20 Tips to Generate a Great First Impression at Your New Job


Today is the only day that you get to make a first impression – the first day on your new job. Whether you are interning as an accountant, working full or part-time, in a summer job or just out of school, business etiquette and company manners are imperative to making a good impression.

  • Dress like the professional you are. Make sure uniforms fit, are clean and well ironed; accessorize with complementary jewelry or scarves. Corporately, business casual is closed toed shoes, hose, collared shirts or blouses, a sports jacket and pressed slacks (men & women) or skirt or pant suit (women).
  • Business casual does not mean dressing down, it means looking business like in casual clothes. Be a professional not an excuse maker.
  • Arrive 10 – 15 minutes before you were told, every day.
  • Shake hands with the greeter or new boss firmly and confidently, look them right in the eye and smile. Shake hands with as many people as possible – be engaging and warm.
  • Sit and stand erect– never slump. When conversing with others in an open hallway or while standing in an office, stand erect, feet planted slightly apart, weight evenly distributed over both hips. No hands in pockets.
  • No gum chewing, snacking at your desk, hair twirling, mustache picking or calling mom or the kids during office hours. No private internet time, ever. Smoke breaks are tacky anywhere near the building.
  • Rise when people enter your workspace – ask them how you can help. When entering a superior’s workspace, ask permission to enter.
  • Don’t be afraid to say you don’t understand something, ask for clarification then rephrase the request and ask if that is what the person meant.
  • Tell someone when you are not capable of doing the work and mention it is due to lack of training, or whatever.
  • Be a team player. Offer to help others who are busier than you.
  • Always be pleasant and professional on the telephone. Take your personality to work. Sound awake even early in the morning.
  • If you have many pages to fax, ask permission of the receivee first and know where your faxes are being sent.
  • Return calls as quickly as possible. Do what you say you will do, your professional reputation is at stake.
  • Don’t drink alcohol at lunch, even if your boss does.
  • Watch alcohol consumption at any company event, including company ball games. Superiors will excuse their bad behaviour, you will just be excused.
  • If you invite a superior to lunch, they should pay. Take only your allotted time for lunch.
  • Book doctor appointments on Saturdays or late in the day.
  • Call in if you are going to be late, but don’t be late, ever.
  • Don’t ask to leave early unless in an emergency and don’t leave on the stroke of quitting time.
  • Put yourself up as a fly on the wall. Do you like what you see?