For Millennials, you don’t want to appear young and inexperienced. A star Millennial WILL:
- Dress to impress: According to a survey by recruiting firm Adecco, 75 percent of hiring managers believe the top interview mistake Millennials make is wearing inappropriate attire.
- Bring hard copies of their resume: If you show up for an interview with your resume on your tablet, it’s not easy to show multiple people.
- Ask the right questions: If you don’t ask smart questions, you’ll come off as uninterested or unprepared. Questions like “Why did you choose to work here?” or “How would I exceed your expectations in my first few months on the job?” show interest and drive.
- Sell yourself, but don’t brag: Accomplishments are important to highlight, but be careful of sounding overconfident.
Sandwiched in the middle, Generation X can take advantage of all these tips. In addition, star Gen Xers WILL:
- Let their personality shine: Smile and lean slightly forward to demonstrate you’re truly interested in the job.
- Go above and beyond typical research: Arm yourself with the latest press releases about the company so you can ask intelligent questions.
- Show passion: Don’t just go through the motions of talking about your achievements. Talk about how what you did made an even larger impact to customers and people’s lives.
- Not assume everyone knows what they did: Prepare stories around your accomplishments so the interviewer can understand exactly how you got from point A to point B.
Just the opposite of Millennials, Boomers don’t want to appear old and stodgy. Star Baby Boomers WILL:
- Be willing to learn: Show how you’ve recently picked up new skills by taking a class.
- Show how this role will challenge you: Put your interviewer at ease by ensuring them you are not overqualified. Demonstrate how you can advance the team or company by sharing your knowledge.
- Know the current trends: Be comfortable with social media. Make sure you’re knowledgeable about terms such as cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things.
- Demonstrate your energy: Did you just complete a marathon? Enjoy Zumba? Slide in a mention of your interests outside of work that can show you are not slowing down.
- Update their wardrobe: Is your last interview suit 10 years old? Clothing can make you look hip instead of dowdy. Make sure you have a few updated pieces to modernize your look.
Stress Your Strengths and Keep a Positive Attitude
While the little quiz I gave you at the beginning of the article provided negative connotations of each generation, there are many positive attributes held by each generation. Millennials can also be viewed as innovative, technologically savvy and self-expressive! Gen Xers are self-reliant and practical! And, how about those Baby Boomers that are invaluable to their employers because of their experience, skills and loyalty.
When you concentrate on your positive attributes and view ageism as just one of the obstacles you can overcome, you’re going to land the job you want.
How have you overcome ageism in your job search? I’d love to hear in the comments below.