Posted August 12, 2014 by

Job Hunting Tips for Millenials

Young woman in cafe restaurant with phone and coffee

Young woman in cafe restaurant with phone and coffee. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Though graduation season is now behind us, millions of young adults are still trying to enter the workforce. It’s a difficult but exciting time for them, as they prepare to use the knowledge they’ve gathered from past jobs and internships to obtain an entry-level position that could be the first step to their dream job. Of course finding a job is never easy.

Although the economy is growing stronger, young adults are still in a situation that is even more challenging than usual. Compounding this is a skills gap plaguing much of the world. According to Adecco’s Global Talent Competiveness Index, a high number of young workers are leaving high school without the education or technological skills needed to be successful.

As the largest staffing and recruitment firm in the country, Adecco has the chance to speak with hundreds of job seekers, especially graduating seniors from across the country. What we’ve learned is that they are well aware of those challenges and concerned about many aspects of the job search process. On the other side of the equation, a recent survey Adecco Staffing US conducted of 500 hiring managers around the country showed that young adults’ fears align with those of hiring managers in hiring these young adults. In fact, 66 percent of survey respondents said they do not believe new college graduates are ready for the workforce.

This makes it even more imperative that these recent graduates put their best foot forward in both their resumes and interviews. While it seems as though young adults gearing up to look for their first post-grad job aren’t up to the task just yet, there are ways to fix that.

Here are the top areas for millennial job seekers to focus on:

·         Additional training. Remember: Your learning shouldn’t end with graduation. Recruiters like to see candidates that are committed to a lifetime of learning. Whether it’s a new computer program or committing to graduate level classes in your field –even if you haven’t decided to fully pursue grad school—will go a long way to impressing hiring managers.

·         An attention-grabbing resume. First-time job seekers are eager to write a resume that will make it through the clutter—or at the very least, the automatic filter some companies establish to separate the qualified from the unqualified. And that’s definitely necessary, considering 54 percent of survey respondents have not hired anyone with a weak resume in the past two years. But they do have a few tips on common mistakes that are easy to solve. Make sure your resume is devoid of any spelling mistakes, though it may be acceptable to use abbreviations in texting, the same grammar rules do not apply to resumes. Include a strong objective and goal statements, as 39 percent of hiring managers said this can help them understand your interests and where you may be the best fit for the company. Include hobbies, activities, and awards; though they may seem irrelevant, they have been known to add a little bit extra to get the attention of hiring managers.

·         Strong interview skills. Perhaps it’s because of the prevalence of social media and texting, but young adults are not terribly confident in their interview skills—and they have to change this. Hiring managers reported not being terribly impressed with candidates’ ability to articulate their experience, or even their perceived interest in the position or company. And there is evidence that job seekers just out of college behave in a way during an interview that doesn’t give the best first impression, including lack of eye contact, fidgeting, bad posture, and even checking their phone/texting. Just as with anything else in life, practice is the key. Conduct mock interviews with family and friends until you get it right.

·         Work and internship experience. Today’s newest generation of job seekers has likely had internships before graduating college, yet many of them are unsure how hiring managers perceive them—whether quality will trump quantity and if hiring managers will be able to see through the prestige (or lack of) of title or company to see the actual experience. Luckily, those hiring managers surveyed are on the same track: most respondents (83 percent) said they look for only one to two internships.

In a competitive job market, experience will always be the most important factor in getting a job, so for those just starting out on their career journey, it can seem daunting. For the most part, it seems as though college graduate job seekers know their strengths and weaknesses—ones that are common among what hiring managers are seeing. With this knowledge, these young adults have the power to take control of not only their job interview, but ultimately their career path.

By Joyce Russell, EVP & President Adecco Staffing U.S.

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