Resumes for Every GenerationBy Jessica Holbrook Hernandez
This past week I attended a presentation about Baby Boomers, Generation X-ers, and Millennials learning to communicate and work well together in the professional world. The speaker provided great tips for understanding each generation and how to effectively use their strengths to the best advantage. While the presentation focused on helping everyone work well together, I couldn’t help but think about the ramifications of what she was saying for those out in the job market today.
Let’s start with Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964. Baby Boomers have generally been in the workplace for several decades and possess knowledge and experience. Writing a resume for a Boomer often entails trying to pare the candidate’s experience down to only the most important elements. However, Boomers also need to be particularly careful to include on their resumes any technological competencies they possess. For those in the position of competing with Millennials when they apply for jobs, it’s particularly important to show that they can work quickly and efficiently.
Generation X defines those who were born between 1965 and 1979. Gen X-ers are in their 30s and 40s and often have significant work experience. A Gen X-er preparing his resume should pay particular attention to quantifying his achievements with numbers and statistics. Many members of this generation have managed others or have been responsible for various financial results; so putting a number to those results helps to truly define you as a candidate.
Millennials are those who were born between 1980 and 2010. Employers generally assume that Millennials grasp technology or will be able to learn new software programs quickly. However, Millennials too often lack the all-important “soft skills” of intelligent and effective communication and socially acceptable personal presentation that some employers still value so much. Therefore, for those who are in their 20s and are trying to enter into or move around in the workforce, it’s particularly important that both your resume and your interview reflect your ability to communicate personably and effectively.
With one in 10 Americans currently looking for full-time work, all three generations are competing against one another for available jobs. It’s helpful to understand the assumptions a member of another generation might make about you as a candidate so that you can present your resume and yourself in a way that speaks to those concerns.