Seven Tips for Gen Y Job Seekers in This Tough Economy
April 23rd, 2011
We all know the current job market is tough, regardless of what generation you’re from. But for many Millennials (aka: Gen Y), who are inexperienced when it comes to searching for a job, it can be an even tougher time. So this article provides all you newbie job seekers, and recent college grads, with (7) tips that will give you an edge over your job-seeker competition.
- Start a Blog: Not “just” a blog – a blog that covers the news and information about specific companies, or industries, where you’d like to work. You can then contact the company(s) and let them know you have a blog that is “about them and their industry”. This can attract their attention and give you an edge over just submitting a resume. Even micro-blogging on Twitter using this strategy is smart. It helps you promote your Personal Brand!
- Make Yourself Known: Many newbie job seekers send their resume and then do nothing. Making 1-2 follow-up calls is not enough. Until someone tells you “the position is filled”, keep calling, emailing, and inquiring. Sure, it may seem like you’re annoying, but you are making yourself memorable, and that’s key.
- Know Your Target: Make sure you include the terminology used within that industry, and/or by that company, when submitting your info to them. This can range from the job titles they use to the industry/company jargon they use. The point here is to make your resume and cover letter “customized” to them, not generic to ANY industry and/or company.
- Don’t Rely on Your Computer: Yes, the Internet is a powerful networking tool. And, of course, network on social networks like FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But face-to-face contact can be more powerful. Attend local professional networking events in industries you’re interested in. Interested in a Marketing career? Attend your local AMA chapter mixer. Each month, attend as many “live” networking events as possible. Not only will you make a lot of contacts but you’ll become better at “selling yourself” which can help when you interview.
- Make Business Cards: Don’t arrive to networking events or job interviews without business cards. You can even make your title “Job Seeker in Finance” (or whatever you’re looking for). And on the back print a few bullets about you: Education, Degree, strengths, etc. These can be like mini-resumes and they give you something interesting to hand to people (versus writing your contact info on a napkin at an event). Make your own cards and get them printed inexpensively through online services like LogoMaker.com.
- Thank You Cards: Whenever your return home from an interview or networking event, or even from a casual encounter with someone you met at a party where you discussed your employment, send a hand written thank you note to everyone you met. People tend to send thank yous via email, but a hand written note makes a big impression nowadays because very few people send them!
- Be “Employed” Through Volunteering: If you’re unemployed, use some of your free time to volunteer at a local non-profit. That reflects well on you when interviewing. You can say that you volunteer 15-20 hours per week for XYZ organization and your tasks include…employers want to know you’re “doing something” other than looking for a job full time. It also shows them you’re hard working and not just sitting around your home waiting for a job.
And, don’t be afraid to get creative! There was a great story last year about an unemployed father of 3 from the financial industry who wore a nice suit and a sandwich board on the streets of New York, advertising he was looking for a job. And you know what? Within a short time he landed a job with a top company in his industry! Why? Because people from that company saw him daily and started to talk to him…may sound a bit nuts, but this economy is a bit nuts, so think outside the box in your job seeking efforts!
Bye for now,