Professional Presence: 3 Ways to Maximize Your Onboarding Experience

Posted by Elizabeth Levey
June 11, 2015

by Elizabeth Levey


Ah, the first day of new hire orientation. There’s always a heady mix of emotions in the room: excitement, nervousness, and motivation, just to name a few. Team Ovation often works with employees during the onboarding or new hire orientation process. Here are three ways you can maximize your new hire orientation experience, and exhibit a stellar professional presence.


1. Mind your appearance.  Have you ever heard “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”?  Keep this under consideration as you attend new hire orientation.  You may be in a uniformed position, or be told to dress casually for orientation, but it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your appearance during this time.  After all, it is your only chance to make a first impression.


2. Be an active listener.  Active listeners are usually more productive, more respected, and generally professional-presence-new-hirebetter at building relationships than those who display poor listening habits.  Active listening is listening with intensity. If you focus on the words of whomever is speaking, you are more apt to show, using all of the active elements of your feet, hands, and face, just how focused you are on their message. Simple physical responses such as a head-nod, smile, and strong eye contact along with a few audible responses will illustrate that you are truly focused on what is being said. Often in an onboarding session, a member of your company’s leadership team will address your group of new employees. If you use your active listening skills, they will help make the speaker feel valued by you, and reinforce your good first impression. 


3. Ask questions.  Again, during a new hire orientation, you often have the chance to hear from and interact with senior company members or members of the leadership team. This might be your only chance to have this kind of “quality time” together; make sure you maximize it by asking a few well-thought-out questions.  Not only will it distinguish you from the majority of the other employees who might just sit there, but it will also give the speaker the chance to offer more of his insight and expertise regarding the inner workings of your new company.


Onboarding is a critical point for you as a new hire. Top performing new hires start by maximizing their orientation experience, and this experience can lay the groundwork for a bright and successful future with your new company.  Even though it is often a bit of “information overload”, be a sponge, soak it all in, and use some of our tips above to make the experience even more impactful.


 professional presence and soft skills

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