Job searching by generation: 5 tips for Millennials
Stay positive and show that you’re willing to work hard.
Young workers have always faced a challenge when looking for a job: They don’t have a lot of experience on their resumes, but how can they get experience if no one hires them? The Millennial Generation, typically including people born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, is no exception, and in fact, Millennials may face even bigger challenges as their generation often gets a bad rap. If you’re a Millennial searching for a job, here are five tips that can help improve your search.
Ask the right questions
When searching for a new opportunity, there’s more to consider than just salary. Keep this in mind at your interview. Instead of asking about the salary and health care benefits, find out about training and growth opportunities and make sure they align with your unique skill set and career aspirations, says Russ Schramm, head of talent acquisition at Philips. Doing so will help ensure you find the company that’s right for you.
Highlight the good traits of your generation
Most Millennials are highly motivated and intensely focused, Schramm notes. Showcase these positive attributes on your resume by highlighting projects in which you went above and beyond and demonstrated leadership capabilities.
Many hiring managers also perceive Millennials as tech fluent, flexible and excellent team players, says Amy Grat, CEO of International Trade Education Programs Inc. Try to exemplify these desirable traits on your resume and in your interview.
Debunk negative perceptions
You may find that some interviewers have negative stereotypes about your generation. Common assumptions include that Millennials have a sense of entitlement and are unwilling to pay their dues. To combat these misconceptions, find examples of times when you worked hard to reach a goal or put in a lot of extra work to help a project get off the ground.
Grat says that many hiring managers also assume that Millennials lack soft skills, including the ability to communicate effectively. Pay attention when emailing, talking on the phone and interviewing to ensure you sound professional.
Look for mentors
Mentors can help your career development when you have a job, but they can also help you get one. If you’re looking for ways to improve your skills or make connections, reach across the generations to find a Gen X or boomer mentor, Grat suggests. “You’ll gain the advantage of a different perspective; they will benefit from yours, as well.”
Don’t get discouraged
Getting a job early in your career can be frustrating, and it may feel like no one will give you a chance. “Don't buy into the myth that there are no jobs available unless you have years of experience and a killer portfolio, demo reel or examples of professional-quality work,” says Jodi Berkshire, assistant director of career services at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. While those can certainly help, they are not the only factor. Employers are looking for someone with a strong work ethic and a great attitude, so stay optimistic, don’t give up and try to embody those positive traits that make your generation such an asset to the workforce.
And check out a few job-search success stories, too.