Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Careers & Workplace
  3. Jobs

Millennial Branding & release study on multi-generational job search

See also

Boomers on social media, Gen X favor job security and Gen Y are optimists

Boston, MA and King of Prussia, PA – September 24, 2012 - Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm and, The Career Network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally, today announced the first comprehensive study on how different generations job search called "The Multi-Generational Job Search." 5,268 job seekers were surveyed total, including 742 Gen Y (18-29 year olds), 1,676 Gen X (30-47) and 2,850 Baby Boomers (48-67).

The study highlights that all generations are spending almost all of their time job searching online instead of offline, spending between 5 and 20 hours per week searching and still favor job boards as their top resource. Gen Y is more optimistic about finding a job, values workplace flexibility and intends to go back to school instead of continuing their search over older generations. Gen X values job security and has suffered more stress and frustration due to unemployment relative to others. More Boomers use social networks in their job search over Gen X and Gen Y and they turn to LinkedIn first, while the other generations turn to Google/Google+.

"This study confirms that Gen Y is optimistic about the future and willing to do whatever it takes to build a career, including going back to school, starting a business or moving back in with their parents. They are the savviest generation when it comes to managing their career online and they are champions of work-life balance," says Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, Gen Y expert and bestselling author of Me 2.0.

Rich Milgram, Founder and CEO of—The Career Network, added, "There are significant trends that can be seen from generation to generation. Gen Y is unique in their approach to career management and searching for a new job."

Additional highlights from the report include:

1. Online job searches are conducted the most by Baby Boomers, followed by Gen X and Gen Y, and few are doing offline job searching. 96% of Baby Boomers are conducting a job search online (compared to 95% of Gen X and 92% of Gen Y) and only 4% are doing it offline. Only 5% of Gen X and 8% of Baby Boomers spend time job searching offline.

2. Between 5 and 20 hours per week is the average time spent by all generations on job searching. 60% of Gen Y, followed by 54% of Baby Boomers and 52% of Gen X spend between 5 and 20 hours per week searching for a job. 19% of Boomers spend an average of between 20 and 30 hours per week.

3. Job boards are the top resources for job seekers of all generations, and are most popular with boomers. 87% of Baby Boomers choose job boards as the resource they turn to first in a job search, followed by 82% of Gen X and 77% of Gen Y. The second most popular resource are company websites (about 57% for all generations) and the third most popular are classified ads (32% of Gen Y, 41% of Gen X and 43% of Boomers).Baby Boomers use social networks as part of their job search (29%) over Gen X (27%) and Gen Y (23%).

4. Google (and Google+) is the social network both Gen Y and Gen X turn to first for job searching, while LinkedIn is the top choice for Baby Boomers. 35% of Gen Y followed by 31% of Gen X and 31% of Boomers turn to Google (and Google+ first) when job searching. More Gen Y's (21%) choose Facebook as their first choice when job searching than Gen X (15%) and Boomers (10%). LinkedIn is the top choice of Boomers (Boomers (29%) use social networking sites for their job search over Gen X (27%) and Gen Y (23%). Twitter is the least popular job search tool for all generations (8% of Gen Y, 6% of Gen X and 4% of Boomers).

5. Fewer than 15% of all generations have their own professional website but more than a third manage their online reputations.13% of Gen Y followed by 13% of Gen X and 14% of Boomers have their own professional website or an online portfolio. 47% of Gen Y, followed by 38.8% of Gen X and 35% of Boomers take the time to check their online reputation and clean it up if necessary.

6. Stress and frustration is the top affect of unemployment for all generations, especially Gen X. 72% of Gen X, followed by 69% of Baby Boomers and 61% of Gen Y have suffered in this way. After stress, unemployment has caused respondents to be depressed (44% of Gen X, 43% of Baby Boomers and 38% of Gen Y).

7. The length of a job search is greatest for Baby Boomers, followed by Gen X and then Gen Y. 25% of Boomers have a job search of over a year, followed by 17% of Gen X and 10% of Gen Y. 33% of Gen Y's are able to find employment in less than one month, which faster than Gen X (29%) and Boomers (24%). Since Gen Y has the shortest job search, they are the most optimistic about finding work relative to other generations. 88% of Gen Y is optimistic about finding a job, followed by 81% of Gen X and 73% of Boomers.

8. Age discrimination is most common among Baby Boomers as opposed to other generations. 65% of Boomers feel like they suffer from age discrimination, followed by only 22% of Gen X and 21% of Gen Y.

9. The qualities that each generation value most in a potential employer is different. For Gen Y, 59% said location, while 57% said both meaningful work and job security. For Gen X, 65% said job security, while 62% said employee benefits like healthcare and 55% said location. For Boomers, 60% said meaningful work, while 57% said location and 55% said both employee benefits and job security. A higher salary is more valued by Gen Y (41%) than Gen X (37%) and Boomers (27%). Workplace flexibility is more valued by Gen Y (30%) than Gen X (25%) and Boomers (22%).

10. Job preparation between generations is different. The majority of Boomers prepare for interviews by reviewing the company's website (85%), followed by Gen X (78%) and then Gen Y (71%). Boomers are also more inclined to search for news about or related to the company they are interviewing for (64%) over Gen X (58%) and Gen Y (53%). Gen Y spends time practicing interview questions before an interview (68%) over Gen X (60%) and Boomers (52%). They are more likely to follow and interact with the company's social media profiles (25%) over Gen X (19%) and Boomers (16%). They also are more inclined to customize their resume and cover letters as they apply for jobs (59%) over Boomers (57%) and Gen X (54%).

11. Alternatives to getting a job between generations is different. Almost half (48%) of Gen Y has considered going back to school instead of continuing their job search, while only 35% of Gen X and 23% of Boomers feel the same way. Out of those respondents, 37% of Gen Y intends to go back to school, while 24% of Gen X and 17% of Boomers feel the same way. Almost one third of all respondents has considered starting their own business instead of continuing their job search (36% of Gen X, 35% of Boomers and 31% of Gen Y).


For more information about how to find a job and how to use social media for your career, visit




  • Tom Petty
    Seven overlooked videos that prove the genius of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    Today's Buzz
  • Gaylord Pickens
    Discover Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum dollar days
    6 Photos
  • Yoga poses
    Learn how to strengthen your core muscles with these yoga poses
    5 Photos
  • Baby boomer STD rates
    Sexually transmitted diseases: Baby boomers booming STD rates
    7 Photos
  • Open relationships
    Are you thinking about exercising your option to be in an open relationship?
    5 Photos
  • Medical symptoms
    See which symptoms should cause you to seek a doctor’s attention right away
    6 Photos