Millennials (born 1980-2000) realized we’ve been lied to – hard work and an education has not led to hirer paying jobs. Even though Pew Research Center shows that young Americans are making more than most Americans did at the same age, it is not enough. Today’s paycheck has the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago.
Millennials make up a third of the global workforce and by 2025 will make up 75% of the global workforce. This generation is redefining the employer-employee relationship. Most millennials entered the workforce during explosive growth in online companies such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and others, when working full time meant having flex time, work-from-home options, and freelancing. Millennials experienced 911 at one of the most influential times of their lives. Congress became completely dysfunctional, and housing prices soured beyond what most young people could afford.
Millennials were infants in their careers – or hadn’t even begun – in 2008, the largest economic decline since the great depression. What’s more, now Millennials are being hit with economic fall-out from COVID. Job opportunities are scarce with 4 unemployed people for every 1 job. Job loss is outpacing job creation.
Couple that with the post-COVID millennial unemployment rate of 11.5 percent. The only unemployment rate this is higher is Gen Z (born after 2000).
Millennials are often referred to as the entitled generation. But millennials are more tech fluent than any of the older generations. We are adept at processing information quickly. We grew up with instant access to the world through digital media. This means, we are flexible to changing conditions around us, whether it’s fashion, wellness, or the global economy.
Expose negative perceptions.
Type “millennials are…” into any search engine and you’re sure to find a plethora of stereotypes. Millennials are touted as having a sense of entitlement which is not good when you’re trying to find a job. Show potential employers that while that might be a general stereotype, it does not apply to you.
Highlight your soft skills.
Growing up in a world of technology doesn’t leave a lot of time to develop soft skills, like communication. More hiring managers are requiring soft skills. Showcase your communication skills when emailing, talking on the phone or interviewing. Practice so that when it counts you sound professional and courteous.
Shift your focus.
When interviewing, shift your focus from you, your education, and your experience to what you can do for the employer. Begin in your cover letter with a short introduction and understanding of the role and company. Include your vision for the role and why you would make a great fit.
Mindfully post on social.
Having grown up with social media, we often don’t take a lot of time to think about how our social profiles are received by others. While a well-kept LinkedIn profile works to your advantage, ranting across Twitter may hurt. Tune up your social media before you apply for work.
Combat lack of experience.
Look for opportunities to gain experience. Use sites like Catchafire to find volunteer opportunities in your field. Write a blog. Reach out to friends and colleagues on LinkedIn asking for a chance to earn a position with their company or a reference. Use your resume and cover letter to show what how you contributed to what you learned in school.
While millennials are changing the way we work, and the millennial unemployment rate may not matter in the future, it’s still a great idea to keep these tips in mind as you navigate the workforce.