Rebuilding Your Career Toolkit to Meet the Needs of Employers

Despite an uncertain job market, many job seekers would like to believe they are qualified. However, it simply is not the case. Candidates are failing at the job search because they lack the qualifications that employers value.

A national online survey conducted by the Career Advisory Board established by DeVry University brings to light how job seekers can better position themselves by focusing on the attributes employers’ value most. The findings of the Job Preparedness Indicator conducted Sept. 6-12, 2011 by Harris Interactive revealed that employers are unable to find qualified candidates for open positions.

In fact, only 14 percent of the 540 hiring managers surveyed said that within the past three years “nearly all” or “most” job seekers have had the skills their company looks for in a potential employee.

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However, most job seekers believe they have what it takes to succeed. More than half (56 percent) of the 734 adults looking for work who were surveyed are confident they know what qualifications are required for employment. In addition, 72 percent are confident they know how to present their skills during an interview.

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“These findings highlight the striking gap between what skills hiring managers value in a candidate and how job seekers describe themselves. But some of the disconnect between hiring managers and job seekers is due to misconceptions about what is most important to the other party,” notes Dan Kasun, senior director of developer and platform evangelism at Microsoft Corporation and Career Advisory Board member. “Job seekers should utilize these findings to better calibrate the way they present themselves to employers.”

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According to the study, hiring managers place the highest value on the following skills across all job levels (entry, middle and managerial):

1. Strategic perspective
2. High integrity
3. Global outlook
4. Strong base work ethic/dependable
5. Accountability

For those looking to enhance their marketability to employers, Career Advisory Board members offer the following actionable advice: