Unless you’ve been living under a stone, you’ve probably seen some of the Kanye West Twitter meltdowns that have been making the news lately. To be fair, Kanye is just being Kanye, and his bravado speaks to an entire generation. The problem comes when job seekers try to imitate that confidence, falsely assuming it takes a Kanye attitude to succeed.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here’s the thing: while you’re busy Keeping up With the Kardashians, the hiring manager reviewing your resume or conducting your interview is probably still waxing nostalgic about Cheers and a time long before selfies. And if you want to get the job, you need to appeal to that mentality, not to the ego that has already been attributed to millennials.
Confused? Here’s a Do This, Not That list to get you pointed in the right direction.
- Do Have a Professional and Aesthetically Pleasing Resume, Sans Picture: You want to make a splash with your resume, but no matter how good those professional shots you recently got are, they don’t belong on anything you’re submitting for a job. That is unless, of course, you’re trying to launch a modeling career. Instead of using your picture, try to keep up to date on the latest resume formats being recommended, and choose the right one to highlight your background and expertise. And remember, keep the resume itself short and to the point. Hiring managers only pay individual resumes a very brief amount of attention, so you want to capture that attention by presenting the highlight reel of your accomplishments, not the Kanye West breakdown of what makes you the king of the world.
- Learn the Art of Humble Sincerity, Not Bombastic Brags: The millennial generation already has a reputation in the business world for being a group that thinks they deserve to be further along in their career paths than they already are. The joke is that millennials get out of college believing they are ready for that VP title, and a Kanye attitude certainly wouldn’t do anything to dispel that belief. You absolutely want to share your accomplishments with hiring managers, but you want to do so in a humble and honest way that makes them excited about the opportunity to bring you on board, rather than concerned about whether or not you would even be happy in the position that’s available.
- Use Common Sense: Let’s be honest, most people know not to act like Kanye in an interview. But there is still that generational divide to consider whenever sitting down with a hiring manager. In most cases, there is probably a decade or more between you and the person doing the hiring. Which means a different set of standards and beliefs when it comes to what passes as professional. Keep that in mind, and always allow your interviewer to set the tone for how structured or casual your conversation will be.