Different Generations and Searching for a Job

Some of us haven’t had to craft a resume in a long time. Others have done several just this week. Different generations have different priorities when searching for a job, but we all have to play by new rules when it comes to resumes.

Here’s the gist:

  • Objectives are out; summaries are in
  • Resumes should be razor-focused to the job
  • Job-searchers should know about applicant tracking systems (or ATS) when drafting a resume
  • Employers want to see a link to a job candidate’s LinkedIn profile and they want to see that the resume reflects that profile. They also want to see that the candidate has an active LinkedIn presence.

How Should We Be Searching for Jobs?

Now let’s move on to generational differences and searching for a job. We’re going to paint with a broad brush because the generations are made up of individuals, and individuals tend to fit badly into cubbyholes. These are the generations most prevalent in today’s workforce:

• Baby boomers – born between 1946 and 1964
• Gen Xers – born between 1965 and 1976
• Millennials – born between 1977 and 1997

How the generations differ in searching for jobs

Each generation has different needs, and those needs influence how they look for work. All the generations want money, and often they want benefits, but how much money and why can vary.

Baby Boomers

Boomers pay attention not only to salary but benefits packages. Even the youngest of the boomers are in their mid-fifties, so health insurance, salary and retirement plans can be important. Some boomers are already squared away for retirement thanks to retirement plans of previous employers. For them, the priorities fall along the lines of overall job satisfaction.

searching for a job


Gen Xers

Gen Xers are “at that awkward age.” Many would love to focus on how happy a job would make them, but often have a household to support, including small children. Salary and benefits become much bigger deals when you still have a family to raise.

searching for a job



Millennials care about salary and their financial futures, but want a job to position them for their professional futures as well. To a millennial, knowing that a job is a link to better skills and experience might be more important than salary.  Millennials often have health care coverage through their parents and are therefore more willing to fly without the safety net of employer-provided health insurance. Some are willing to bet on not getting seriously sick or injured. For the rest of the millennials, benefits are important.

searching for a job

Some misconceptions

Boomers can be unfairly characterized as tech-challenged. Marketing consulting firm, Digital Tulip says, “The way we see it, the baby boomer market is perhaps the most untapped from a digital marketing perspective. Some have written them off, considering multiple generations to be technologically illiterate when, in all actuality, their professional backgrounds and personal lives have adapted to technological changes out of necessity. Case and point: email, a digital calendar, family members on Facebook, or online holiday shopping.”

Those examples could include a lot more tech know-how boomers have acquired because of their work, as well as a natural sense of curiosity. Not all boomers have adapted solely out of necessity.

Just as boomers are unfairly labeled as tech-challenged, so millennials get a bad rap as lazy, unhappy at work and disloyal to employers.

The windup:

All in all, research shows that each of the generations uses mobile devices when searching for a job, further evidence that boomers aren’t that far behind technologically than their younger cohorts.

Happy Hunting! We are here for you!

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