waiting period. If the Veteran dies during the two-year waiting period, all premiums paid plus interest will be paid to their designated beneficiary. The full face value of the policy will be paid to the beneficiary after the two-year period. Veterans who pay premiums directly, rather than by deduction from their compensation or military retirement or checking account, have the option to pay premiums annually.

How does VALife coverage compare to similar private sector programs?

VALife's maximum coverage of $40,000 is greater than what's offered by many similar guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance programs in the private sector. The cost per $1,000 is very competitive or less than similar products, providing savings to Veterans.

Can I switch from my current VA insurance program to VALife? Can I be enrolled in VALife and another program at the same time?

Veterans currently enrolled in Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI) may either keep that coverage or switch to VALife when the application goes live:

  • If you have S-DVI and submit your VALife application on or before Dec. 31, 2025, then by law, you may only keep your S-DVI coverage for two years. When the two-year period concludes, your S-DVI coverage ends, and the full VALife coverage amount takes effect. Any cash value from your S-DVI coverage will be paid to you or can be applied toward your VALife premiums.
  • If you have S-DVI and submit your VALife application on or after Jan. 1, 2026, then by law, your S-DVI coverage ends on the day you enroll in VALife. However, you will still need to wait two years before your full VALife coverage amount takes effect.

Eligible Veterans currently enrolled in Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) may have both VGLI and VALife coverage. Veterans can also be enrolled in Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) or other VA insurance coverage and VALife at the same time. By law, only S-DVI and VALife is an either/or choice.

Does VALife also cover family members?

VALife does not cover spouses or dependents of eligible Veterans.

Is there a premium waiver option for VALife?

No, by law, there is no premium waiver option for VALife.

More information

To learn more about VALife, visit the program website here: benefits.va.gov/insurance/valife.asp.

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30 Tips For Your First Day Of Work: Preparing For Success

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Your first day of work can feel like a whirlwind, so being as prepared as possible will make a big difference.

This list of tips for your first day on the job will help you keep your nerves at bay, make a great impression, and hit the ground running.

Make Sure You're Well-Rested

Having the jitters before your first day of work can be a real issue, keeping you up far later than you intended. Take measures to ensure you're getting a full night of rest before heading to work in the morning.

A lack of sleep can negatively affect how you process information. It can make you forget small details, causing your attention span to plummet. Plus, constantly yawning and looking tired won't make a great impression!

Get to bed early, calm your mind, and sleep for at least eight hours so you'll feel refreshed when you wake up.

Be on Time

Can you imagine what your boss and peers would think of you if you showed up late on your first day of work? Don't leave anything up to chance. Best practices say that you should arrive about 15 minutes early.

Even if you have to wait in your car a few minutes before walking in, it's better than being tardy. This commute is new, and you're not familiar with the ebbs and flows of traffic on this route. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your new job calmly and on time.

Take Notes

You'll receive a barrage of new information during your first day on the job. It can be overwhelming, and there are many little things to remember. Do yourself a favor and invest in a good notebook.

Carry it with you all day and jot down those critical, need-to-know details. It will help you avoid having to ask repetitive questions later on and show that you're committed to the job. Being a vigilant note-taker is a great way to impress the higher-ups.

Prepare Some Questions Ahead of Time

Before you head into your first day of work, take time to prepare a list of questions. After getting that job offer, there will likely be a few different topics you'll want more details on. Write them down to ensure that you get answers to every single one.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Who should I contact if there are problems?
  • Where do people hang out during breaks?
  • Who else should I meet this week?

Most questions will be answered during the onboarding process. You can check them off and jot down answers to acclimate faster. Anything not covered as your onboard will stand out on your list, ensuring you know what to ask when the time comes.

Stick to the Dress Code

Don't forget to read up on your company's dress code. The last thing you want is to start your first day on the job dressed in something inappropriate for the work environment. Whether business casual or formal, find something ahead of time and have your outfit ready to go.

While you should stick to the dress code policies, try to wear something you like. Choose an outfit that represents who you are, and make sure you feel good wearing it. Sometimes, all it takes is a great ensemble to boost your confidence!

Relax

Starting a new job can be intimidating! You're stepping into a long-established environment and will be the "new kid on the block." It's no surprise that first-day jitters are such a common problem.

The day before you start working, do something that relaxes the mind. Avoid overthinking about the first-day experience; do what you can to make those nerves melt away. Whether going to the spa, exercising, lounging around watching movies, or kicking back with friends, focus on relaxing your mind to start your first day of work feeling recharged and ready to go.

Show Some Pep

You're probably already aware, but many eyes will be on you during your first day. Hiring decision-makers and bosses will observe you closely. Even if you don't see or hear them discussing your potential, they are!

Because there's not much performance to scrutinize yet, your work ethic and overall energy are what people will pay attention to. Be conscious about having a little pep in your step. Exude positive energy, and don't be afraid to show your enthusiasm for the job.

People like to work with those who uplift others and bring energy into the room. Being that positive light from day one can work in your favor.

Give People a Chance

It's always wise to enter this new work environment with an open mind. People will do things differently than you're used to seeing, and some personalities will rub you the wrong way. That's OK — it's normal.

But don't let those initial impressions prevent you from getting to know people in your office. Avoid snap judgments, and give people a chance. You're under the magnifying glass, too. Wouldn't you want people to provide you with the same opportunity?

Silence Your Phone

This tip sounds like a no-brainer, but it's worth mentioning. Always put your phone on silent mode. Also, read up on your company's phone policies.

Some organizations are super strict about phone usage, and others don't care. Either way, silence your phone to avoid any unnecessary distractions.

Constant notifications will pull your focus away from all the new things you'll learn during your first day of work. Plus, it can make you look unprofessional.

Start Meeting Your Team

Your team will be instrumental to your success, and you'll also spend a significant amount of time with them. Start getting to know who they are from day one!

We don't mean going over the logistics of your job. That's important, too, but we're talking about building a rapport. Team members have to have a good working relationship to collaborate.

Start on the right foot and get to know your team. Simple icebreaker questions will get the conversation flowing, giving you plenty of opportunities to get closer to the people you'll interact with most at this job.

Keep Yourself Organized

Your first day on the job is always a little hectic. You're learning many new things, getting a lay of the land, and meeting people you'll ultimately see and collaborate with daily. It's easy to get overwhelmed and get lost in the chaos.

We recommend getting yourself organized. That notebook we mentioned earlier for taking notes? Use it to organize thoughts, jot down what you learn, make notes of essential work details, etc.

Besides a notebook, remember to bring your phone charger, money, your wallet and important documents such as your driver's license and social security card.

That's not all you can do. It's also wise to start organizing your workspace. Get ahead of the craziness and establish an organized work area as early as possible.

Learn Your Way Around the Office

Someone from your team or HR will likely give you a brief tour of the office. But when you have a moment of free time, do some exploring yourself. Get familiar with where everything is, where the offices of important people are, and more.

It'll take some time for you to know the place well, but taking time to learn the office layout will save you from being lost in the days to come.

Introduce Yourself to Your Peers

While looking around the office, don't be afraid to introduce yourself to some of your new colleagues. But remember, do your best not to force it! People are busy, and lining up to shake every person's hand is a little awkward.

Make introductions naturally. There's no rush to meet everyone now, but you should take steps to start getting to know everyone.

Demonstrate Interest

Always show interest. Whether you're talking to a random colleague you ran into in the hallway or a team member you'll work with, show interest in what people say.

Make eye contact, ask questions, and reciprocate conversation. There's nothing worse than seeing someone feign interest when words clearly go in one ear and out the other. This is your first day of work, and showing everyone that you're genuinely interested in being there will set the tone for the rest of your time at the company.

Be Professional

Throughout your interactions, always maintain a sense of professionalism. It can feel more casual when you talk with your new colleagues. However, every workplace has professional expectations.

Don't make the mistake of getting too comfortable too fast.

While you're at it, make a note of the professional atmosphere of the office. Some workplaces have a stricter way of doing things. Meanwhile, others have more relaxed vibes with wiggle room to be personable and casual. Either way, never forget that you're in a professional setting.

Practice Good Body Language

Earlier, we mentioned that having good energy on your first day of work was crucial. That doesn't just apply to your facial expressions or what you say. It also applies to your body language.

Your body language provides many non-verbal cues about how you're feeling. If you're slouched, have your arms crossed, or have any other seemingly negative body language, it could reflect poorly on your demeanor.

Start Taking in the Social Dynamics

Every workplace has social dynamics. Friend groups form, and everyone develops a unique reputation.

When you're meeting everyone, you can see the dynamics in action. It can feel a bit like high school, but the social aspects of the workplace matter.

Take note of negativity and avoid any groups prone to gossip. Those groups often have bad reputations with colleagues and may be on management's radar. Falling into the trap of gossip and schoolyard antics could cause trouble in the future.

Accept a Lunch Invite

If you get an invite to lunch, don't turn it down. You might get invites from your boss, manager, or colleagues. It doesn't matter if you have many things to do; try to find time to seize these opportunities.

Going to lunch is a fantastic way to build rapport with your colleagues and shows that you're ready to be a part of the team.

Don't Forget to Smile

Here's another tip that has everything to do with creating a positive first impression. A smile can make a significant difference, along with positive body language and good energy.

People remember those who greet them with a smile in the morning. Be that shining light for others, and you can start your work relationships on the right foot.

Be Positive

Your first day on the job can be stressful. There's no getting around that. However, don't let the stress get to you. Remain positive throughout the day.

Letting your nerves get the best of you is easier than it seems, and you may already find things to complain about. However, it's best to do whatever you can to stop negativity from creeping in. It's good for your own headspace, will help you make a good impression, and show everyone that you'll be a joy to work with.

Start Recognizing

Despite the many things you'll learn on your first day of work, it's vital to start recognizing people. That's not always easy when you're in an office full of new faces, but do your best to begin recalling names. Recognize faces, learn where everyone is, and understand who you need to visit for questions.

You won't be the new hire forever, and knowing people's names will help you fit into the fray much faster.

Brush Up on Your Elevator Pitch

Your new bosses, managers, and colleagues will want to know about you during your introduction. Instead of simply providing your name, prepare for your first day of work by creating a short elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch gives the people you need a quick glimpse into your background and who you are. It should include relevant information about the job and provide insight into why you're there. Of course, it's also situational. Sometimes it may be just your name and role, other times you may include the following:

  • Your new role in the company
  • Your last employer
  • A couple of noteworthy skills
  • Why you are excited to work there

Practice your elevator pitch before your first day. You'll give that pitch many times, so having a quick and streamlined way to introduce yourself can make a good positive impact.

Get Ready to Learn

Your goal on that first day of work is to learn. You'll need to learn about the company, your position within it, and all those unique intricacies of the workplace.

The onboarding process alone will provide you with a treasure trove of information. Writing notes is a great way to stay organized and remember this information. But it would be best if you also got yourself in the right mindset.

Prepare to learn by removing distractions and getting energized for the day ahead.

Listen

Listening will play a big part in having a successful first day on the job. Listen to what's covered during onboarding and absorb every ounce of information you can. Realistically, you'll listen more than you speak.

In addition to those organized training sessions, listen to your colleagues. Note their language, how they work, and what forms of communication they use. Ultimately, you'll need to mimic what you hear when completing work yourself.

Take Note of Training and Work Opportunities

There's a good chance that you'll hear about additional training and growth opportunities outside your initial onboarding process. You won't have time to do any of that now, but you should take note of those opportunities as you learn about them.

Eventually, you won't be the new hire and will want to explore ways to further your career. Those opportunities could be your ticket to climbing the corporate ladder and improving your position within the company. Instead of trying to recall what you heard in passing, you can refer to your notes and take action.

Familiarize Yourself with the Office Tools & Software

Every office has tools and software it uses to run efficiently. They might not be the same as what you used in your previous company. In many cases, getting over that initial learning curve is the first major challenge new hires face.

Start familiarizing yourself with those tools as soon as possible. Observe your colleagues using them and look for tutorials or manuals. The sooner you get comfortable using the applications everyone else uses, the better off you'll be.

Show Gratitude

You don't have to be over-the-top here. However, it pays to express gratitude when appropriate.

Many people will work with you to help you get acclimated in your new role. That includes HR, your new boss, and even team members. Thank them for their time and show appreciation for their assistance.

A small "thank you" goes a long way and leaves a lasting impression.

Make Sure Your Boss Can Find You If Needed

Be available at your designated workspace. There's a good chance that your boss will need to speak with you at some point during the day. They might want to attend last-minute meetings, introduce you to key position-holders, and more.

Your boss might have issues tracking you down if you spend too much time away from your desk. Not only does that leave a wrong impression, but it can be frustrating to find you whenever they need you.

Be available to your boss and be prepared for unscheduled meetings.

Be Natural and Be Yourself

There's a lot to take in on your first day of work. While we've stressed the importance of making an excellent first impression and being positive, you should also be yourself.

Let's face it: You have a lot of eyes on you! Forcing fake friendliness or going over the top with unnatural behavior isn't a good look. People see right through this, and it often comes off as inauthentic.

Just be yourself. Remain professional and cheerful, but your personality should remain intact.

Don't Beat Yourself Up If You Miss Something

Our last tip for your first day of work is to be kind to yourself.

It's easy to beat yourself up if something goes wrong. Maybe you felt like you made a bad first impression or asked too many questions. Perhaps you forgot some crucial details and had to go back for clarification.

Whatever the case, it's alright. There's a lot to take in on your first day, and things rarely go perfectly. Don't stress out too much about things that went wrong.

It's only your first day! You have plenty of time to get into the swing of things and fit in with this new organization.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, having a successful first day of work requires a little bit of preparation. But when you know what to do (and what to expect), the outcome will be just fine!

If the big day is coming up for you, refer to these tips and get yourself ready. It's the start of an exciting new chapter in your career.

Enjoy it!

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Veterans and transitioning military get a free year of LinkedIn Premium

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

LinkedIn offers Veterans, VA caregivers, and Fry Scholars a free 1-year premium career subscription, including one year of access to LinkedIn Learning.

Get LinkedIn Premium

The one year free upgrade to premium includes an incredibly valuable resource — a library of over 16,000 business, technical, and creative courses on LinkedIn Learning. This means that courses on software development, graphic design, leadership, data science, photography, and more are all available to eligible Veterans. Almost every professional skill has a course on LinkedIn Learning.

LinkedIn Premium also includes features such as InMail, seeing more profiles when you search, access to premium search filters, ability to view expanded profiles, and more. These are great for finding new career opportunities or developing new business leads.

Specifically for the Veteran community, LinkedIn has created two learning paths.

  • Transition from Military to Civilian Employment: This learning path will help you navigate your job search, helping you build your professional identity, prepare for interviews, negotiate salary, and even get promoted once you've been hired.
  • Transition from Military to Student Life: Covering everything from ACT/SAT/GRE test prep to essay writing, study skills, time management tips, and how to land an internship, this learning path should set you on a course to success — graduation and beyond.

To make the most of LinkedIn, use these resources:

  • LinkedIn for Veterans: This course provides a "LinkedIn 101" tutorial for everything from selecting and uploading the right picture to searching and applying for jobs.
  • Translating Your Military Skills to Civilian Employment: This course will help you understand the civilian hiring process and empower you to demonstrate your best self to potential employers.
  • Finding Your Purpose After Active Duty: This course is all about the intangibles of transition — understanding your value to civilian employers, dealing with the uncertainty of transition, and wrestling with some of the challenges inherent in this process.

Get LinkedIn Premium

Disclaimer: The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products or services on the part of the VA.

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