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6 Interview Shortcomings That Cost Millennials a Golden Job Opportunity

5 Signs You’ve Picked the Perfect College Major
Sadie Douse
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Published on June 15, 2015

Millennials often get persecuted for being the carefree generation that lacks a work ethic. This is not always the case, and if you found yourself strongly disagreeing with the previous sentence, you might just have what it takes to makes employers think otherwise.

A recruiter will try to judge your work potential by how well you perform in an interview. Here are six mistakes millennials are prone to make and get erroneously labeled “inept.”

Not Worrying about Their Social Media ProfilesDon’t mistake your employers to be oldies with no knowledge of what’s new in technology. Today’s employers are searching up social media profiles to perform background checks during the “screening” process. So many millennials are unaware of what the public is able to view on their profiles.

Have a look at Career Builder’s 2013 research results based on the topic. According to a sample of more 2,100 hiring managers and recruiters, two in five (exactly 39 percent) companies used social media to research candidates and find information that would help them decide whether or not they should hire a candidate.

What are some of the top reasons for not hiring a candidate?

Inappropriate/explicit pictures

Drug use

Discriminatory or offensive comments

Lying about qualifications/contradictory information

Bad mouthing an old boss

Inappropriate Attire: We know you have the “freedom” and the right to wear whatever you wish, but not dressing professionally will surely hurt your chances of getting a job. To err on the side of caution, try to pick a neutral color that is neither too dull nor too flashy. For example, black, blues, and whites are common colors worn in a professional environment. In addition, suits, ties, skirts and dress pants are NOT overly formal. In fact, they areideal for this occasion. When it comes to interviews you want to dress to impress. Millennials often make the mistake of dressing too casually and thereby appearing unprepared or overconfident.   

Not Being Professional: Employers already know that you are new to this situation – a.k.a “entry level” with only a few years on your resume. However, they won’t understand why you fail to portray a professional image after an extensive education. According to CNN, millennials are far more educated than Gen X’ers and are more likely to have a college degree. The sad part is they are less likely to get as many jobs as Gen X. Although this is due to various factors such as the economic situation, part of the problem lies in their unprincipled attitude when it comes to “work.”

The current situation you are in demands a high level of maturity and professionalism. Professionalism includes everything from the way you behave at your interview, the vocabulary you use in your documents, the way you dress, and yes, even the email addresses you use. An email address such as, coolbabenancy@– is not going to impress any employer.

Not Doing Enough Research: With enough technology at the tips of their fingers, one would think a millennial is an adept researcher. Not so, says a group of hiring managers. If hiring managers think you haven’t done enough “research” it only means one thing: you haven’t researched the company.

Part of preparing for the interview requires you do sufficient research on company, products, interviewers, and the interview setting.

Being Careless or Overconfident: Being overly confident or sloppy when it comes to your documents is careless and un-professional. Make sure you have your resume as well as cover letter set and ready to be delivered.  Using inappropriate language or spelling mistakes will render your resume useless (and probably get thrown away in the garbage). The biggest mistake applicants make while searching for jobs is not ensuring that their resume is error-free.

Also, being creative or different works in other situations, but certainly not this one.   Employers prefer the standard resume and cover letter format with appropriate information. Trying to be cute or funny might make you stand out from the rest, but it won’t necessarily leave a good impression.

Not showing Long-term Commitment: Every company is vigilant when hiring a to-be employee. The moment you show them signs of betrayal is the moment you will lose your worth to the company. As harsh as it may sound, employers want to be sure they are investing in an employee who will stick around. Millennials often make the mistake of answering the “where will you be in the next five years” question incorrectly or having their resume show how often they “jumped around.” To show long-term commitment, you need to show passion for the job and sincerity towards the organization you are applying to.

Photo credit: Flazingo Photos

Sadie Douse

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