10 Tips for Recent College Grads: Millennials in the Job Market

Posted on

There has been a lot of talk about the “Millennial” generation. Ask most hiring managers, and you will hear about a sense of entitlement, lack of professionalism and the inability to stay in one job for long. Below are a few tips that I have picked up in my experience working with this population as a recruiter and as a result of trial and error in my first few years in the workforce.

1. If you want the job, set yourself apart from the crowd. Don’t just apply online and think that will be enough. Network. Learn the hiring manager’s name before you call. Do something to make them remember you; and if possible, make connections in person.

2. It is not likely that you will make 100K in your first job out of college. Be realistic in your salary expectations. Entry level work means entry level pay. You have plenty of time to get rich.

3. If you want to keep your job, don’t act as if the work is beneath you. Yes, you learned lots of things in college – and you want to use your skills. Still, you have to start somewhere. If you’re asked to make copies, make the best copies your manager has ever seen.

4. Watch your e-mail etiquette. E-mail is not texting. Keep the emoticons, LOL’s and slang terms out of your communications with clients and upper management. Just because Outlook makes a smiley face, doesn’t mean you should use it.

5. Accept that there isn’t always a reason – and that you may not be able to change the world. In Corporate America, you will see a lot of things that make you wonder “Why?”. It will make you feel like a 3 year old again, wanting to question everything. It’s okay to ask questions but make sure you ask respectfully and, even if processes don’t make sense (to anyone), follow them. Sometimes, you just have to accept “that’s the way it is”.

6. Know the difference between friends and co-workers. Don’t drink at work lunches. Don’t drink excessively at work parties or work dinners – even if everyone else is. Free alcohol doesn’t mean a free pass to get wasted, and being known as a party animal won’t get you promoted. Do you really want to be the one everyone is telling a story about Monday morning?

7. Respect the chain of command. If you have an issue, take it to your boss. Don’t take it to his boss, or the person above them. Going over someone’s head will not gain you any points.

8. Show up on time. Be on time for interviews, for work, etc. Yes, we know you can probably do the same thing from home with your laptop and iPhone. Your manager decided you need to come into the office. Listen to them.

9. Don’t job hop excessively. In your first few years in the workplace, you need to stay one place long enough to establish a track record and pick up skills. Once you have 2-3 years of experience, companies are going to “hunt” you. Wait it out – it’s important to show a sense of commitment to a particular company, and advancement within one company looks better than several lateral transfers between companies.  If you get the chance of a lifetime; take it – but make sure it really is as good as you initially think.

10. Dress the part. Wear a suit to a job interview. Don’t wear flip flops to the office, even on casual day in the summer. Some companies have a more casual policy but when in doubt, err on the safe side.

42 thoughts on “10 Tips for Recent College Grads: Millennials in the Job Market”

  1. Request for assistance with Resume and Interviewing Skills.
    Seem to be starting over agian at 57 years of age and my how the process has changed

    David B Slater
    12 Patterson St
    Sugar Grove, PA 16350
    814-489-3841 Home Phone
    814-688-9781 Cell Phone

    To provide internal stake holders as well as external stake holders the greatest possible value by meeting or exceeding expectations.

    Professional Experience:

    May 11th Current
    Cummins Inc. Temp thru ADECCO
    Assembly Line
    Lakewood N.Y. 14705

    March 2011 to December 2011
    CRACO Industrial Cryogenics
    Warren, PA
    Marketing Manager

    I expanded their business footprint from a local to a national level. I provided clients with new and diverse opportunities to grow their business by leveraging direct marketing techniques in Mexico, Detroit, Buffalo and Pittsburgh area. Cryogenically treating materials allows the increase of wear life of products treated and targeting the business that would benefit from this treatment was essential.

    August 2008 to July 2009
    DGI Supply/Do All
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Account Manager

    As an account manager I was brought on to develop a virtually zero dollar territory that was left uncultivated for approximately 10 years. In the time I was with DGI I was able to pull up the territory to $35,000 to $45,000 per month by developing major account activity and responsibility. DGI is a manufacture of Band Saw Machines and Band Saw Blades as well as a supplier of general mill supplies {MRO} I was able to successfully demonstrate the value add in DGI product that allowed companies to become more profitable.

    February 2004 to August 2008
    Industrial Distribution Group (IDG)
    Buffalo, NY
    Account Manager

    As an Account Manager with IDG I grew the business from approximately $600,000 to $1,300,000 over a four year period of time. I hit sales goals over the last nine months with them from 90% up to 130% of the incentive matrix. The incentive matrix was driven from gross profit increases over all, preferred suppliers increases in sales and documented & signed off by the customer cost savings in productivity.

    April 1979 to February 2004
    Clark Industrial Supply Co
    Falconer, NY
    General Sales Manager

    While working for Clark Industrial Supply I had the opportunity to learn how they ran and managed their business. I started in counter sales and customer service and advanced to inside phone sales, sales rep, to general sales manager. While at Clark I grew my business to 1/3 of the annual sales of the entire company which at the time included annual sales of 3.5 million dollars. Winning supplier of the year awards from Cummins Engine 1992, 1993, and 1994

    1974 to April 1979
    R.W. Norris Company
    Warren, PA
    General Sales Rep

    I started learning the business by working from the ground up from receiving, delivery, counter sales, etc. I advanced to managing a branch operation which included inventory management and sales. After successfully managing the branch operation, I proceeded to on the road sales.

    Education and Designations

    I’ve taken a multitude of classes through the various companies and positions I’ve held. The below list includes some of those classes/certifications.

    SANDVIK Certified Carbide Tooling Specialist
    SANDVIK Advanced Milling
    Business Management Systems Training
    Certified Purchasing Manager class
    ISCAR Metals Certified Carbide Specialists
    Sperry Vickers School of Hydraulics
    General Electric School of Lighting – General and Advanced
    Square D School of Electric Motor Controls
    Ingersoll Rand School of Pneumatic Tools – General and Advanced
    Besley Tapping and Drilling School
    Carborundum School of Abrasives – General and Advanced
    1 Year College

Comments are closed.