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Job Seekers Are Out Of Sync With Hiring Managers

Findings from a recent study by the Career Advisory Board, established by DeVry University, indicate a widening gap between America’s hiring managers and job seekers. The third-annual Job Preparedness Indicator spotlights differences in each group’s view of the skills employees need to thrive in the workforce, their outlook on the U.S. job market and the steps job seekers should take in order to gain employment. Harris Interactive conducted the survey in July and August among 507 U.S. job seekers (ages 18 and older) and 500 U.S. hiring managers.

2013 Job Preparedness Indicator Key Findings

Are overconfident job seekers missing the mark?

  Seventy-two percent of job seekers are confident they know how to present their skills and experience to an interviewer and more than half of job seekers (56 percent) are confident they know what employers are looking for in candidates today

Yet, just 15 percent of hiring managers say nearly all or most job seekers have the skills and traits their companies are looking for in candidates

Hiring managers are bullish…and picky

  Eighty-six percent of hiring managers are at least somewhat confident the job market will improve in 2014, up considerably from 67 percent of hiring managers with a similar level of confidence in last year’s poll

The percentage of hiring managers who describe themselves as either “extremely confident” or “very confident” in an improving job market nearly doubled to 30 percent, up from 16 percent the year prior

Sixty-seven percent of hiring managers don’t feel like they have to settle for a candidate without the perfect qualifications for the job

Job seekers are bearish…and growing more pessimistic

  Thirty-seven percent of job seekers are not at all confident that the job market will improve next year – a 7 percent increase over last year

While overall employment is up for job seekers in 2013 over last year – 64 percent compared to 55 percent – the proportion of unemployed job seekers out of work for the past two or more years nearly tripled from 14 to 38 percent

Seventy-two percent of job seekers agree companies often refuse to consider a candidate for a job if he or she is not currently employed

“We’re seeing an increasing number of job seekers who are losing hope, but the economy isn’t fully to blame,” said Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. “Opportunities do exist for job seekers who are able to effectively demonstrate to hiring managers that they have specific in-demand skills.”

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