Money Talks, So Should You

Perception gap exists between employers and job-seekers

Brian O'Connell
by Brian O'Connell, MainStreet contributor

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — At perhaps a bad time in U.S. employment, it seems there’s a “perception gap” between what workers think they’re worth on the job and how employers see them.

Analysis by Bryant & Stratton College with help from Wakefield Research from a survey among U.S. adults age 18 to 34 found that 80 percent of workers believe they are “job ready and possess all the skills, experience and education needed to advance in their desired career path or obtain their next job.”

READ: How to adjust expenses when searching for a job

Yet 40 percent of U.S. employers say most entry-level job candidates lack even the basic skills needed to fill job openings.

Then there’s the issue of so-called “soft” job skills such as critical thinking and sophisticated problem-solving. Only 16 percent of the 18- to 34-year-olds surveyed see such skills as necessary for career advancement.

But that’s a huge swing-and-miss by employees, the college says. In fact, 93 percent of U.S. employers say soft skills are “weighed more heavily” when vetting job candidates — much more so than a candidate’s college academic credentials.

“Being employable today is all about knowing how to communicate to employers that you have intelligence quotient as well as educational quotient,” says Scott Traylor, associate campus director for online education at the online college.

Bryant & Stratton offers a video called Job Ready Or Not? explaining what employers look for in job candidates these days. Find it here.

READ: Career opportunities vs. financial security

“Job-seekers need to start marketing themselves based on the skills, competencies and traits employers need and value most,” says Beth Tarquino, chief academic officer at Bryant & Stratton. “Too often the background experience and soft-skills attributes needed to successfully look for a job are underestimated, especially by college students and new graduates. Searching for a job can become a full-time job, but putting in the extra work to understand hiring trends and needs of employers is worth it.”

Brian O’Connell has 15 years of experience covering business news and trends, particularly in the financial, health care and career management sectors. He has written 14 books and appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, C-Span, Bloomberg, CBS Radio and other media outlets and in such publications as The Wall Street Journal and The Street.com. He is a former Wall Street bond trader.