Millennials are notorious job-hoppers (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But if you’re itching to get out of your current role and into something better, you’ll never land a new gig unless you tackle your job hunt the right way.
4 things millennials do wrong while job hunting
According to millennial career coach Ashley Stahl, most Gen Y-ers are guilty of the following mistakes.
THEY OVERSHARE ON THEIR RESUMES
While on the lookout for a new job, jazzing up the old resume is usually the first order of business. The problem is that many millennials feel a compulsion to overshare.
“This is probably the most transformational tip I could offer,” says Stahl, adding that the way you talk about yourself on your resume may very well be holding you back. “It becomes more of a job description and less of an accomplishment description.”
Instead of turning your resume into a laundry list of all your work responsibilities, only list the stuff that’s really going to sparkle to a potential new employer. “There’s no need to share about the aspects of your job that aren’t relevant to where you’re going; they’re not empowering to your resume,” says Stahl.
The less-is-more approach will definitely stand out more than a cluttered resume listing every mundane task you completed at your last job. And of course, keep it to one page.
“Nobody wants to read page two,” Stahl adds.
THEY DON’T HAVE THEIR ELEVATOR PITCH READY
This next pitfall is something so obvious, yet so overlooked at the same time. If a potential new employer asks you to tell them about yourself, what would you say? If you find yourself stammering for a natural, fluid response, you’re in trouble.
“Before you even step foot in the interview, have a well-polished, well-thought-out elevator pitch about yourself,” says Stahl. “The problem is that it seems like such an easy question that we don’t give it the thought it deserves. As a result, it becomes a hugely lost opportunity.”
The bottom line is that you should be able to talk about yourself—not just your work experience—with confidence and polish. According to Stahl, tons of recruiters and headhunters have told her that they can’t believe how many interviewees have given this no thought whatsoever.
THEY ASK FOR FEEDBACK ABOUT WHY THEY DIDN’T GET THE GIG
Millennials are an assertive bunch in that many don’t shy away from asking an employer why they didn’t get a gig. It may seem like a proactive move. (Why not learn from my mistakes so that I do better the next time around?) But the truth is that this move usually rubs employers the wrong way, which can wreck your odds of getting an offer later down the line. Similarly, Stahl says that many Gen Y-ers will call hiring managers to make sure they received their job application.
“While it takes a really strong person to take initiative by picking up the phone and following up on their job application, it’s rarely welcomed on the receiving end,” she says. “The reality is that the hiring manager probably has already gotten your resume, and if you call and they unexpectedly end up on the phone with you, it puts them on the spot and kind of feels like you’re demanding a job interview.”
Instead, follow up via email. It shows that you’re taking initiative without being aggressive, which automatically sets you apart.
THEY NETWORK ALL WRONG
Did you know that 80 percent of job openings actually aren’t posted? According to Forbes, what you see posted online only represents about 20 percent of what’s actually out there.
Translation: if your job hunt is strictly Internet-based, you’re really only hitting the bottom of the barrel.
“It’s necessary for you to get up, get out, and master the art of cold networking,” advises Stahl. “It’s really what moves the needle.”
A common mistake many millennials make is thinking that formal events are the only place to network. Not so, says Stahl. The truth is that targeted, cold networking is where it’s at.
“Get clear about who’s out there doing the jobs you want to do, and who’s hiring for those jobs,” she adds. “Shoot them a cold email and ask for a cup of coffee or a phone call. And come from a place of interest and excitement for what they do.”
Being a masterful networker ultimately means having job security. Regardless of the economy, if you know how to talk to people in a way that creates opportunities, Stahl says you’re always just a phone call or email away from your next gig.