4 Reasons Millennials Make the Best Employees
Millennials tend to get a bad rap. Most of what you hear about them is how they’re lazy, entitled and want people to do everything for them. However, for most millennials, that couldn’t be further from the truth. And they want a chance to be able to prove that. Here are some of the best traits millennials possess, why those traits make them great employees and how to hone those skills to be the best employee or applicant possible.
They’re Ready to Prove Themselves
As we mentioned in the introduction, millennials want a chance to disprove all those terrible stereotypes about them. They don’t want to be seen as the typical millennial. And they’re willing to work hard and give it their all to make sure they don’t get painted with the same brush. Whatever job they get, they’re going to put everything they’ve got into it.
Being a hard worker and being willing to go the extra mile is definitely something employers are looking for. But that’s not just something you can tell them — you’ll have to show them in your experience. Highlight any extra projects you took on at previous jobs and any academic conferences or extracurricular activities from college that show you go above and beyond the typical worker or student.
In interviews, note that you welcome challenges and want to learn new things. And when you get that job you’ve been looking for, make sure you own up to everything you put on your resume and said in the interview. Your actions have to match your words and intentions — otherwise, they don’t mean anything.
Don’t be afraid to try out a starter job as an assistant, junior team member, or even a paid intern (or unpaid, if you can manage it financially). These positions are often stepping stones in employers’ eyes. If you’re willing to start out in a job like this, it shows that you are passionate and willing to take the time to prove yourself. Then, make sure to prove yourself. Do the best possible job you can in that position, and you may find it leads to more opportunities than you ever imagined.
They Welcome Feedback
We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the coddled millennial who got a trophy just for showing up. However, reality is a bit different than that. Most millennials’ parents who were very involved in their education, and they also had teachers and academic mentors who worked with them.
Millennials are used to getting feedback. In fact, they desire it. They want to know when their work is outstanding, when it’s just average and when it isn’t meeting the required standards. They want to put out the best body of work they can, but they need guidance on which methods produce the best work.
If there’s an opportunity in an application question or interview, steer the conversation to feedback and how it helps you produce better work. Maybe talk about a time feedback really helped and influenced you to become a better employee or student.
In the workplace, make sure you welcome constructive criticism. Don’t shut down or fight an employer when they give you less-than-satisfactory results. Accept it, and ask how you can do better. Suggest some things you could’ve done differently and have a discussion with them. It shows you truly do want to be better at your job, and employers will respect you for that.
Technology Comes Naturally for Them
A recent study showed 78 percent of employers agree millennials are the best at using technology in a corporate environment. This generation grew up using computers at home. Technology comes naturally to them. It’s not intimidating, and even if it’s something they haven’t come across before, there’s a good chance they can learn it pretty quickly.
Millennials’ heavy social media use is another advantage. Since they’ve used multiple platforms to create an individual brand, they’re already experienced in some sort of marketing. A look at their social media sites can show what kind of self-promoter they are, as a social media profile is a curated preview of how millennials want others to view them.
Use all this to your advantage. If you know you have a wonderfully tailored social media profile, make it public so potential employers can view it. Checking social media is a standard employer practice these days, and a solid, up-to-date social media profile can boost your chances at getting the job.
Highlight the tech you’re best with on your resume. Most people are going to be good at Microsoft Word, so try to show off things that might not be so common. Depending on the job, any coding experience is going to be beneficial, as well as Photoshop skills and familiarity with content management systems like WordPress.
They’re Excellent Communicators
With everything from Google Hangouts to texting to social media at their fingertips, millennials are used to constantly staying in touch. They’ve had a lot of practice in the best way to communicate with others. They also value instantaneous communication and getting answers as soon as possible.
And they’re not just good at communicating digitally. They value a face-to-face conversation, too. The constant communicating makes them pretty good at reading people and situations. They know an email to a professor or boss is different than a text to a friend. They’re adept at understanding the best way to communicate with someone — be it digital or verbal.
Communication is likely to come up in interviews. Potential employers will possibly ask you about a time when you solved a problem by communicating. Make sure you’re thinking this through and are prepared to answer. Employers also value experience in customer service and similar jobs because it means you’re trained at communicating with the public.
Make sure you show these skills off at a job. Use a different tone with your coworkers than you do with a boss or a client. Impress bosses with your smooth phone skills, as well as your ability to craft an intelligent email or handle the company’s online chat service. Don’t shy away from communication — embrace it. You’re probably even better at it than you know.
Any employer would be lucky to have millennial employees. Don’t be shy about embracing your generation’s unique set of skills and traits when applying to and working in new jobs. And make sure you prove all those stereotypes wrong.