Millennials should leverage their most positive traits during a job search. The positive traits of millennials have been debated, as have their negative traits. Here’s what’s commonly accepted: If you were born between 1981 and 1996, you are considered a millennial. And today, the millennial group is now the largest generation of workers.
Millennials have strikingly different attitudes about work than other generations. And, at times, millennials have gotten a bad rap. Some traits attributed to millennials may be off-putting to a hiring manager. However, employer attitudes are changing as well. They are starved for talent.
The Solution to Your Stalled Career — Sell the Positive
While employers are aggressively trying to fill their talent and leadership pipelines, some millennials may feel their careers are getting stalled. The solution? Emphasize your strengths to your current and would-be employers. The more you can describe your positive traits and cite examples of how they have helped you succeed in your career, the more likely you will be viewed as a realistic candidate for a new job or a promotion.
Negative Traits of Millennials
As Millennials entered adulthood, they were often ridiculed as the “Everyone Gets a Trophy” generation. Parents of millennials were protective of their children’s self-esteem and wanted all children to be recognized with participation trophies. Fast-forward to adulthood, and some view millennials as lacking a competitive drive and resilience — the ability to pick yourself up and keep trying even if you don’t come in first place.
Positive Traits of Millennials
Millennials bring many positive traits into the workplace. Back in 2013, The Boston Consulting Group asserted that, “Millennials in the U.S. value diversity, embrace a global perspective, and are open to new experiences.” Now that Millennials are in the majority, these positive characteristics still seem accurate. These five positive character traits — often associated with millennials — are among those that hiring managers look for:
US Millennials were more likely to study abroad than previous generations. Millennials seem to want to see the world – to experience new cultures, adventures and people. This makes you adaptable and able to fit in in new environments, which is highly beneficial. And your ability to relate to people of diverse global cultures is also a huge plus in our global economy. If you are open to a relocation assignment or travel, be sure to share that with your current employer or a hiring manager.
Millennials are more likely to be college-educated than previous generations. Many millennials have taken humanities and management courses at the college level, so they may be better prepared to relate to others. As a millennial job applicant, you might want to express to a hiring manager that you have a high level of emotional intelligence or EQ. EQ is a trait that many HR professionals say is an essential trait for today’s leaders.
While some job seekers aren’t as adaptable when it comes to new technologies, millennials rely on technology for many of their everyday tasks. Is there an app for that? If so, they may be the first to find it — or create one — to get a task done more effectively. Their tech knowledge and utilization helps them keep up with always evolving platforms.
This generation generally lacks the fear that others face and are not afraid to tap into their adventurous side and try new things. They are willing to take risks and think outside the box. When speaking to a prospective employer, you might want to cite a time when you stepped in a new or difficult situation, despite a level of risk or uncertainty, but “powered through” with determination.
5. Concerned About Global Issues
Millennials tend to be more big picture thinkers when it comes to issues such as the environment, human suffering and world peace. They want their careers to have purpose and a connection to the greater good. Employers who can connect their corporate mission with the passion of their millennial employers will likely succeed in having a workforce dedicated to the mission. As an employee or prospective job applicant, think about how your personal values align with those of the employer, and be prepared to speak about that alignment to the hiring manager.
Career Coaching for Millennials
Are you a a millennial looking for a job? Do you have some of these positive millennial traits listed above? Can you tell a story that connects these traits with what an employer is looking for? If so, leverage these character traits in your CV / résumé and during interviews. Hiring managers want to see who you are and how you would fit into their work environment.
Need help telling your story more effectively? A professional career coach can help you build your personal brand and leverage both online and offline networks to find your next job. Coaches can also help you move up in your current job. Maybe everyone shouldn’t get a trophy or maybe they should. At IMPACT Group, we say forget about trophies. Get a coach! We are a coaching company that helps millennials get the career they want. Find out more about what a career coach can do for you now.