Hiring Gen Y (Step 4): Prescreening Resumes from the "Me" Generation

by Traci K and BrightMove Staffing Software and Recruiting Software

Sifting through resumes might be the least favorite task of any given recruiter.  It’s difficult not to review each resume while at the same time resisting that voice in your head critiquing each one.  Thoughts such as, “Oooh, I would not have put that on the resume”, “Doesn’t this person have spellcheck?”, or “Really? Three pages long?”.  Above all, the worst crimes against resume content are committed by the inexperienced.  Those are the resumes whose owners haven’t had anyone point out the errors and useless content or help make the fluff a little less…well, fluffy.  These resume newbies currently belong to Generation Y, arguably the most unique and least directed generation in the workforce.  Don’t get too hard on this Me Generation, however, as the good most often will outweigh the bad.

What you may notice about Gen Y resumes:

More jobs than you would expect for their age

Millennials are notoriously not loyal.  Jobs that don’t suit them, challenge them, make them happy – these jobs they simply leave.  Moving back in with mom and dad is highly acceptable.  It may be hard to find a Gen Y resume that doesn’t immediately make the words “Job Hopper” come to mind.  Though never a favorable circumstance to see, disloyalty may not be the only reason behind a large quantity of positions.  Younger employees, because of inexperience, will be among the first laid off in down times.  Don’t assume a short tenure is due to a lack of work ethic or commitment.

An abundance of “extras”

Today’s youth grew up being involved; involved in sports, miscellaneous extracurricular activities, and the community.  Along with being involved in everything, they were rewarded whether an achievement was made or not.  This generation is known by the term “Trophy Kids” for that reason.  The Wall Street Journal recognized this fact in The Trophy Kids Go To Work, stating “The Millennials were lavishly praised and often received trophies when they excelled, and sometimes when they didn’t, to avoid damaging their self-esteem. They and their parents have placed a high premium on success, filling résumés with not only academic accolades but also sports and other extracurricular activities.”

Skill sets revolving around technology, regardless of candidate’s field/industry

Generation Y isn’t known as the generation of Digital Babies for nothing.  These kids not only grew up with technology that most of us were not introduced to until adulthood, but they utilize it more than any other generation as their communication skills evolved in the ever-advancing world of texting, social media, and other forms of digital contact.  Those screening resumes may have to brush up on terminology and recent software/websites as candidates begin listing these “skills” along with the link to their Facebook page.

Internships and higher education

The state of the economy has prompted older, laid off individuals to go back and get those degrees they never got around to earning in their youth.  As well, the lack of jobs for those coming out of school has caused an overwhelming number of students to opt out of the job market and continue their education.  In the next five to ten years, the number of candidates holding Masters degrees and applying for entry level positions could be staggering.  Internships are also on the rise.  Saving money, some companies are choosing short-term help with no benefits over long-term hires.  Those candidates with or without the extra education will be taking internships to build experience and wait out the economy in hopes of landing that dream job in the future.

Millennials bring a lot to the table in light of the differences we see in their resumes by comparison to other generations.  Innovation and tech-savvy minds, they are our future managers and leaders.  With your pile of Gen Y resumes in hand, properly prepare to review these candidates first-hand with Step Five – Interviewing Millennials.

Traci K. is an HR Professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in recruitment and immigration.  When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.

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