Gen Z heavily dependent on parents during job search, survey finds

The majority of Gen Z job seekers rely on their parents for help with their job search, with some even including their parents in the interview process and others asking their parents to help them communicate with hiring managers.

The survey, conducted by []( in April 2024, found that 70% of respondents admitted to seeking their parents’ help during their job search, while only 30% of Gen Zers did not seek assistance from their parents during their recent job search.

Among those who sought help from their parents, 9% always asked for help, 23% did so very often, 44% sometimes, and 24% rarely.

Mothers, according to the survey, were more frequently the source of assistance, with 76% of respondents reporting maternal help compared to 45% receiving help from fathers.

Among those who sought parental assistance, 69% have since secured employment. Of this group, 83% attributed their success to their parents’ guidance, either fully (26%) or somewhat (57%), while only 17% say they don’t credit their parents at all.

ResumeTemplates’ Executive Resume Writer, Andrew Stoner, disclosed that “the number of employment opportunities and complexity of the job market are factors causing Gen Zers to seek parental help. Knowing what a company does, verifying its legitimacy, and understanding what a specific job entails are tasks that can be challenging for someone without any formal work experience. A parent’s help should bolster a child’s development and eventual independence.”

The survey also revealed that 24% of respondents who asked for help had their parents submit job applications on their behalf, representing 17% of the total sample. The primary reasons for these included believing their parents’ work is better (46%), not knowing how to communicate with hiring managers (34%), being unmotivated (32%), and poor mental health (22%).

Of the surveyed Gen Zers, 60% say that they ask their parents to find jobs for them to apply to. This group says their parents have found jobs through online resources (70%), personal connections (53%), networking (31%), and career fairs (23%).

While nearly 1 in 10 had their parents complete their HR screener calls, among those who involve their parents in their job search, 13% (9% of those surveyed) reported parents completing their HR calls.

When asked why they had their parents handle these calls, Gen Zers reported that they believe their parents’ work is better than theirs (48%), not knowing how to talk to hiring managers (38%), lacking motivation (33%), and negative impacts on mental health (31%).

The survey also disclosed that many Gen Zers involve their parents in their interview process. Of all Gen Zers who have undergone a job search in the past year, 26% say they have taken a parent to an interview.

Of Gen Zers who brought their parent(s), 31% had a parent accompany them to an in-person interview, while 29% had them join a virtual interview.

For those who had a parent come to an in-person interview, 37% said that their parent accompanied them to the office, 26% said their parent physically sat in the interview room, and 18% said their parent introduced themselves to the manager. Additionally, 7% say their parents answered questions.

Of those who attended virtual interviews, 71% said their parents were off-camera, while 29% said their parents were visible on-camera. The majority (85%) of on-camera parents spoke directly to the hiring manager and 85% fed information to their children.

The majority of Gen Zers get parental help when writing their resume. In the past year, 55% of Gen Zers say they asked their parents for help with their resume. Those who asked for resume help sought assistance with proofreading (57%), editing resume text (38%), and even writing their entire resume (18%).

They asked for help because they have more faith in their parents’ work than their own (35%) and become stressed when writing resumes (35%). Additionally, many Gen Zers say they had their parents help because they do not know how to format (28%) or write (22%) a resume or are too busy (14%).

With cover letters, the survey found that Gen Zers also rely on their parents. Almost half (49%) of Gen Zers asked for help with their cover letters, asking for assistance with proofreading (55%), editing cover letter content (26%), or even writing the letter from scratch (13%).

Of this group, 35% said that they thought their parents’ work would be better than their own, and 28% asked for help because they were stressed.

Gen Zers also asked for help because they lack the skills to write cover letters; 28% report that they do not know how to format cover letters, and 25% say that they don’t know how to write them. Finally, 14% say that they were too busy to complete their own cover letters.

Thirty-six percent of Gen Zers requested that their parents assist them in communicating with hiring managers. They asked for assistance with editing messages (28%), writing them from scratch (21%), and directly communicating with hiring managers (20%).

Reasons included trusting their parents’ work more (45%), not knowing how to communicate via email (30%), laziness (26%), not knowing how to format messages (19%), and experiencing mental health consequences (19%).


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