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An Open Letter To Job-Seeking Millennials

Written after a good cry and three glasses of wine.

Posted on

1.

Flickr User Brenda Gottsabend

I sell alcohol. Yes, I have this great job of going into a restaurant and drinking during the day and it isn't frowned. Don't get me wrong it is challenging and you have to know what you’re talking about to succeed. But as a manager, I have other responsibilities beside sales. I get to select the next generation, the people I believe will start in sales but have the potential to be nurtured and cultivated to become the next generation of people who will influence our company over the next 10 or so years. You would think this job would be coveted, that I would have candidates beating down my door for a job. But finding someone qualified has continually become more challenging.

Eight years ago, as a college graduate, I was elated to start my job in sales. I had no predetermined path with my major in history. This job opportunity fell into my lap, no joke. There are days when I take it for granted but a quick talk with friends reminds me that what I have is beyond most jobs. Some people have hobbies I have my career. To some of you that may sound terrible but when your job constantly educates you and excites you it is hard not to be passionate about it.

My only struggle, something I have been dealing with for the past three years as a manger: acquiring talent. The media tells me constantly that there are plenty of people looking for employment. Millennials cry about living at home with mom and dad because the jobs aren't out there or they don't get paid enough. I am here to tell you they're wrong. There are plenty of well-paying jobs.

But Millennials: you’re doing it wrong.

Is it your own fault? Or is it the fault of our educational system? That I can't say. Because Google is a knowledge monster that everyone is aware of yet few use for anything more than to know what Kim Kardashian is up to today.

I constantly interview candidates that have not researched the company, are unaware of the job they applied for, cannot answer simply questions and who do not know proper interview protocol.

I recently had a candidate that showed up empty handed. No resume, no questions and no note pad to take notes. These are important. I see these items and immediately I see that you are dedicated and organized. You took enough time out of your regular schedule of travel/partying and you TRIED. You put effort into our brief 20 mins together.

However, these candidates are RARE! The one that can answer a question with complete sentences, regarding a topic that relates to the question asked is a diamond in the rough. I listen to this candidate and immediately I am filled relief that I have found someone that is component enough to be hired and who can speak professionally with customers.

On the rare occasion I get a unicorn. I get a candidate that is excited about the job, has previous experiences that relate to the job, comes prepared to the interview, can answer in complete sentences and the cherry on top, they send me a Thank You note. They understand that the details make every situation. By sending a thank you note, you again have taken the time to tell me that your time with me was important to you. In our world time is everything and you sparing yours for this detail means a lot.

So what are all these ramblings telling you Mr./Ms. Recently out of college still searching for a job? You can have that job you want. There is definitely one out there that suits your experiences and education. But nothing in life comes for free and you need to put some effort in to your interviews. Those meetings are a reflection of how you will perform day to day on your job. Don't hit up karaoke the night before and drink a pitcher of beer. Always be earlier for your interview. Dress for the job you want not the job you have. Please don't waste my time, be prepared for your interview. And sending a thank you note will make you stand out over the rest of your competition. If you want to get fancy send a hand written note.

So Millennials the next time you complain about your inability to find a job ask yourself: is it me?

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