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Wonder What Employers Think?


by Ashley Collins,  Education Coordinator


Do you ever wish you were on the other side of that career fair booth or interview table? Ever wondered what the company representative is thinking while you recite your thought-out, wellrehearsed, “tell me about yourself” response?


Chances are, the way you appeared that day and the first five words out of your mouth made an impression on that employer. They were mentally filing your resume into either the “keep” pile or the “trash” pile. If you’re lucky, you’ll make it to the “keep” pile and have another chance to prove your worth.


Every generation has positive and negative labels, all of which were developed because somewhere someone began to see a trend. To help you better understand what positive and negative qualities employers recognize so that you are better able to market your strengths and be aware of the negative perceptions, we reached out to a few employers to see what they are saying about you!


Knowing what employers are saying about your generation of candidates could be powerful knowledge going into an interview, an internship, or your first week on the job. Every generation comes with its stereotypes, some of which define them professionally.


Those who grew up during the 1920s and ’30s are called “Traditionalists.” They can be stereotyped as the type of worker who comes into the office and puts in an eight hour day then goes home. The “Boomers” are those who grew up during the late ’40s through the early ’60s. They are typically classified as hard workers who believe in making the slow climb up the corporate ladder, inventors of the word ”Workaholic.”


“Generation X” are those who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s. They invented casual Friday and the corporate softball team. They were also the first of the generations to be in management roles where they supervise employees who may be twice their age.


Then there are the “Millennials,” which is your generation. Some of your labels have already been formed but growing up in a time where so much changes every day, you’re still creating new ideas of who you are and what type of employee you want to be!


The comments our panel of employers shared with us can help you sell yourself to your first employer. This intel will help you build your resume with more quantifiable facts, emphasize your desire to climb the corporate ladder at a reasonable pace, and promote how your semester long trip to Italy taught you the importance of communication skills, planning ahead, and independence.



  • “Young employees often come into the workplace with a skewed sense of entitlement.”
  • “Young employees are better equipped for the multi-tasking demands of the workplace.”
  • “Students often oversell themself in their resume by using too many adjectives and not enough quantifiable data.”
  • “Many students seeking to come into today’s workforce have more worldly experiences than graduates ten to 15 years ago did, but don’t do a great job of communicating how that will help them on the job.”
  • “Too many students expect to be in a management role within two years of employment. In our economy, advancement can mean opportunity to take on new types of work not necessarily a corner office.”
  • “We need more young employees who have business skills, regardless of their technical training. At some point, everyone has to develop a proposal or implement a business plan.”
  • “Students today are extremely confident coming into the workplace.”
  • “I see more young hires in our company struggle with using their ‘professional filter,’ i.e. think before you speak.”
  • “Students today are efficient workers due to their experiences utilizing technology.” would like to thank Misty Gassett, HR Dept Head with Christensen Farms; Mike Koenecke, HR Recruitment and Talent Management Leader with Ag Partners, and Summer Russell, Internship Program Manager and Special Projects Coordinator with Prestage Farms, for their input on this article.