millennial job search

How You Can Boost Yourself Professionally as a Millennial

shutterstock_153435548By Chelsea Stuart

Millennials, like many other distinctive generations, have fallen prey to stereotyping. While some like to believe that Generation Y is a group of lazy, narcissistic and entitled youngsters with no ambition, it’s our job to refute that. With much of our generation recently graduated or facing graduation in the coming months, it’s hard to remove oneself from preconceptions in order to transition confidently into the job sphere. That being said, here are a few tips that’ll surely help you break from the pack.

Clean Up Your Social Media

Parents, professors and advisors have probably been telling you this forever, but it’s something that should be taken seriously. If a prospective employer searches you on FaceBook or Twitter only to find a number of pictures from your night out or statuses full of curses, you’re certainly not making a great first impression. Remedy this by first cleaning up your social media platforms and then doing a quick Google search on yourself– more information may be out there than you were aware of. Aside from keeping your pages employer-friendly, you can also use social media to your advantage. Set up a LinkedIn profile to connect with other professionals and use Twitter to search out and follow businesses you’d be interested in working for.

Update Your Résumé and Cover Letter

If the last time you updated your résumé was for a side job in college or even an internship, it’s likely that a rehaul is in order. Make sure that the work experience you list is directly relevant to the position you’re applying for and try to mirror the language of the job listing in your cover letter. Remember to keep both concise — as a young professional, your resume should fit on one page. You will have time to talk more extensively about you experience in your cover letter and in person. Last but not least, double and triple check your résumé and letter for typos! A typo could spell the end of your chance and you don’t want to lose the job before you’ve even had the opportunity to discuss your qualifications. Have a friend or colleague read over all of your materials before you send it out– sometimes a second set of eyes is all it takes to spot the small errors you may be reading over.

Network, Network, Network

We all know the saying, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know,” and while that can sometimes be frustrating, it’s mostly true. As someone who is just starting to build their career, networking can help you to gain a major leg up. Stay in touch with former internship bosses, managers and other young professionals. You never know who may be able to provide a valuable connection. While it can sometimes be nerve-racking, just remind yourself that other Millennials are in the same situation and even experienced professionals had to do it at one point.

Do Your Research

You’ve finally scored an interview with a company you’re really excited about; congrats! To capitalize on your meeting, make sure you’ve researched the company and are fully aware of its mission, values and goals. Going into an interview without this knowledge is like going into a test blind. If you can impress upon your interviewer that you took the time to learn more about the organization, chances are you’ll make a longer lasting impression.

Dress the Part

Investing in a really nice suit, dress or blazer specifically for interviews could help put you in the right mind space. If your outfit makes you feel like a million bucks, that’s an instant confidence boost and who wouldn’t want that? Having a go-to outfit also means that you can invest the time you’d normally spend picking one out into something else that’s productive (i.e., a last minute research refresher).

Send Follow Up and Thank You Emails

Even if you think you absolutely nailed your interview, a thank you email is necessary. Sending a thank you email–no later than 24 hours after your interview–shows the employer that you are very interested in the position and company. It also allows you the space to succinctly reiterate why you think you’d be a great fit. Conclude your email with a professional signature (your name, phone number, website or portfolio if you have one, etc.) and feel confident knowing that you’ve done all you can.

 

About the Writer

chelsea.stuartChelsea Stuart is currently finishing up her degree in Writing, Literature & Publishing at Emerson College in Boston. After living on a ship for four months and visiting 15 countries with the study abroad program Semester at Sea, she’s presently dealing with some intense wanderlust. Aside from travel, she enjoys reading, writing, photography, thrifting, and drinking an absurd amount of coffee. She hopes to one day (soon) pursue a career in publishing and try her luck in The City that Never Sleeps.

 

 

Feature image: Millennial with smartphone via Shutterstock

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