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Agrimarketing : Agribusiness Employer Guide 2008
AGRIBUSINESS EMPLOYER GUIDE MAKING A GREATFIRST IMPRESSION by Ashley Warlick, Education Coordinator,AgCareers.com I t has long been said that first impressions are lasting impres- sions. As a graduating student entering the job market or searching for an internship, you will be presented with many opportunities to make an impression on individuals who will influence your career. It’s up to you to make a great impression that will open the doors to an exciting career. Important encounters, where your dress, handshake, demeanor or body language can impact your future, can happen on a daily basis. All people subconsciously form an opinion of a person when they first meet, based on certain actions or reactions the person takes. These, often rushed judgments, can be hard to reverse, making it very important for students to be socially conscience of their actions and how they interact and build their professional network. While your resume or phone interview may have played a part in how a future employer views you, the interview is your chance to make a great visual first impression. Being dressed in the appropriate attire, having a firm handshake, and por- traying a positive attitude, are all the basics that get you the job. CREATING YOUR IMAGE However, first impressions don’t stop after the interview. Your actions, during the first week on the job or internship, are really what will create your image amongst your co-workers and define you as an employee. In the interview, it is likely that you interacted with only one or two people. During your first week, you almost have to sell yourself to your co-workers. The first impressions you make will show your potential and help you gain respect. The way that your supervisor, cubical mate, and even the mail carrier perceive you in the first week will turn into long-term perceptions and establish your reputation at work. 28 There are a lot of ways that you can ensure that you are putting your best face and identity forward dur- ing your first week on the job. Being prepared is the first step. Knowing what to expect or the “office norm” will allow you to assimilate quickly into the crowd. Reviewing the employee hand- book/code of conduct will help you understand a variety of office proce- dures, such as company holidays, dress code and recycling procedures, all of which is good information to know. Aweek to two weeks before you start, create a list of questions like; what time to arrive (always arrive ten minutes early), what to wear (never assume you’ll have casual Friday), and lunch procedures, and spend some time on the phone reviewing your questions. Not only will this show your supervisor how committed you are, it will also pro- vide you with essential information going into your first week. This knowledge will allow you to be more productive and experience less pain during your first week. YOUR APPEARANCE COUNTS The way you dress and appear may be the single most influential oppor- tunity you have to make a great first impression. Your attire says who you are before you even say a word. Everyone knows to err on the side of overdressing rather than being underdressed, but you must be care- ful not to take that too far. Wearing a suit to your first day at a grain mill probably won’t get you rave reviews from your co-workers, much like wearing overalls to a meeting at the corporate headquar- ters. While corporate America has seen a shift to more relaxed dress, agriculture for the most part has remained conservative. The best approach may be to grab a “Post-It” and write down ten words that best describe yourself. Take these words with you as you shop to build your wardrobe and tape them to your mirror to make sure your portraying your honest image each day. For those who work in more casual atmospheres or in an environ- ment that welcomes casual Fridays,
May 2008 Supplement
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08