No one is perfect and my representation here of a Millennial candidate and Boomer hiring manager isn’t either. However, recently I read an article in the New York Times about a 37% unemployment rate for the Millennial generation. This is for the recent graduate who is still living at home, surfing the ‘net and trying to find a job.
While you are looking:
1. Build your personal brand online everyday. Build a public portfolio of anything you have ever worked on that is relevant to your job search. Write a good bio for the site and don’t be verbose. Put it on a new website like Wordpress, Squarespace or VisualCV. Link it to your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts that have completed profiles. Be responsible with your public brand. Don't write anything on any social site that detracts from an image of professionalism. You can be funny without looking like you're out of control. Clever writing is good, stupid behavior makes it easy to filter you out.
2. Find someone in the company who can help you. Networking is a beautiful thing. An executive placement executive once told me that seventy-five percent of jobs are found because of knowing someone in the company. Doing a little front end work can open doors and move you to the top of the pile. Encourage your parents and their friends to ask around for you.
3. Look informed. Research your targeted industry or profession at least once a week and even write about it if you want. Use a grammar checker and spell checker to protect your personal brand. Run it by a trusted friend who can write before posting. Provide links to your articles or blogs on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Businessweek Exchange. Worst case is you will become a better writer and communicator which almost all companies could use.
4. Ask for help. Go public with your friends and their parents that you are looking for a job. Define that job or company broadly. You can filter the jobs later when opportunities pop up.
5. Learn to talk shop. Learn about the company you are talking to before the interview. There are people that will be hiring you that can tell when you've done your homework. When you know a lot about a company and its goals, it means you're engaged in the process and the training will take less time.
6. Make more phone calls. Call your friends often to get better at phone conversations. Millennials are dependent on Facebook and SMS for communication. That may work with your buddies, but the older people that control the money use the telephone and e-mail. You will need to get better at professional phone conversations if you want to impress the people who hire.
7. On the Interview: Be positive, lean forward a bit and listen well so you respond with relevance. No one wants to hire Eyore. They want to hire Tigger with brains.
8. Don't be short-sighted. If the person hiring you seems sane and the company interests you, take the opportunity. It's not just a job,...