January 11, 2017 by Anna Peters
The 2016 Most Desirable Jobs survey has some surprising results. The Career Advisory Board (CAB), of which College Recruiter’s founder Steven Rothberg is a member, released the survey recently. Their intention is to advise employers, who increasingly find themselves in steep competition for qualified talent. The results include ideal job characteristics, most appealing work styles and what employees value at work. Employers will rejoice when they hear that they may not have to throw out their conventional wisdom.
One key finding that may surprise you: Millennials were more likely to want to work in an office every day than their older colleagues. We spoke with Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. She gave us her interpretation of the survey results, including what surprised her, trends of the Millennial generation, the gig economy, and more. Watch our interview with Alexandra:
July 06, 2016 by Matt Krumrie
When job seekers find immediate success, what are they doing right? How are they standing out from the rest of the applicants who earn interviews?
Those job seeker secrets to success were discussed in detail as part of the Successful Job Seekers Research portion of the 2016 Job Preparedness Indicator Study. The survey was conducted in March 2015 by the Career Advisory Board (CAB) established by DeVry University. As part of the research, over 500 job seekers were surveyed and the key findings and data from the research are highlighted in the accompanying video featuring Steven Rothberg, founder of College Recruiter, moderating a discussion with Alexandra Levit, a consultant, speaker, and workplace expert who has written six career advice books, and was formerly a nationally syndicated career columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and Madeleine Slutsky of DeVry University. The interview and discussion takes place from Google’s Chicago offices during the NACE 2016 Conference in June.
Read the first article in this series: What makes a job seeker highly effective, Part 1 and learn more in the video below:
If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.
What criteria qualifies one as a successful job seeker? According to the 2016 Job Preparedness Indicator Study, this includes:
A. Active job seekers who secured a job offer within six months of their first interview.
B. Passive candidates who already had a job, were recruited, and accepted an offer within 6 months of being recruited.
“That’s pretty successful,” says Levit. “If you’re able to get a new job within six months, you’re doing something right.”
According to the study, the first thing successful job seekers do is target their job search to a specific company.
“The conventional wisdom is that if you just send your resume out to as many people as possible, it’s a number game; eventually something will hit,” says Levit. “In fact, this is the opposite of what we found to be true.”
According to the survey data, 51 percent of active job seekers applied to five or fewer positions, and 66 percent applied to 10 or fewer jobs.
“The majority of our successful job seekers are really going after specific companies they want to work at,” says Levit.
They also know that they are qualified for those jobs, before submitting applications, says Levit. The research showed that 90 percent of job seekers wanted to be at least 75 percent qualified before applying to a targeted company and job, meaning they fit at least seven out of the 10 requirements of the job description before applying. In addition, 41 percent wanted to be at least 90 percent qualified before applying – meaning they fit nine out of the 10 requirements of the job description before applying.
Successful job seekers also customize their resume and job search, and do significant research before putting together their cover letter, resume, and online profile for their target company. The survey results showed that 67 percent of successful job seekers reached out to the company contact person, and 32 percent reached out to their network to get inside info on the target company before applying. In addition, 84 percent tailored their resume to the exact specifics of the job they were targeting, updating it for each job. Translation: A targeted resume is much more effective than a one-size-fits-all resume.
“This is something the Career Advisory Board has been saying for years,” says Levit. “Yes, unfortunately, every resume has to be customized if you want to be taken seriously. That’s what successful job seekers are doing.”
Hiring managers pick up a resume and are going to know, within 20 seconds, if the applicant is a good fit for the job, says Levit. That’s why it’s important to tailor/customize each resume for a specific job.
The study also uncovered some surprising news for job seekers: Successful job seekers don’t necessarily consider job-seeking a full-time role.
Levit said this: “I have to admit, this is counter to the advice I have always given, which has been ‘if you are in the job market and not currently employed, you should be treating your job search like a full-time job,’ meaning you are spending seven or eight hours a day on (the job search). That’s not what successful job seekers are doing.”
The study showed that 47 percent of successful job seekers conducted job search activities a total of one to three hours a day and 45 percent spent less than an hour per day on the job search. This includes writing resumes, networking, searching for jobs, and researching companies, among other job search duties.
“Whatever they are doing is effective and efficient,” says Levitt. “It’s not quantity, it’s quality.”
The bottom line? Successful job seekers put together job searches that target a specific company and job, and write resumes and cover letters tailored to that specific job. They work to connect with people inside the organization for which they are applying, and doing all of this is helping them land jobs faster than those who are not conducting a specific, targeted job search.
Watch the video to learn more about what makes a job seeker highly effective.
June 29, 2016 by Matt Krumrie
The 2016 Job Preparedness Indicator Study surveyed 500 U.S.-based hiring managers and measured gaps between what hiring managers are looking for and what candidates are bringing to the table. In addition, the study focused on job seeker success factors, and highlighted key elements of a successful job search.
The survey was conducted in March 2015 by the Career Advisory Board (CAB) established by DeVry University. Key findings from the study, related to issues facing hiring managers, are analyzed in the article below, and the accompanying video features Steven Rothberg, founder of College Recruiter, moderating a discussion about the findings with CAB co-chairs Madeleine Slutsky of DeVry University and Alexandra Levit, a consultant, speaker, and workplace expert who has written six career advice books, and was formerly a nationally syndicated career columnist for the Wall Street Journal.
This is the first in a two-part series analyzing the study and panel discussion with Rothberg, Slutsky, and Levit. The video was conducted from Google’s Chicago offices during NACE 2016 in June:
If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.
Two intriguing factors emerged from the 2016 Job Preparedness Indicator Study, which is now in its sixth year:
1. Hiring managers focus on 23 key soft skills: Hiring managers are focusing on a list of 23 key skills they believe today’s job seeker should have. Those 23 skills are:
- Work ethic
- Time management
- Written communication
- Problem solving
- Technology skills
- Ability to work in a matrixed environment
- Strategic perspective
- Networking skills
- Business acumen
- Global competence
- Verbal communication
- Interpersonal skills
- Assimilation of new information
- Decision making
- Analytical skills
- Presentation skills
- Real-world work experience
- Risk taking
2. Hiring managers are unrealistic: Today’s hiring managers are unrealistic, according to the study. They expect job seekers to not only bring all 23 key skills to the table, but also require candidates to have the right education, related experience, and be a perfect interviewer, among other requirements.
These requirements are affecting hiring decisions and that should concern hiring managers, says Levit.
“When we look at the list of 23 skills that (hiring managers) said were important, they expect candidates to come through the door having a check box next to every single one of those skills,” says Levit. “You also have to be from the perfect industry, you have to be from the perfect background, you have to have graduated from a top university, and you have to be the perfect interviewer.”
Levit continued: “Essentially they want somebody who has the complete and total package and aren’t really willing to say ‘maybe this person is strong in x, but we will have to train them on y.’”
These stringent hiring requirements were okay a few years ago, says Levit, because there were more job seekers in the market than what company’s knew what to do with. But the playing field has changed, and hiring managers need to be more open.
“As it becomes more of a job seekers market, with the recession well behind us, this is going to be a problem because you are going to see positions that are going to be left empty for many months, and that the people who are still doing the jobs of two or three individuals will start to burn out, and then they will leave, then you will need to fill more positions.”
One positive note for hiring managers emerged from the study: Today’s college graduates are entering the workforce better prepared than they have in the past two, five or ten years. Translation: Today’s entry-level job seeker is advanced in all facets of the process.
“I see the needle moving here,” says Levit. “Universities are preparing college students a little bit better for the work world and they are coming out with some of these (23 key) skills already.”
However, even though college grads are better prepared, hiring managers and employers may overlook these, well-trained, rising stars because of strict hiring requirements. The trend isn’t about to change soon, either.
“We don’t see this trend really going anywhere, which makes me concerned for hiring managers, because generally they are pretty unrealistic,” says Levit.