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How do Employers Perceive Millennials?

Now that you have graduated and you've realized that getting your first 'career' job is not easy, those Millennial jokes seem a lot less funny.  You may start to wonder if the people who are interviewing you actually think that Millennials require a two hour break to decompress and a trophy just for showing up.    Since most of the people who are interviewing you will be Baby Boomers and Gen X, they grew up with strict corporate hierarchies and may see things a little differently than you do.  However, the employer's view of Millennials is not all bad.  Here are some qualities of Millennials that employers often report:

They always want to know why.  Millennials are notorious for asking why.  The perception is that they won't follow a rule just because it's the rule.  They want to understand the reason for it and to judge for themselves whether or not the rule is reasonable.  While a desire to find better ways to do things can be a valuable asset, you also need to be able to tow the line when necessary.  The key here is balance.

Skilled with technology.  Employers are aware that Millenials grew up with Iphones and social media and they would love to make use of your knowledge of this technology.  Stay on top of current trends and use this perception to your advantage.   

Value work life balance.  Millennials are known to value work-life balance- sometimes to a fault.  While many businesses are already moving towards a more flexible working environment, it is important that you emphasize your willingness to work long hours if needed.

Focused on the big picture.  Millennials are known for being concerned about both their carbon footprint and their contribution to the world.  Since this is an admirable trait that you may not want to compromise on, it is best for you to find an organization that aligns with your values.   

Crave feedback.  There is a rumour going around that Millennials are addicted to feedback.  While feedback gives you a great opportunity to improve on your performance, you also need to show that you can work independently and learn from that feedback. 

Regardless of when you were born, you are a candidate for a job and the employer is trying to determine if you would be a good fit.  If you have a strong understanding of the organizational culture and the requirements of the position and you can demonstrate that your skills and experience match it, then you have as much of a chance as anyone.  


(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at