From Textbooks to Tailored Resumes: The Millennial Post-Graduation Job Hunt

New Monster survey reveals two-thirds of younger Canadians struggle to find job postings that appeal to them

TORONTO, May 11, 2016 /CNW/ - For thousands of Canadians, it's time to pack up the textbooks and find their first post-graduation job – and it's likely that recent millennial graduates will apply for a job online. A recent survey of Canadians aged 18-30, conducted by Leger on behalf of Monster Canada, found that nine in 10 (88 per cent) recent college or university graduates indicate they applied to a job online immediately following graduation, or plan to do so once they graduate.

"Every spring, we see a spike in job seeker activity at the entry level," says Sheryl Boswell, Director of Marketing, Monster Canada. "These findings show that recent graduates are making their time count by immediately launching into this important job search. This rite of passage can be daunting for those who have just closed the book on their post-secondary experience and may not know how to make the most of their search."

Younger Canadians frustrated by process
The majority of younger Canadians aged 18-30 (92 per cent) have submitted an online job application, but when it comes to the process, younger Canadians have a number of pet peeves. The two aspects that were considered to be the most exasperating were: applying and never hearing anything back; and entry-level jobs that require a few years' of experience, with 81 per cent of respondents indicating they found each aspect to be frustrating.

Rounding out the top five were: vague job descriptions (75 per cent); uploading a resume then being prompted to enter the same information into the application system (74 per cent); and confusing application systems (72 per cent).

"Online job applications are part of the modern job search, but it's clear there are aspects of the process that frustrate many younger Canadians," says Boswell. "The application process doesn't have to come with a headache. Companies may benefit from providing candidates with a positive experience, from an easy-to-navigate application system to clear communication with job seekers."

High demand for appealing job postings
When asked which aspect of the job application process they found to be the most challenging, two-thirds of younger Canadians indicated it was finding a job posting that appeals to them (67 per cent). Coming in a close second was finding a job posting they're qualified for (65 per cent).

"It's interesting to see that for younger Canadians, it's not only about finding a job posting they're qualified for – finding a job that appeals to them seems to be the top concern," says Boswell. "At Monster, we believe it's important to 'Find Better,' and that's whether you're looking for your first job or climbing the ladder later on."

More than half are customizing resumes
The survey found that a number of younger Canadians are mindful of their resume content, with more than half of those surveyed (55 per cent) indicating they modify their resume for each application to suit the job posting. Conversely, more than four in 10 (43 per cent) have one standard resume they use for every job they apply to.

Many younger Canadians also seek out another person to read through their resume, with two-thirds (65 per cent) indicating they do so at least sometimes. This compares to one-third (34 per cent) who either rarely, or never, do so.

"The job application process may feel insurmountable for recent graduates, but there are steps that aspiring professionals can take to set themselves apart from the pack," says Boswell. "Tailoring your resume to suit each job posting you apply to can show that you're keen and can demonstrate your attention to detail. And it always helps to have a second set of eyes review your resume – the last thing you want is a hiring manager to spot a typo."

Tips to stand out
To help recent graduates make the most of their online job search, Monster Canada has prepared the following list of tips to consider:

  • Target your resume. Your resume is how you sell yourself. Take the time to consider the job posting and use your resume to showcase what you offer to that specific employer.
  • Don't rush. It may be tempting to rush through applications, particularly if positions seem similar. Take a step back. It's important to develop thoughtful, polished applications every time.
  • Proofread at every stage. No matter what stage your job application is in, or what portion you're completing, be sure to proofread what you're submitting. Skipping this step could work against you.
  • Manage your expectations. You may not find your 'dream job' right away. Look for job postings that will allow you to gain experience and build different skills. You never know what doors may open down the line.

For more job search tips or advice on how to find better in your professional life, visit

About Monster Worldwide
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW) is a global leader in connecting people to jobs, wherever they are. For more than 20 years, Monster has helped people improve their lives with better jobs, and employers find the best talent. Today, the company offers services in more than 40 countries, providing some of the broadest, most sophisticated job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management capabilities. Monster continues its pioneering work of transforming the recruiting industry with advanced technology using intelligent digital, social and mobile solutions, including our flagship website® and a vast array of products and services. For more information visit

About the Survey
Leger conducted a quantitative online survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 18-30. The fieldwork was completed between April 13-28, 2016. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20. 

SOURCE Monster

For further information: Eric McLean, 416-969-2756

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