Young professionals often face challenges when seeking a job, and their age can be one of the first negative impressions. According to a recent survey conducted by online career network Beyond.com, there's a vast difference in how job seekers view themselves, compared to how they're seen from the perspective of an HR professional.
The survey, which included more than 6,000 job seekers and veteran HR professionals from across the country, revealed that while most Millennials (Generation Y) are optimistic about finding employment (84 percent), HR professionals are not convinced they have what it takes.
The harshest criticism? Loyalty. While 83 percent of Millennials viewed themselves as being "loyal" to an employer, only 1 percent of HR professionals associated their generation with that trait. There were similar feelings from HR professionals on issues like work ethic and management potential, with only 11 percent of respondents identifying Millennials as "hard workers" and 9 percent as "having the ability to lead."
"Job seekers aren't just competing against each other, sometimes they're competing against their own stereotype," said Joe Weinlick, VP of Marketing for Beyond.com. "Millennials should use this data to anticipate and counteract a perception that may have already been formed by an interviewer. A resume only conveys so much, and a job seeker needs to fill the gaps for a potential employer to show exactly how they will impact the company."
Some other things Millennials need to work on in the eyes of HR professionals? Communication and team spirit. Some 65 percent of Millennials responded that they have strong interpersonal communication skills, with a mere 14 percent of HR professionals in agreement. And only 22 percent of HR professionals identified Millennials as being "team players," compared to 60 percent of that generation thinking they work well with others.
One bright spot in the survey for Millennials is that HR professionals overwhelmingly identified their generation as being "tech-savvy" (86 percent). When asked the same of themselves though, ironically only 35 percent of Millennials thought they were technologically gifted -- the sole instance where perception actually helped.
"When it comes to an interview," continued Weinlick, "the one thing that will cut through any misperception is confidence."
The full Beyond.com Generational Survey can be viewed here: http://about.beyond.com/press/releases/Millennials.