By Ashley Collins, AgCareers.com Education & Marketing Manager
Do you ever wish you were on the other side of that career fair booth or
interview table? Ever wondered what the company representative is thinking while
you recite your thought-out, well-rehearsed, “Tell me about yourself” response?
Chances are, the way you appeared that day and the first five words out of your
mouth made an impression on that employer. They were mentally filing your resume
into either the “keep” pile or the “trash” pile. If you’re lucky, you’ll make it
to the “keep” pile and have another chance to prove your worth.
Every generation has positive and
negative labels, all of which were developed because somewhere someone began to
see a trend. To help you better understand what positive and negative qualities
employers recognize so that you are better able to market your strengths and be
aware of the negative perceptions, we reached out to a few employers to see what
they are saying about you.
Knowing what employers are saying about your
generation of candidates could be powerful knowledge going into an interview, an
internship, or your first week on the job. Every generation comes with its
stereotypes, some of which define them professionally.
Those who grew up
during the 1920s and ’30s are called “Traditionalists.” They can be stereotyped
as the type of worker who comes into the office and puts in an eight hour day
then goes home. The “Boomers” are those who grew up during the late ’40s through
the early ’60s. They are typically classified as hard workers who believe in
making the slow climb up the corporate ladder; they were the inventors of the
“Generation X” are those who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s.
They invented casual Friday and the corporate softball team. They were also the
first of the generations to be in management roles where they supervise
employees who may be twice their age.
Then there are the “Millennials,” which
is your generation. Some of your labels have already been formed but growing up
in a time where so much changes every day, you’re still creating new ideas of
who you are and what type of employee you want to be.
The comments our panel
of employers shared with us can help you sell yourself to your first employer.
This intel will help you build your resume with more quantifiable facts,
emphasize your desire to climb the corporate ladder at a reasonable pace, and
promote how your semester-long trip to Italy taught you the importance of
communication skills, planning ahead, and independence.
What employers are saying about you:
- “Young employees often come into the workplace with a skewed sense of
- “Young employees are better equipped for the multi-tasking
demands of the workplace.”
- Students often oversell themselves in their
resume by using too many adjectives and not enough quantifiable data.”
students seeking to come into today’s workforce have more worldly experiences
than graduates 10 to 15 years ago did but don’t do a great job of communicating
how that will help them on the job.”
- “Too many students expect to be in a
management role within two years of employment. In our economy, advancement can
mean opportunities to take on new types of work, not necessarily a corner
- “We need more young employees who have business skills, regardless
of their technical training. At some point, everyone has to develop a proposal
or implement a business plan.”
- “Students today are extremely confident
coming into the workplace.”
- “I see more young hires in our company struggle
with using their ‘professional filter,’ i.e. think before you speak.”
- “Students today are efficient workers due to their experiences utilizing
AgCareers.com would like to thank Misty Gassett, the human
resources department head with Christensen Farms; Mike Koenecke, the human
resources recruitment and talent management leader with Ag Partners; and Summer
Russell, the internship program manager and special projects coordinator with
Prestage Farms, for their input on this article.