Everyone has had a harder time finding a job post-recession. Interestingly, millennials have been hit particularly hard. Defined as anyone born between the early eighties and the year two thousand, this generation is touted as being highly educated, technologically savvy, and fluent in the language of social networking. Despite these credentials, millennials are among the worst-off in terms of successful job seeking. Studies show that 12.2% of recent college grads are unemployed, and 40% of those lucky enough to be employed are in positions where a college degree isn’t necessary.
According to research, millennials face three main obstacles. First, the generation of millennials is described as lacking soft skills. These are skills which are not explicitly taught, but are highly coveted by employers. Soft skills include things such as communication, work ethic, and critical thinking. Second, millennials exhibit an overly lackadaisical attitude in their job search. Not having a broad and mature professional network to lean on when seeking employment, millennials should compensate with an energetic and driven approach to job seeking. The third obstacle cited by surveys is an inappropriate attitude. Research suggests that millennials have overly optimistic ideas about the speed of career advancement. Millennials tend to expect that if they do what’s required, their career will be on the fast track. However, many would say if you do what’s required you’re meeting the bare minimum benchmark. It’s those few who go above and beyond their 9-5 that truly accelerate their careers.
Luckily for millennials, there are ways to separate themselves from the reputation of their peers. Millennials should start their job search well before spring of their senior year, and they should approach it with tenacity. A way they can avoid the trappings of the traditional campus career resource office is to contact recently graduated alumni’s in their desired field. This will help get the networking ball rolling for them, and likely lead to the contact that lands them a job.