That gap is happening again. With Gen Y (aka ,Echo Boomers and Millennium Generation) the generation born between 1981 and 1995, and more than 57 million strong in the US.
This new generation, the first to be born within the computer age, is information savvy, has high expectations (due to a Boomer generation that indulged their desire for “have”), and will generally not tolerate jobs that don’t take their needs, personal lives and fringe benefits into consideration.
They tend to form their opinions based on web-based information (often times unsubstantiated) and are mistrustful of information that isn’t substantiated on the internet. Employment retention is a challenge for employers as Gen Y’ers tend to job hop quickly in order to increase salary and benefits. Loyalty to an employer, while an issue for a Boomer or Senior, is not an issue for Gen Y. Highest bidder wins.
They are sharp, smart, demanding, adventurous. The sixties reinvented via technology.
- Seniors waited to get married before having sex.
- Boomers grew up with free love.
- Gen Y grew up never knowing a world without AIDS.
The leading edge of Gen Y, those now just turning 25, are taking positions that are often times gatekeeper posts such as brand managers, bank managers, I/T supervisors, recruiters. And with the lack of connection between Boomers and Gen Y, that means we have gatekeepers who will not value a 20 year employment history as much as someone who is bilingual (Spanish/English, Mandarin/English, French/English), internet, blog and podcast savvy and with expertise in Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Publisher.
It has never been more important than now to find your right language when writing a resume, cover letter and even conversing on a preliminary phone interview. Connecting with Gen Y now is as important as it was for your parents to bring your attention to the Beatles or Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show. And by language, I don’t mean your grammar or punctuation. I mean your tone. Your passion must come through in your resume and cover letter. A twenty year history may be very important to you…but what are the action words that will convey your dynamism to the gatekeeper? Speak Gen Y and get your foot in that potential employers door.