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Generational Differences in the Job Search

While job search strategies have changed in amazing ways in the last half century, job seekers of all ages still understand the time and hard work necessary in finding a job. It is no surprise however that the younger generation seeking employment today approaches their search rather differently than Generation X. A survey conducted through the consulting company Millennial Branding and the website Beyond.com reported some surprising results when they surveyed over 5,000 American job seekers of all ages. The survey showed that Millennials approach the job search with an optimistic outlook, while Generation X seekers lean towards job security rather than workplace perks like flexible time off. Surprisingly, older job seekers seem to be active in social media- even more so than younger job seekers. There are many other generational differences, but here are some that may have value for your own job search.

Social media
Social media is viewed as unique to the job search of Millennials. Most likely, the use of social media is second nature to Millennials. You learned when you were young what the internet was, how to create a Facebook page, and how to interact with others through multiple forms of social media. The job search has become mobile and ever-present in Millennials, but it seems as though older job seekers have decided they won’t miss out on this resource. Keep up with them and use your upbringing in the digital age to your advantage. Be active on social media by creating a LinkedIn account and a Spark Hire profile with a video resume.

Personal contact
This is a defining aspect of the generational differences in the job search. Face-to-face interaction does not occur the way it used to. Instead of sitting in an office with someone, you can video interview. An employer can also screen job seekers by viewing their online video applications or video resumes. Even phone calls are limited, with email being a preferred form of communication. For Millennials, it is good to learn that there is immense value in face-to-face interaction with employers and professional contacts- be it through video or in-person. Not only does this help you make lasting connections, but it hones your skills in verbal communication and forces you into situations where you have to respond quickly and intelligently.

Research and knowledge
The study from Beyond.com showed that Generation X tend to be the generation that takes the most time to research a company before their interview. They speculate that this is because they are applying for higher level positions, so their research ensures they are well-informed when stepping into the interview. This should be a priority for all ages of job seekers regardless of generational differences. Prior knowledge of a company and the industry is key to job search success. It shows a potential employer your level of dedication to a particular position and shows the lengths to which you’re willing to go to secure that position.

What are some other generational differences you notice among job seekers? Do you think one generation has an advantage over another? Share with us in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by MNCPA Photos

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Written by

Kailyn is a recent college graduate with degrees in English and Political Science. She is currently working in the publishing industry, where she loves the fact that she is paid to immerse herself in talking and thinking about books all day long. When she isn’t working, she enjoys reading, cooking, line-dancing, and writing short stories and poetry. Her sincerest hope for contributing to Spark Hire’s job seeker blog is to provide job seekers of all ages with the tools and sense of humor necessary to stay calm and carry on.

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