CHICAGO, March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A nationwide survey from CareerBuilder provides encouraging news and tips from employers to help unemployed workers land new jobs. The vast majority of employers – 85 percent - reported that they are more understanding of employment gaps post-recession. Nine-in-ten (94 percent) said they wouldn't think less of a candidate who took a position during the recession that was at a lower level than the one he/she previously held. The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive© among more than 3,000 employers across industries and company sizes.
"More than 5 million workers in the U.S. have been unemployed for six months or longer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for CareerBuilder. "While job seekers have voiced concern over how they may be perceived if they've been out of work for a while or took a job for which they were overqualified to make ends meet, the study shows employers understand the tough challenges the economy has created for workers. What is most important to employers is that workers show they have stayed active in sharpening their skills."
When asked what can help job seekers increase their marketability, employers stated that they should pursue a variety of activities to build, expand and strengthen skill sets:
- Take a temporary or contract assignment – 79 percent
- Take a class – 61 percent
- Volunteer – 60 percent
- Start your own business – 28 percent
- Start a professional blog – 11 percent
In addition, CareerBuilder experts recommend the following:
- Follow stories on hot industries and job functions. Information Technology, Engineering, Healthcare, Sales and Customer Services are among the top areas for hiring nationwide, according to CareerBuilder's job listings.
- Use keywords. Most employers use electronic scanning devices to screen and rank candidates. Make sure to pepper in words from the job posting into your resume as it relates to your experience, so your resume comes up higher in employer searches.
- Come in with ideas. Whether it's an idea for a marketing campaign, new revenue stream, cost savings, etc., the candidates who come to the interview with ideas show they're excited about the opportunity and always stand out from the crowd.
- Make connections. A warm resume placed on the hiring manager's desk is more likely to get noticed. Expand your network of contacts through social media, professional organizations, social clubs, etc., to make new inroads into organizations.
- Follow through. Two-thirds of workers reported that they don't follow up with the employer after submitting their resume for consideration. It's important to take that extra step in letting the employer know you're interested, and make sure you always send a thank you after an interview.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,023 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between November 9 and December 5, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,023, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.78 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 45 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.