The most effective job seekers — those perceived as the “complete package” by hiring managers — target and customize their searches, and are organized and realistic about their opportunities. The 2015 Successful Job Seekers research explores these behaviors and investigates the critical factors and personal traits job seekers feel contributed most to their success in finding employment.
The survey of 589 U.S. professionals of varying ages and in different roles and industries was conducted in March 2015 by the Career Advisory Board, established by DeVry University. Respondents were classified as either passive job seekers, who were recruited by desirable companies and received offers without conducting searches, or active job seekers, who accepted jobs less than six months after starting proactive searches. The Career Advisory Board synthesized the research to help job seekers improve their employment outcomes.
2015 Successful Job Seekers Research Key Findings
1) Successful job seekers are selective and focus on specific targets.
Active job seekers were very selective about targeting individual companies and applying to open positions. More than one-half applied to five or fewer positions and two-thirds applied to 10 or fewer.
Candidates believed matching their qualifications with job requirements was important; 90 percent of active job seekers wanted to be at least 75 percent qualified before applying for a position.
This targeted approach proved highly effective, as nearly one-third of activejob seekers were interviewed for more than half the positions to which they applied.
2) Customizing job applications was a critical success factor in capturing employers’ attention.
Nearly 70 percent reached out to a contact person to find out more about the position, and approximately the same number (67 percent) submitted résumés containing keywords and skills listed in the job description.