5 Common errors made by Millennials applying for their first job, and how businesses can get the best out of them

May 22, 2017

Our youngest HR Manager, Laura Rigby, falls into the ‘Millennial Generation’. Seeing some of the issues from the inside, both as a millennial and as an HR professional, Laura considers the gap between Millennials’ capabilities and expectations on applying for a role, and introduces how businesses can get the best from their young team.

By Laura Rigby

There has been a lot of noise in the news recently about millennials, most of which gives them a tough time.

As a millennial, does it bother me? Not really. In fact, I agree with a lot of it, although I accept that we cannot make sweeping generalisations about a whole generation (this article may seem to do this but it is based on my opinion).

  • Would I say that I hold the typical characteristics of a millennial?
    • No, but I know I am mighty impatient.
  • As an HR professional, have I witnessed a lower calibre of candidates and a difference in attitude as a result of millennials entering the workplace?
    • Absolutely.

Ultimately, we are all products of the society we were bought up in.

Being brought up in the Millennial Generation

Wrapped in cotton wool, given medals for simply taking part and having the answer to every possible question at the tip of our fingertips has given millennials a strong sense of entitlement, a low level of persistence and, as a result, we are set up to fail in the traditional workplace.

Poor job applications make poor applicants – common errors made by Millennials

A fast paced society, coupled with the sense of expectation, has meant many millennials struggle to find their first job in their chosen career. In my role with HR180 I have screened and interviewed many applicants for client vacancies.

Here are some of the common errors a large number of candidates make:

  • Submit CVs with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
  • Covering letters referencing the wrong vacancy name.
  • Explanations that they want to work their way up in a short period of time in a large organisation, yet they’re applying to an SME.
  • No evidence that applications are being shaped to the different companies and vacancies applied to.
  • Quick fire applications to many vacancies meaning applicants are unaware of the jobs they have applied to which is very obvious when you call them to set up an interview!


All these are common errors made by my fellow millennials – and all of the above are unattractive to prospective employers who really will throw incomplete, incorrect and sloppy CVs into the shredding pile!

Millennials in the workplace

Once in a job, transitioning into a workplace can be quite difficult for millennials. Used to being in control of their own destiny and working to a pace that suits them, it can be hard to report directly into a manager who has much more experience of the business, is a little less reliant on technology and isn’t jumping onto the next big thing…

If you are now hanging your head in your hands because you are going to need to employ and train millennials in order to grow your business and succeed in your succession planning, perhaps we have a neat solution for you to consider. We are able to help potential employers successfully grow their team through strategic people planning and using a brilliant psychometric system, Talent Q Dimensions. Read more here and then simply get in touch (details below) and we will arrange a free assessment of your needs over a cuppa and help you achieve your business goals.

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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