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Job seekers out of sync with hiring managers, survey finds

October 28 2013

A widening gap exists between U.S. hiring managers and job seekers in terms of how each group views 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, according to the third-annual job preparedness indicator report released today by DeVry University’s Career Advisory Board.

“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.”

According to the report, 72 percent of job seekers are confident they know how to present their skills and experience to an interviewer and 56 percent are confident they know what employers are looking for in candidates today. However, only 15 percent of hiring managers said nearly all or most job seekers have the skills and traits their companies are looking for in candidates.

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. In contrast, 37 percent of job seekers are not at all confident that the job market will improve next year, a 7 percent increase over last year.

Seventy-four percent of hiring managers said job seekers should have a mentor, counselor or job coach to talk to about whether their skills and experience match those required for the jobs they are interested in; only 40 percent of job seekers report having a similar professional resource.

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.

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