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Monday, October 31, 2011

Gap between employer needs and applicant skills

 Downers Grove, IL—More than 14 million Americans are looking for work, yet 3.1 million jobs remain unfilled because hiring managers at top U.S. companies are unable to find qualified candidates, according to a recent study by the Career Advisory Board, established in 2010 by DeVry University of New York,
There will be a live blog chat on new research and actionable advice for job seekers on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10:00 AM CST. Career Advisory Board member, author and speaker, Jason Seiden, will offer insights on the Job Preparedness Indicator and its implications for succeeding in the job search. Visit to participate.
 The Job Preparedness Indicator assessed the value of key skills to determine what attributes employers consider most important but are least common among job seekers. Nearly 550 hiring managers at top U.S. companies and more than 730 job seekers were surveyed. Key findings include:

Many job seekers are overconfident and do not display skills that are important to hiring managers.
72 percent of job seekers are very confident or confident they know what qualifications are required for employment
Only 14 percent of hiring managers say job seekers have had the skills their company looks for in a potential employee
There is a striking difference between the skills most important to hiring managers and the skills job seekers portray to hiring managers.
For example, 70 percent of hiring managers picked interviewing skills as a top 5 important factor in finding a job, compared to just 54 percent of job seekers
Managerial candidates are most out of sync with employers’ needs.
Hiring managers report they rarely see three out of the top five skills required at this level
Managerial candidates are describing themselves in terms most important to hiring managers for entry level positions, automatically taking them out of the running

To view a full report. visit

Strategies to Improve Job Search Success
Career Advisory Board member and business and workplace consultant, Alexandra Levit, recommends gaining valuable experience and improving workplace competencies to succeed.
Levit offers the following strategies to help job candidates improve their marketability:
Demonstrate a mastery of critical skills. Before diving into a job search, it’s important to take a step back and examine your capabilities from the perspective of a hiring manager:
Think about the job and how your qualifications meet the specific needs of the position, and identify areas where you can illustrate quantifiable results
If entering a new field, create a skills-based resume that highlights specific capabilities relevant for the job  
 Increase repertoire of capabilities. To obtain valuable and relevant experience, take ownership of your development by looking for opportunities to improve your core competencies and learning those skill sets that are valued by employers.

If you are unemployed:
Seek an internship or volunteer opportunity to gain critical real-world knowledge and expand your professional network
Clearly demonstrate your proficiency of these newly-acquired skills to your prospective employer and explain how they can be transferred to the workplace

If you are employed:
Take advantage of corporate training programs to improve communication skills and problem-solving abilities
Pursue stretch assignments that will challenge you to learn and grow in your field                            
Develop a personal brand. A strong and memorable personal brand that captures the attention of prospective employers on social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, will set you apart from the competition.
Identify your unique talents, what you are passionate about and the type of expertise you can bring to employers
Ensure that your social media profile and in-person networking reflects your personal brand while fostering relationships through alumni and peer-to-peer networks
Seek mentorship. Developing a mentoring relationship will help you build a foundation and set the pace for your career. Mentors can help you learn about a realistic career path and what it takes to succeed.
Build a mentoring relationship with a person who works in a similar or related field – both online and offline
Find mentors through professional organizations, alumni associations and non-profit organizations

For more information on the Job Preparedness Indicator at Submitted by Sean McCarthy, MSL Chicago,

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