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Stuck Job Searching: From Entry-Level to Career Change

Laura Criscione
As many of us know, college students finding a stable job after graduation has been difficult for some time now. The job hunt is not as easy as it once was. “According to a 2014 survey of over 500 millennials, 16% of them are still unemployed after their first six months of searching. Almost a quarter applied to over 11 full-time jobs before successfully getting one.”[1]  But nobody really pays attention to the struggle of changing careers for baby boomers later in their life. It’s just as hard to find a job once you’re in your 50s and 60s? But first, we’ll focus on millennials and their tactics to landing a job.
For these young adults in their twenties, the job hunt is long and tedious. But they use the same tactics that most people use for job searching. “With employment prospects still shaky, millennials feel most comfortable searching for full-time employments with the same job tools that have been around for a long time: job boards (like Indeed and Monster), prospective company’s websites, recruitment events and college career services.”[2] They do as much research as possible to find all information about a company before applying. More than 90% of millennial job seekers say they start their search by researching online. Before they ever begin applying for positions, they first look for a company’s online reputation, much like they would before buying a product. A survey from Spherion Staffing showed 47% of millennials say the online reputation and presence of a possible employer mattered as much as the job itself.[3] 

Once millennials are done looking at company websites, they look to online job boards. Glassdoor, a favorite among job hunters, is used to see interviews from companies, average salary measurements, company culture and total transparency into the company before you even have to apply. Statistically, ⅔ of millennials use Glassdoor before applying to a company and about 50% of job seekers in the U.S. use this site at some point in the career search.[4] Indeed and Monster are other popular websites job searchers use. They are pretty similar in which you can search for the type of job you are looking for and location and it comes up with job openings you might be interested in. It can also be further sorted by salary range, job type and experience level.

Two other popular sites typically used are LinkedIn and Ladders. LinkedIn is nicknamed the professional Facebook. But it can also be used to search for jobs. According to LinkedIn, there are some 2 billion millennials globally, and 87 million of them are on LinkedIn, accounting for 38% of its user base.[5] Many young adults use this website to connect with professionals, read insightful articles as well as to hopefully connect with someone and find a job in their field. It is easy from this site to search various companies, articles they have posted and people who work within them. This makes it incredibly easy to connect with an employer there. Ladders, similar to Indeed, also has postings of jobs from across the country describing the experience and education required, but it also elaborates more on the annual compensation for the job and competition in the field.
The difference between young adults (millennials) and the older generation (baby boomers) when job hunting is not so much how they look for jobs, but rather the types of jobs they look for (which industry) and what benefits they could receive from the job. “When asked what their primary concern was during their first job, about 64% of older Americans talked about making as much money as possible or learning new skills. When asked the same question, younger Americans were much more likely to say that their top priority was doing something that they found enjoyable or making a difference in society, with 57% choosing one of these options.”[6] Millennials are sometimes called “entitled” and “lazy” since they job hunt often, without staying in one place for more than 2-3 years. But this is not true. Despite the need for as much money to pay off increasing amounts of college loan debt, millennials enjoy learning new skills, trying new things and exploring new opportunities. LinkedIn surveyed over 5,000 millennials across the globe to see what they look for in a job, in which came up their top three answers: advancement opportunities, competitive pay and challenging assignments.[7] 

Baby boomers show some similarities when searching for jobs compared to millennials. They can still use websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed etc. since many job postings listed on these sites have positions for those with more experience. However, there are other websites specially created to help baby boomers in their career change. Even some websites, such as Monster, have a section specifically for those over 50 looking for a new job.[8] The real main difference between baby boomers and millennials are the fields they are looking into for jobs. Millennials are the most educated generation and are, typically, looking for jobs in the computer/math and business/ financial sectors of the job market in big cities such as Boston and New York. While, baby boomers are more into the blue collar jobs such as healthcare, technical, and transportation sectors of business. They are searching in warmer climate cities such as Phoenix and San Diego.[9]

Despite there being differences between baby boomers and millennials’ education levels, they have similarities in the way they search for jobs. However, this doesn’t mean that it is any easier for either generation to find one quickly.

By: Laura Criscione

[1]  "How Do Millennials Navigate the Job Hunt?" The G Brief. N.p., 8 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
[2]  "How Do Millennials Navigate the Job Hunt?"
[3]  "Understanding the Millennial Job Search | Talent Management." TalentManagement360. N.p., 23 Oct. 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
[4]  Carlson, Chris. "Glassdoor and the End of Sales Hiring as We Know It." Sales Talent Inc. N.p., 29 Jan. 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
[5]  Cohen, David. "Millennials on LinkedIn (Infographic)." SocialTimes. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
[6]  White, Gillian B. "Millennials in Search of a Different Kind of Career." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 12 June 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
[7]  Haden, Jeff. "Research Shows the Top 3 Things Millennials Expect From Their Jobs (and Perks Are Not on the List)." N.p., 09 Sept. 2016. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
[8]  Russell, Joyce EA. "Career Coach: Career Tips for Baby Boomers." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2013. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
[9] Three Generations of Talent: Who’s Searching for Jobs Today. N.p.: Indeed Hiring Lab, Dec. 2014. PDF.


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