Tips for 2023 new graduates entering the job marketFeb 21, 2023
When it comes to GenZ in the workplace, there are a lot of generalizations about younger folks that can make it hard for a new grad approaching their job search.
Here are three ways new grads can quiet these concerns and differentiate themselves in a job search:
(1) Demonstrating adaptability
Change is a constant right now, and it's important to show a prospective employer that you can thrive in ambiguity and are resilient to change.
- Talk about how when you’re faced with a problem, you are proactive in solving it or pull the right people together to solve it
- Give examples of your openness to feedback, sharing situations when you received a piece of feedback and took action
- Talk about your transferable skills like relationship building or problem solving and how you've used these across different kinds of jobs or situations
(2) Shortening the perceived ramp up time
When hiring someone fresh out of school, an employer might worry it will take a long time to get you up and running and ready to work.
- Share how you have been up-skilling, for example developing your technical skills to prepare you for the job you're interviewing for
- Discuss how you're proactive about getting whatever training you need once you get started, for example joining Toastmasters if you learn that the job will require a lot of public speaking
- Give examples of similar kinds of experiences you've had in the past that you can apply to this role, especially if you don’t have a ton of work experience. For example, if you ran a club or planned events at schools, those skills can be applied directly to a job
(3) Show that you’re here to stay
Job hopping is something Gen-Z doesn’t shy away from, and even though people are starting to be more understanding about moving jobs in shorter timeframes, this can be still really costly for an employer.
- Talk about your enthusiasm around growing and building relationships within the company
- Explain how you’re proactive about continually seeking out new kinds of projects and growth opportunities so you can evolve as the role evolves
- Share your excitement about the company or role itself, for example, saying this is a company you admire and have wanted to work at, or this is the type of role you have been looking for
And for companies...
If you're an employer trying to attract GenZ talent, there are a few things you can do to differentiate yourself as well:
- According to data from LinkedIn, 76% of GenZ see upskilling as their key to job advancement; and data from Gallup shows that younger generations are 17% more likely to go after jobs that offer flexibility
- As a hiring manager, the interview is your opportunity to highlight the company and team culture - make the most of this by talking about your approach to flexibility and balance, and how you make time and space for professional development so prospective talent knows these things are priorities to you
For more examples and strategies to differentiate yourself as a new grad, check out my interview on CBS LA: