Applying for jobs can sometimes feel like an endless cycle of submitting résumés and cover letters, following up, and maybe never hearing back from the potential employer. With all the competition out there on the job market, it’s important that millennials perfect their résumé to stand out above their competition.
Here are the 7 things millennials should have on their résumés to catch a hiring manager’s eye:
Millennials, if you’re applying for a job that involves selling, networking or any type of marketing, include links to your social media accounts so you can prove you know how to sell yourself. Even if a job falls outside of these areas, include a link to your LinkedIn profile so the recruiter or hiring manager can easily find and connect with you. They’ll probably want to scope out your page to make sure it matches your paper résumé, and also to see if any of your connections have endorsed or written reviews for you.
As a millennial, you will probably not have years and years of on-the-job experience, so it’s important you make your résumé stand out in other ways. When listing previous positions, instead of just blandly listing out bullet points of the tasks you were responsible for, focus on a success story or specific achievement. Change “provided customer service to my clients” to “received the Best in Company award for providing outstanding customer service”.
Is that all you got?
Fill up your résumé with past volunteer work and extra curricular activities you may have completed during college. Companies want millennials who are well-rounded and great at multi-tasking, so showing employers that outside your work and school experience you also found time to volunteer with Habitat for Humanities will make you shine compared to others.
Employers want to know that the millennial they hire will not be a problem child in the office. Companies want millennials who can work in both a team and independent environment, who can collaborate on projects, and truly get along with others. When creating a résumé, don’t just add “team-player” as a skill, prove it! Did you work on a group project in one of your classes? Include the successes you achieved in this group structure. Have you collaborated with other departments on creating a pitch presentation to a new client? Add it to your résumé. Find a way to show you have excelled in a team atmosphere in prior positions.
Unless you’re in a very specialized field, you probably will not need to demonstrate your ability to do advanced calculus or trigonometry, but companies do value employees with basic math skills. Some positions will be faced with reading and interpreting quantitative data, so these skills will be desirable. For positions in sales or marketing, knowing how to show percentage changes or sales projections is vital, so hiring a millennial who gets tripped up over converting decimals or fractions to percentages is not a good decision. Prove you have these skills on your résumé by including any data analysis you have done during school or work. Did you take a statistics class where you had to tinker with SPSS? Mention it! Provide daily reporting to a superior about current sales? That should have a spot on your résumé as well.
Employers want to know you have strong verbal and written communication skills. Your résumé is the first interaction you have with a potential employer, so the tone, spelling, grammar and format should be impeccable. These documents are the way employers will judge your written communication skills, so prove to them how great yours are. As for your verbal communication skills, talk about times you’ve done public speaking, whether it was in school in front of a class or at work presenting to a client. Any experience you have will show your future employer you’re comfortable and confident with your verbal communication.
Calm under pressure.
In many corporate jobs, employees will be asked to maintain a calm demeanor even when under stress and pressure from their superiors. To demonstrate these skills, millennials should talk about their ability to meet tight deadlines and juggle multiple projects at once while not letting these factors impact the quality of their work. On top of these skills, millennials should consider putting leadership qualities on their résumés. You can find out what your leadership skills are with this free assessment.