After an increasingly rigorous application process, the start date for a new job can almost seem like an anti-climax. But don’t be fooled, the first 90 days at your new job (also known as the probation period) are absolutely critical!
1. The first thing on your mind should be setting up your personal brand. By developing an understanding of the people you work with and the people you work for, you will be able to manage your place within the firm (I like to call it the ‘sweet-spot’ - a spot where you can thrive as an individual without stepping on people’s toes). These 90 days must be approached with a plan of attack. You must move cautiously but assertively as your perceived brand is what sets you up for the next few years.
2. If you’ve landed a grad role at a big firm I can almost guarantee that the first week will be jam packed with training. My tip here: don’t take anyone for granted. As you look around the room at your fellow graduates you will be amazed at just how many of them you may need assistance from in your working life. Whether it’s borrowing someone’s pass to get access to colour printing, utilising the ‘data analytics guy’ to help you take your report to ‘the next level’ or selling work to them in in the future when they are the CEO of a multinational and you’re a Partner at your firm. It’s the relationships you build with them from day one that will support you through the rest of your career. Note: they are also the people that will bring the most enjoyment to your job. Spend time getting to know them and make an effort to sustain these friendships.
3. With the first couple of months under your belt it’s time to start taking responsibility for your own professional development. Join a professional association, explore further education possibilities and seek out a mentor within the firm. Having a mentor can improve your job performance, grow your network and if nothing else have someone that you know has your back (and you can never have too many of those).
4. And most importantly…ask for feedback. No matter how little or big you perceive your interaction to be never underestimate the value of feedback. Even more importantly; be open to receiving constructive feedback. There is nothing to be gained from sugar coated feedback. Gathering honest feedback from those that have been in your shoes before is the most valuable way to improve as an employee and set yourself up for success. If you can do all of these things with a certain sense of confidence then you’ll be on your way to setting yourself up for a successful career in any job.
MentorMe Australia Blog #2 - Three Steps to Acing Applications
Gilda Sorella from the graduate resume writing service Ready Resumes AU, shares her tips for success:
1. Make it visually appealing
There's a reason that this comes in at number one, because it's the first thing that you can do to stand out from the crowd. Imagine being a judge for a scholarship application and having already read 100 three page applications in your morning. Your eyes are dry from reading page after page of black text on white paper. If you're lucky, someone has highlighted a heading in bold. Then suddenly, you come across an application with a thoughtfully designed cover page. You see imagery and colours, and you are excited to see what comes next.
Whether you add a cover page, a coloured title or subheadings, or put your application in an interesting layout (you don't have to be an expert in graphic design, there are plenty of free formats and fonts on the internet) - your application will stand out from the other 100 that came before it.
2. Answer the selection criteria
"But that's so obvious" you may say. Yes it's obvious, but it's by no means easy! Of course, this varies depending on the criteria that you are trying to respond to, but my top rule is:
Inject your application with emotion, and relate it back to your passions, goals, and achievements. Remember, your reader is not a robot, emotions stick.
Take an overseas exchange application for example. The reader doesn't want to know that you want to travel to Denmark because you love danish pastries (although they are rather delicious). They want to know how the exchange will allow you to broaden your studies, expand your world view, tick off your lifelong goal of living in another country, and challenge your mind by learning a second language. Use emotive words. Then go beyond, and be specific. For example:
"The University of Copenhagen has speciality courses in International Negotiation and Mediation, which is something not offered by my university. I am passionate about pursuing a career as a mediator, and feel that this opportunity will allow me to experience this subject from a totally new perspective, as well as give me a unique career advantage".
3. Use your own voice
Once again, it sounds simple doesn't it? However, after years of writing essays a lot of students have trouble writing in their own 'voice', and come off a little too academic. Your goal is to write in your own personal style, yet be professional. Here's how:
If you tick these boxes - I promise that you will have a great start to your application! Good Luck!
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