Professionals born between 1977 and 2000, are a generation that employers are eager to recruit into their organizations, as part of human resource and legacy planning.
The next generation of career professionals faces some unique challenges establishing themselves in business sectors which are occupied at senior levels, by employees and managers with senior tenure and expansive work experience.
What kind of career strategies should millennials consider, to progressively advance their careers in a new a rapidly growing global market?
Grow Your Skill set
There are many affordable online resources that provide career professionals with resources and training, that can help you grow your skillset, to compete for opportunities with some of the world’s leading employers.
A degree is the first step to establishing a foundation of skills that will get you hired, but what employers like to see is a candidate that has persisted in professional development, by taking ongoing continuing education courses and certifications.
Some of the most competitive training opportunities, are available from non-traditional education providers, like Udemy, which now offers over 55,0000 online courses. Invest in the growth of your career, by completing ongoing training, and remember to add the completed coursework to your LinkedIn profile and CV.
Organize Your Personal Brand
Recruiters and leading employers do not hire based on what they may or may not find, when they search for social media, blog and other online communication written by a prospective candidate.
But it is important to know that what you do share online, does reflect strongly on the impression that you make, before you have been interviewed.
How can you organize your social media to attract employers or recruiters? Start by spending extra time on your LinkedIn profile, as it is the first and most often searched resource during the interview and hiring process.
Don’t treat your LinkedIn profile as a repository for the details of your CV, but rather as an opportunity to share portfolio items, and measurable accomplishments.
- Ask for referrals and endorsements from previous colleagues and managers, to provide references that future employers can easily review.
- Consider writing and publishing professional articles on LinkedIn Pulse, that demonstrate your learning and growing knowledge about your industry.
- Join groups and follow leading brands and organizations on LinkedIn, and contribute content, such as comments, shared links and other insights.
One of the most important things you can do with regards to personal branding, is evaluate the content that you have previously shared on social. Does it contain language that would be offensive to potential employers? Are there pictures that you have shared, that can be viewed by the public, that could deter an employer from hiring you? Spend some time ‘cleaning up’ objectionable content, and consider adding industry related articles, comments and insights weekly, to establish yourself as a quality hire.
Explore Offline Networking Opportunities
Today’s professionals are wired to technology, and that is both a good thing, and a bad thing for millennials, who may not develop the soft skills and offline networking talents they need, to grow within their career.
While conferences and conventions can be expensive to attend, they are a valuable opportunity to meet other professionals within your sector. Job fairs and technology accelerator events create the face-time needed to meet prospective employers, and to learn more about the skills you will need to advance in your career. Consider the benefit of a printed business card, with your name and telephone number that you can give to organizations you are interested in. It is a small thing that can make a lasting impression and open the door to new opportunities.
Seek Out Mentoring and Industry Advice
Finding a mentor in your career sector can be difficult, but the rewards and benefits are many. Not only can a mentor share how they successfully grew within your industry, but they can help point you in the right direction, in terms of training, associations and other activities that can make you more competitive in the global job market.
Stay Informed About Your Industry
Did you know that one of the things that successful career professionals have in common, is that they are constantly browsing job opportunities online? Even if you are currently happy with your role and the organization you work for, there are many insights that you can learn by regularly reviewing the competitive requirements that leading businesses are looking for.
For technology professionals, the sector is constantly changing. If you are in an entry-level or middle role and wish to transition to a future executive or management position, start by looking at the experience and requirements that are advertised by employers. It will provide an actionable list of certifications and associations that you can become involved with as a volunteer, or part-time intern, to build your portfolio of relevant work experience.