Generation Y and Job Seeking

This week’s blogpost is generously provided by Bret Bernhoft, a Generation Y expert and public speaker addressing generational issues in the work place.

For Generation Y, job seeking is certainly nothing like what their parents experienced. Today, the need to be Internet-savvy as well as have effective networking skills is even more imperative than ever. For Generation Y to stay competitive in an ever-tightening competitive job market, they must become more innovative and creative when hunting for available positions. Generation Y has to play a much more closely-managed game of cat and mouse in order to secure their future employment.

As for many positions, credentials are important, including experience and education. However, despite their significance, credentials aren’t everything. It is the network of relationships a job seeker has that will ultimately ensure their success. Being a young workforce, Generation Y is competing in a world of well established partnerships and alliances, putting them at a certain disadvantage. Thus, a level of “hyper” or proactive networking must be undertaken by Generation Y in order to gain an upper hand.

Generation Y can be defined, in part, by their emphasis on community development. It is through the use of these skills that developing a series of productive relationships can be created and maintained. Generation Y workers naturally pursue a sense of identity and purpose through their relationships, thus making the process of networking much less uncomfortable and not as much of a hassle. Attending regular networking events and connecting through online professional groups are two effective ways of developing a name as a viable candidate. Websites such as LinkedIn and Plaxo are two examples of such opportunities.

Another successful strategy used by Generation Y job seekers is to become an expert in a certain field through online content creation. This would include the creation of a blog or a website that focuses on their area of expertise. Placing themselves in a position of reference, Generation Y’s ability to leverage any unique perspective or insight much more effectively creates a specific area of expertise. Companies are actively searching for fresh and exciting ways of thinking, giving even the simplest of blogs a very real purpose.

No matter the strategy used, Generation Y must be able to articulate their value to a company and initiate the relationships to help secure employment. It is a very competitive job market these days. Without a plan of action, younger and less experienced job seekers could be left behind. Generation Y, unlike any generation prior, must use their advantages in technology knowledge and community-building in order to gain the upper hand.