According to almost every indicator available, from overall unemployment (down) to GDP (up) to the stock market (also up, after a rocky start to the year), the economy is doing well. Businesses are growing, interest rates are low, and the recent recession appears to be truly behind us. But despite a host of overall positive indicators, millennials are still struggling to find work.
These young folks are doing everything they can to shift the odds in their favor. The rest of us don't have to stand idly by watching them flail and struggle. A stagnant entry level market may be holding them back, but this problem doesn't belong to them alone; it belongs to all of us. Everybody suffers when ambitious, energetic young people flood the landscape, but are not given opportunities for gainful employment.
Hiring managers benefit by keeping an open mind
Workers in their 20s are powerful engines; they're poised to help companies grow and ready to add value to everything they touch. They may not have much life experience just yet, but they're ambitious, their attention is undivided (most them don't have families just yet), and they're eager to work. Some of them are not just willing, but genuinely excited to put in long hours and throw their youthful energy and innovative ideas into something larger than themselves. If you hold responsibility for staffing and management decisions, keep these things in mind.
For millennials who can use a little outside help
If you're a millennial searching for work and, despite your best efforts, you're not getting anywhere, find some outside support. You don't have to travel this difficult road alone. Look around for a mentor who can help you get into the workplace. You can also explore virtual mentoring to find someone who is the right fit based on their profile and not their location. Ask older, established professionals in your network to take a look at your resume and provide you with some interview tips. Ask these people to introduce you to others in their professional network. When you find an open position you'd like to pursue, ask directly for references and testimonials that can help close the deal.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Look around your current workplace and identify millennial coworkers. Are they misinterpreting signals, falling behind, or missing opportunities to build thriving careers? When you see this, help them. Pull them aside and encourage them to share more ideas in meetings. Compliment them on work well done. And if you see specific talent or potential in them that they don't see, point it out. What goes around comes around.
For more on how to use your workplace skills and experience to benefit those around you — not just yourself — turn to the guidelines and career building tips available on MyPerfectResume.