Why being a millennial is a job search advantage
Being a millennial isn’t exactly a good thing when it comes to the job search. After all, millennials are usually labeled as entitled, pampered, lazy, and obnoxious—not exactly traits you want the hiring manager to associate you with.
So, you’ve got two options.
Option #1: Ignore the “millennial” issue completely and hope the employer doesn’t hold your age against you.
Option #2: Highlight your “millennial” characteristics as strengths, so the hiring manager sees your youth as an asset.
It’s completely up to you which option you choose. However, if you go with the second, here’s how to do it successfully.
Talk About Tech
Being technologically adept becomes more important every day, and luckily, millennials have a major advantage in this space. As a “digital native,” you’ve grown up with tech: starting with MySpace, moving to Facebook, and graduating to Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram.
It doesn’t matter what type of job you’re applying for, knowing your way around social networks is important. Maybe the company has a Vine account—during your interview, mention that you loved a specific video. Or, maybe you noticed their Yelp reviews have gotten much better lately—congratulate them on raising their scores.
If you have bonus tech skills (such as coding, graphic or web design, video, etc.), then include them on your resume and potentially bring them up during the interview. (Just make sure they’re somehow relevant to the position.)
Highlight Your Motivation
There’s tons of research to show millennials care more about improving themselves than any other generation.
And from a hiring manager’s perspective, that makes millennials super desirable. Who doesn’t want an employee who’ll continually seek out chances to learn new skills?
To prove to the interviewer that you share this drive, give examples of the professional development opportunities you’ve taken. For instance, maybe at your old job you volunteered to take a bartending course so you could help make drinks at the restaurant. Or, maybe you taught yourself how to use the scheduling software so you could help your manager allocate shifts.
Cite Your Speedy Learning Skills
Because millennials have always had access to information via the Internet, they typically can find, absorb, and implement knowledge incredibly quickly. This characteristic is almost endlessly useful. You could work with clients all day long, so you need to be able to listen to their requests and deliver on them as fast as possible. Or perhaps you’re constantly dealing with change at work, and being capable of digesting new info without panicking makes you the ideal employee.
Connect your ability to learn quickly to your current role in your cover letter. You might write:
The bistro hostess role is an ideal fit for me, because I thrive in a fast-paced environment. I’m able to react very quickly—so if a guest looks unhappy, or there’s a seating conflict, I’ll immediately jump into action and resolve the issue before it’s too late.
You can use the same strategy when answering questions like, “Why would you succeed in this role?”, or “What are your strengths?”
Being a millennial does not have to be a disadvantage. In fact, if you use these three unique aspects of being a Gen-Yer, it might be the factor that gets you the job.