Millennial job seekers are often criticized as being lazy and entitled. But your generation is going to make up 36 percent of the workforce by next year. As millennials, you need to be aware of the specific mistakes your generation is making and avoid them at all costs.
You can start to change the perception of your generation. Here are five job search mistakes millennials make:
1. Being Lazy at the Beginning. It’s important to get into the job search game as soon as possible. Around one in three students complete their first internship younger than sophomore year. The rest of the students who put it off until later are missing out on valuable time. The internship market is extremely competitive, so it’s important to get in the game early. You don’t want to jump in near the end with a bunch of people your age who have way more experience than you.
2. Being Afraid to Network. Millennials constantly hear about how important networking is. That said, quite a few of them don’t do it right because they’re afraid or they rely too much on social networks. You have so many options for expanding your network. Yes there is social media, but there are also alumni networks, professional organizations, peers, and your parents. There is nothing wrong with getting a little help from someone you know. If it means landing the job you want, who cares?
3. Not Doing Enough Research. Research is one of the most essential pieces of the job search, and many millennials do not do enough of it. Job research must be extremely thorough, including learning about the company, position, interviewer, and industry trends. If you don’t know enough about the company, employers will be unimpressed. Don’t make the mistake of being underprepared.
4. Not Being Curious Enough. Sort of on the flip side of being prepared, it’s always important to ask your interviewer questions about the job. Just because you did research ahead of time does not mean you learned everything there is to know. Asking smart questions about the company or the position shows your interest in the job. Ask specific, well thought out questions to impress your interviewer.
5. Being Too Confident or Entitled. Millennial job seekers are often classified as “too entitled.” Their upbringing and overconfidence gives them the wrong attitude in interviews. It’s definitely important to be confident about your abilities, but it’s another thing to assume a job will be handed to you. In order to avoid coming off too confident, focus on specific accomplishments you’ve made and how you will apply them to the job at hand.
Millennials have to deal with a lot of criticism in the job search. If you avoid these mistakes, you can avoid being generalized as another lazy and entitled kid.
Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.