Job search the old fashion way: It’s harder, but it works

I came across a very interesting study related to how the different generations in the workforce look for new jobs. I found its findings fascinating, and I believe you will also.

The study was called "The Multi-Generational Job Search." It was designed by Dan Schawbel (founder of Millennial Branding, Gen Y expert and bestselling author of the book Me 2.0) and executed with the assistance of Beyond.com. This online survey received 5,268 responses divided into the following age groups:

• 742 responses from Gen Y’ers (18-29 year olds) • 1,676 responses from Gen X’ers (30-47) • 2,850 responses from Baby Boomers (48-67)

Listed below are a few of the findings you may find of interest when creating your job search strategy.

• 96% of Baby Boomers, 95% of Gen X’ers, and 92% of Gen Y’ers conduct their job search online • Only 4% of Baby Boomers, 5% of Gen X’ers, and 8% of Gen Y’ers spend time job searching offline

If used correctly, the above survey results can provide you with great insights as to the best ways to find new opportunities and get the job.

I spoke with Dan Schawbel who said “Many people spend so much time online that they forget that the strongest relationships are created offline, face-to-face. People are getting resumes online all the time and as a result, you become a number. You have a much better chance of getting your resume to the right person and getting it noticed by facilitating a personal introduction.”

When combining the survey results with Dan’s comment, it becomes very apparent that while job searching online definitely has its value. It shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement for face-to-face networking. Regardless if you are a Baby Boomer, Gen X’er or Gen Y’er, when looking for a job, you will be in the minority if you are willing to journey beyond your keyboard and go to where the humans are, including networking events, job fairs, one-on-one informational meetings with newly made acquaintances, and professional conferences.

Look at the survey numbers, only about 5% - 8% of job seekers do so face-to-face. This gives you a huge leg up on the 92% - 95% of your competition, simply because of your willingness to find a job the old fashion way.

Face-to-face job searching is important for the reasons previously mentioned, but it also has additional value based on your age. If you are a Gen X or younger Gen Y, those your age are generally very comfortable making decisions based on internet-only knowledge and communication because computers and the internet were available during your formative years. The problem for you is that many of the people making decisions as to your hire-ability are older than you and less comfortable with working only in an electronic medium. Therefore, by-and-large, the best way for you to be hired by an older Gen Y or Baby Boomer is to meet them in person as soon as possible during the hiring process.

For Baby Boomers, including myself, the issue is different. According to the study, 65% of Baby Boomers felt that they were discriminated against because of their age. One of the best ways for you to reduce this discrimination is to have a face-to-face conversation with the person evaluating your resume and/or the hiring manager as early as possible during the hiring process. This up front and personal conversation will allow you to be viewed as a person, not just a resume sitting on the desk. It will also provide you with the opportunity to explain why you are the best person for the job, regardless of any potential age bias.

The full survey results can be found at http://millennialbranding.com/2012/09/multi-generational-job-search-study.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.

Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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