New Study: Job Seekers Overconfident in Their Abilities

October 29, 2013

Findings from a recent study by the Career Advisory Board, indicate a widening gap between America’s hiring managers and job seekers.

The third annual Job Preparedness Indicator (JPI) spotlights differences in each group’s view of the skills employees need to thrive in the workforce.

Some 72 percent of job seekers are confident they know how to present their skills and experience to an interviewer and more than half of job seekers (56 percent) are confident they know what employers are looking for in candidates today. Yet, only 15 percent of hiring managers say nearly all or most job seekers have the skills and traits their companies are looking for in candidates.

Employers to Job Seekers: “Get a Mentor, You Need It”

These gaps, along with the sense of self-confidence reported by job seekers may explain why many candidates have not taken steps to gain employment that hiring managers consider essential: 74 percent of hiring managers say 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 yet, only 40 percent of job seekers report having a similar professional resource.

In fact, the proportion of job seekers who would rely on their own experience to decide what information to include on applications, resumes and cover letters rather than seek advice from others including career counselors or instructors has grown from 58 percent in 2012 to 67 percent in 2013.

“Job seekers are doing themselves a huge disservice by ignoring the wealth of guidance and insight a mentor could provide,” said Madeleine Slutsky, chairman of the Career Advisory Board and vice president of career services at DeVry University. “Cultivating relationships with individuals who have experience with the current employment landscape can be a tremendous help in the job search process.”

To read the full article written by Career Advisory Board member Alexandra Levit, please visit