In some ways, being young can actually be an asset for a prospective new employer.
Our generation gets to do all the fun stuff—we get to play the “good luck getting a job” game, walk the fine line between personal and professional social media, and dodge the “you’re ruining America with your laziness how could I ever hire you” looks.
Well, fun may not be the correct word.
Nonetheless, as someone who just graduated this past May, I know how difficult it can be to find work with the economy remaining, shall we say, less than great. To make matters worse, CEOs and other company managers now have their pick of potential employees, and they are often skeptical toward young professionals. After all, it is difficult to compete with someone who has 20 years of experience and two Masters degrees.
However, young professionals have certain qualities that companies will most likely not be able to find in industry veterans. While it may seem hard to compete, confidence is the key.
Consider a few of the points that set you apart from older generations and you will find that you, in fact, are extremely marketable:
Squash those hesitant looks—what sets you apart:
- You have the time available to give a company what it needs.
Chances are if you are a recent graduate, you have the time to put into your job. While many older candidates have a family or a long commute, you will have the capacity to move close to the office and work long hours if necessary. If you are willing to travel for the job, point this out to employers. Finally, a lot of young professionals are looking to “climb up the ladder” in a company, rather than working simply as a means to an end. This should be attractive to most potential employers.
- Our generation has a sense of technology that others cannot always offer.
To work in a business, everyone has to know how to work certain technological basics. However, we are the first generation who have grown up with technology and practiced it just about every day. Technology is absolutely crucial to any business, and many CEOs and company managers know this and take it seriously. Continually bring up how easy it is for you to keep up with the latest technology trends—this is not easy for everyone.
- Recent schooling has given you the most up-to-date information to work with.
Prior education is obviously very valuable in the workplace, and as a new graduate you will be equipped with knowledge of the latest business practices and theories. Although you may not have the experience, all of the information you learned in school is still fresh in your mind, which is something not everyone can say. When asked about your strengths during an interview, explain that this will give you the ability to be a quick learner.
- You are not burned out by 40 hour work weeks.
As a young professional, you are energetic and motivated. This is not necessarily something that you should tell a potential employer, but rather something you should show them. Come into your interview with enthusiasm about the company and about the prospect of being able to come up with new ideas. For someone young, a job does not have to be entirely about making a bunch of money. You have the luxury of being able to take risks, and employers like that.
Even though it may seem like being young is nothing but a burden, it does bring advantages in the business world. If you bring up these points in an interview, you are sure to win over the boss and find yourself sitting at your own desk a few days later.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to surveillance systems. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including business security systems to small businesses and entrepreneurs at Business.com.