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Communication Break Down

Would you like to know one reason why you might still be unemployed?  Are you communicating the qualifications employers are looking for? Have you told them and shown them, in terms they can understand, why you are a fit for their job?  It may not be how you are looking for a job, but what you are saying (or not saying) that is impacting your results.  Continue reading to find out how you can bridge the communication gap, oh, and land a job faster!

Study Data

Devry University built a Career Advisory Board who commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a study in September 2011.  The survey queried 540 hiring managers at top U.S. companies and 734 job seekers to determine what skills are valued most by employers and which qualifications job candidates demonstrate during the hiring process.  You can learn more about the study and it’s results by visiting the Career Advisory Board site.

Key Findings

The study found a disconnect between attributes presented and attributes valued.


  • 69% of hiring managers felt that some job seekers had the required skills and traits.  Not bad, but not great either.

Now, you may be thinking, yeah, but employers create this really unrealistic wish-list of requirements.  I don’t think that’s what’s happening here.  If you read on, you’ll see what I am talking about.

This is something that job seekers can control.  It is what you put on your resume and in your cover letter and online application that determines how the employer views your qualifications.  Become really, really good at reading the job descriptions and matching your qualifications to their needs and quantifying whenever you can.  The interview is another key opportunity to demonstrate the skills and traits required. Develop relevant, emotionally intelligent stories of success, failure and lessons learned!

You Think You’re Qualified but…

How job seekers view themselves and how they are viewed by employers shows the mis-communication.

Entry Level Candidates

The opportunity for improvement here is for entry level workers to demonstrate and prove their work ethic.  They think they have it, but employers don’t see it. Overall, there are pretty close with how they show their accountability, time management, work well with others and self motivation.


Tell stories and give examples of times they have gone above and beyond, cite perfect attendance recognition, describe taking on and completing extra assignments.

entry level mismatch

Mid Level Candidates

Mid level candidates need to do more to show they are motivated.  But as you can see below, mid level candidates over estimate their qualifications consistently.  They think they are qualified, but the hiring manager doesn’t see it.  Better examples of time management, examples of being accountable, and more concrete stories about communication and problem-solving successes would improve their chances of being a better match.


Talk about taking initiative to solve problems or identifying problems and solutions.  Give examples of projects requiring time management and prioritization.

job preparedness mid-level mismatchManagerial Candidates

Wow! In this case, the managerial candidates realize they lack some of the essentials.  They will need to develop a better global outlook and business acumen and strategic perspective to reach the expectations of future employers (and they know this).  They view their high integrity to be greater than perceived by hiring managers therefore, demonstrating those qualities in their materials will greatly benefit their observed qualifications.


Begin now building some of those requisite competencies around strategy, business acumen and understanding of a global economy. And be able to provide examples of situations requiring integrity!

managerial mismatch

So, did you take anything away from this? What action will you take or what is your suggestion for hiring managers?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • A. Mac January 31, 2012, 2:28 pm

    “You Think Your Qualified but…”

    Really? If you want to have a professionally respected website, please write correctly.

    Try this:

    You think you’re qualified but …

    • Hannah Morgan January 31, 2012, 3:43 pm

      A. Mac:
      Thank you very much for your editorial comment.

      I will admit, I seldom spell check or proof my posts. However, I never have claimed to be an excellent writer or to pay great attention to detail. This is horrible to admit, I know.

      Do you believe that a grammatical mistake in a post detracts from the professionalism and/or quality of the content or message?

  • A. Mac February 1, 2012, 4:39 pm

    Let me ask you this: do you think a grammatical/spelling error in a resume detracts from the professional and/or quality of the content or message?

    If you would recommend someone goes over his or her resume and cover letter with a fine-tooth comb, you should follow the same method yourself in your writings.

    Unless you subscribe to the ‘do as I say, don’t do as I do’ method.

    • RPinterview February 1, 2012, 11:07 pm

      I disagree. A blog and a resume are two different things. A resume is your 1-2 page sales pitch. The expectation for quality is high and necessary in order to stay in the race.

      However, blog content is created so frequently, most people don’t expect the content to be polished (at least I don’t). Quality expectations of blog comments ain’t much better either. 🙂

    • Hannah Morgan February 2, 2012, 4:06 am

      A. Mac,
      The resume and cover letter send an important first impression. I suppose blog content does too.
      When I reviewed resumes and cover letters as a hiring manager, seldom, if ever, would I toss a seemingly qualified candidate in the trash for a spelling or grammatical mistake. Honestly, I was more interested in meeting someone who had the desire and skills to do the job than their ability to create perfect documents. And yes, it depended on the job I was screening for.
      Every hiring manager has their own take on this. I know many professionals and experts would disagree with me. But screening applicants can be very subjective.

      @RPinterview: Thank you for making your point about the difference in the purpose of the material. It made me feel much better.

      My take away is…perhaps adding spell-check and a final editorial review of my blog content before publishing it would be a wise move!

  • denise reed lamoreaux March 21, 2012, 9:26 am

    Excellent points made; we need to sell ourselves differently than 5 years ago, and we absolutely must prove our relevance immediately so that the employer can see what we bring to the table!