Since January I have been conducting a job seekers poll, asking them what they really would like to get from a career advice expert. I conducted my poll through LinkedIn, Poll Daddy, Facebook , my own Blog and in person. The poll results are based on the views of 100 job seekers.
Here is what they were asked.
As a Job Seeker what assistance you would like to get from a Career Guidance expert?
- Help with your cv or resume
- Help with confidence and self belief
- Advice on what type of job is suitable
- Interview preparation and techniques
- Networking and Proactive job seeking
- Other – Please state
Only one answer could be selected.
- Networking and Proactive job seeking – 37%
- Advice on what type of job is suitable – 21%
- Help with confidence and self belief – 17%
- Help with your cv or resume – 10%
- Other – 9% (Help and advice on starting up a business 6%, Advice on education and up skilling – 3%)
- Interview preparation and techniques – 6%
So what do you make of the results?
I was surprised at how few respondents chose cv and interview help. After all that is the main focus of many Career Guidance companies. Many job seekers I spoke to felt disarmed by the current economic market, they did not feel in control of their search and were frustrated awaiting feedback from companies and agencies. Most people I talked to had become very aware of the importance of networking, but genuinely had no idea of how to go about building a network. They could see how networking could aid their job search, but the very thought of actually networking sent shivers down their spine! On reflection “Networking and Proactive job seeking” may have been too broad a choice. Many respondents chose it because they physically did not know how to network, whilst others were thinking social media as the networking and proactive tool they wanted help with.
Many people have lost their jobs having worked in the “boom industries” of yesterday. Job opportunities are “scarce” in certain industries for example construction and banking. Many job seekers are forced to change careers, but find themselves unsure what type of job is suitable for them. As one gentleman said to me during this study – “A cv is the least of my worries, I have no idea which direction to look in for a job”.
I was also very interested that 17% of respondents openly stated that “confidence and self belief” was what job seekers wanted from a Career Guidance expert the most. This is something every one of us can help job seekers with. We should all spend a bit of time spurring each other on and offering encouragement during these challenging times. People I spoke to had received the exact opposite and been greeted with “doom and gloom” stories when talking to recruitment agencies and career guidance experts. Now I am not suggesting we mislead job seekers with”pie in the sky” optimism, but that we offer support, hope and most of all listen.
One of the first things I ever learned when I studied marketing was “find out what the customer wants and then give it to them” – Valuable advice. So do Outplacement companies, Career Guidance counselors, recruitment consultants’ etc .really know what help job seekers want? Or do they just offer what they have always offered?
Maybe the time has come to change?