NEW YORK (MainStreet) Here's a scary statistic for younger career professionals, especially college graduates embarking on their first serious job search: According to a study by Demos, 5.6 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 are "shut out" of the employment market.
Here's the real scary part: That represents 45% of all unemployed Americans.
That's a sucker punch to the next generation of Americans, who now have to fight and scrape to land a good job in a competitive jobs market.
One way they can inch ahead of the pack is to present themselves well to employers. That means producing a great resume, dressing and grooming well for meetings and interviews and collecting some great job recommendations.
It also means acing the job interview, which has become something of a lost art for young career professionals.
"Your resume might get you in the door, but it will not get you through an interview," say Maneesh K. Goyal and David Munczinski, founders of career advice website LiveIntheGrey.com. "For example, 'Walk me through your resume' does not mean literally 'Walk me through your resume,' it means 'Tell me your story.'"
For recent grads, it's critical to showcase a true, personal passion not just for the particular job at hand but for the related industry as a whole, Munczinski says. "Indicating a personal desire to enter a field will showcase professional curiosity and hint towards longevity," he says. "This desire, though, can't be faked, so it's critical the recent grad is seeking out an opportunity that truly blends their personal passions with their professional pursuits."
Goyal and Munczinski have some tips to help young job-seekers when they're telling their story in an executive's corner office:
Things you should do:
Ask questions! The easiest way to establish a conversation in the job interview is to ask questions. Have questions researched and prepared about the company, its strategy, its leadership and the person interviewing you, but also remember the first-date dynamic. "What do you really enjoy about your job?" is a great question to lead with. Just by asking questions, you can demonstrate three critical skills: