Written by PJ Wade
Even a “hot” job market does not guarantee you get the best job, and the job market has been far from “hot” for too many, for too long.
Millennials—generally defined as the 18 to 33 demographic that represents about one third of the population – graduated from high school or college into the recession’s challenging job market. Many are now burdened by student loans and underemployment, which, in turn, limits possibilities for home ownership.
How many of the 100 million Millennials – or Gen Ys as they are also labeled – will wait patiently for economic growth to raise wages and improve their buying options?
Proactive Millennials will use their knowledge of social media and the internet to stand out in the crowded job market and improve job prospects, demonstrate expertise, contribute knowledge, and raise their profile with hiring decision-makers. The sad reality is that even Millennials with solid social media skills and online savvy do not automatically know how to use their knowledge to promote themselves to potential employers. By missing out in the job market, they also miss out on increasing their income and borrowing power and, therefore, can miss out in real estate.
The key is to actively seek out “better employment,” not just “any job.” Keep in mind, career success will be reflected in every aspect of your life, lifestyle, and buying opportunities. Once you’re on a solid career track, you’ll find it easier to consistently implement career strategies and research plans for even greater achievements.
To get you started, here are FIVE Suggestions for Raising Your Value and Your Profile with Employers:
1. Don’t just look for “a job,” pursue “my career.” To improve present income and future benefits, blend business and lifestyle aspirations. Decide what you’d like to accomplish and where you’d like to live, and, therefore, which companies to target for work. Investigate your chosen industry and zero in on organizations that are growing and expanding. Go beyond basic Google™ searches. Explore trade associations, business hubs, trade media, and ask a lot of questions. The secondary benefit of this career research is the network you build. The more people who know you as the sincere, thoughtful, resourceful individual that you are, the better.
2. Get your resume right. Research to find a format that works for your profession. Details matter: no mistakes; account for all the years; create different versions for different positions. Express work done as transferrable experience and skills gained, so employers can easily see your value and how you’ll fit in. TIP: To screen out candidates, many employers use keyword searches based on their job ad. When responding to a specific employment opening, use the employer’s keywords in your resume and cover letter, and clearly explain how you have the relevant skills and experience to do the job.
3. No “shameless self promotion” here, just sincere demonstration.How can you contribute? How have you collaborated? How will you be valuable to the group or organization you want to work for and with? Research your chosen field to learn which media, social media, associations, events, etc. are valued. Attend, share, learn, volunteer…create a network of who’s who. Demonstrate how you, with your unique skills and perspectives, can help and you’ll prove your value again and again.
4. Build online profiles beyond the facts. For instance, Linkedin offers great career-building opportunities, but merely posting a profile is not enough.
Profiles should not be “just the facts” resume-style listings. Don’t make potential employers do the work of translating what you’ve done (the facts) into what you can do in the future (benefits to them).
The greater the employment change you aspire to, the more effort necessary to demonstrate you understand how your perhaps-atypical experience is valuable to employers in the new industry or profession you’re pursuing.
Keywords in your profile should match career-specific keywords for chosen industries and professions, so every relevant Linkedin employer search includes you.
Regularly run internal and external searches using different parameters to learn what’s up and who’s who for your chosen industries and professions. Profiles for key executives and groups within target companies should also provide ideas for enriching your profile.
Learn how Linkedin (or any profiler you use) can be maximized. For instance, to facilitate Linkedin searches, make sure the 5 to 10 career-crucial keywords are included in your profile’s description and experience areas. Learn acceptable approaches for joining groups and contacting strangers. Become an expert on Linkedin (or your platform choice) and put this knowledge to work demonstrating your value to potential employers.
By judiciously sharing quality content, ideas, and events/publications that should be of interest to others in your chosen field, you’ll build a network that appreciates your potential and you’ll enjoy your career search in the process.
5. Expand your financial literacy. The more you understand about finance, the better able you’ll be to negotiate a solid employment income-benefits package. With real estate and lifetime goals in mind, you can decide which industries and employers hold the best growth potential in this market and over the years ahead. Track news and financial projections online for your chosen industries, so you have valuable comments and questions to contribute during job interviews.
The strengthening economy will provide increasing numbers of employment options, but it will still be those who work to demonstrate and project their value to target employers who achieve the best returns.
This success will then translate into improved real estate choices which, in turn, will enrich finances and lifestyle options. Everything starts with your clarity about your value in the workplace.