Tag Archives: experience

The Results Are In: What Is Your Biggest Roadblock to Finishing Strong in 2014?

roadblock_poll_webWith the new year just around the corner, we’re entering the home stretch of 2014 and many job seekers are feeling the pressure to finish 2014 on a strong note. In a recent poll, we asked Movin’ On Up readers what they anticipate being the biggest obstacle in their path to landing a job and getting a strong start in 2015.

According to the results, competition is the number one obstacle standing in the way of landing a job. The survey revealed that 37% of readers feel there is too much competition in the job search, while 12% believe there just aren’t any jobs available.

Adding to the education versus experience debate, 19% of readers revealed that a “lack of experience” is holding them back in their job search, while only 4% chose “educational roadblocks.” According to 6% of readers, “currently being in school” is the biggest obstacle for their career outlook this year.

The second highest majority of readers, 21%, selected “Other,” adding responses that included:

  • Career change
  • Funds to pay for more training
  • Overqualified
  • Lack of self-discipline to complete a strong resume
  • Not enough technical training

Of those who chose “Other,” 40% added that “age” was a current roadblock in their job search.

Whether you’re struggling with a lack of education, training, or too much competition in the job market, don’t give up on your search. Continue to enhance your resume, interview skills, and job search techniques. Though this year may be nearing its end, 2015 will offer a fresh start to your search. Treat it as a blank slate to overcome any obstacles you may feel are holding you back.

Have you overcome any of the roadblocks on this list? What advice do you have for overcoming them? Share with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Poll: What is your biggest roadblock to finishing strong in 2014?

MOV_POLL-ICONThe beginning of fall means we’re entering the home stretch of 2014. And with 2015 just around the corner, many jobseekers are feeling the pressure to finish the year on a strong note. So, for our October poll, we want to know what you anticipate being the biggest obstacle in your path to landing a job and getting a strong start in 2015.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Three Skills You Need to Land Your Next Job

3_most_important_skills_webIf you’ve experienced struggles and rejection during your job search, you may feel like you’ll never be able to understand what employers are looking for in job applicants. Thankfully, new survey results reveal the top three hard skills that hiring managers believe candidates should posess. Rather than “soft” skills like etiquette, communication, and time management, hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that can be measured, like typing speed or proficiency in computer programming.

In a survey of 115 Express Employment Professionals offices, the three most important hard skills for applicants to have are experience, technical ability, and training.

1. Experience

For the second straight year in this survey, experience not education, was ranked as the best hard skill to have. Employers want to know that a job candidate has a background in and knowledge of an industry or a field before hiring them. A survey earlier this year by career website Glassdoor supports this, finding that three out of four college educated workers agree that “employers value work experience more than education.”

“While education is still valued as one piece of the puzzle for a successful career, we’re seeing a shift in the workplace in which most employees feel gaining the latest skills relevant to their job and industry is more valuable to help advance their careers,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert.

2.  Technical Ability

Want to show a potential employer the skills or knowledge you have? Highlight any technical abilities you have by showcasing them in your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. If you can give specifics about the programs, software, or equipment you are proficient in, you’ll set yourself apart from candidates who focus on traits that employers find less important in the hiring decision.

3. Training

Have you taken a secondary education class on a word processing program or personal finance? Did you earn a Certified Technical Education (CTE) that provided you the training needed to be a welder, IT technician, or legal secretary? If not, you may want to consider the training opportunities available to you, as employers ranked “training” as the third best hard skill an applicant can have.

If you want to learn why CTE may be the right path for you and why some of the fastest-growing jobs are in fields that require a CTE, check out the white paper “Caution: College May Not Be For Everyone.”

How do you showcase these important skills to potential employers? Share with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

The Results Are In: How Has Your Education Affected Your Career Path?

poll_education_webIn a recent poll, we asked if your education has had an impact on your current job or career path. Our results found that the majority of Movin’ On Up readers don’t feel their education has played a defining role in their career path. In fact, 41% of respondents said that their education hasn’t been a factor, while only 22% percent agreed that “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my degree.” Nearly 20% of readers stated their degree “helped land my first job, but really hasn’t been a factor since.” And, 11% of respondents answered “Other,” with mixed opinions including:

  • “It has helped as far as showing potential employers commitment and potential.”
  • “You need experience plus a degree.”
  • “My undergraduate degree was the stepping stone to my law degree.”
  • “Nothing but four pieces of paper on the wall.”
  • “My lack of experience has kept me from getting an ideal job.”

Finally, 5% of readers answered “I’m still in school, so we’ll see!”

Education vs Experience
Based on our results, many jobseekers don’t think a typical path of higher education has helped their job search. Furthermore, respondents seem to believe that experience is worth the same as, if not more than, education. But, the statistics on the subject are mixed.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the unemployment rate for young adults in 2013 was 29.2% for those who did not complete high school, 17.5% for those whose highest level of education was high school, and 12.2% for those with some college education. For those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, unemployment was 7%.

Yet, in a recent edition of the “America Employed” survey of 115 Express Employment Professionals franchises across the nation, respondents were asked to rate various traits on how important they are when evaluating job applicants based on a scale of one to five. The results showed that education received the lowest amount of points at 2.67. Experience, on the other hand, received a vote of 3.73.

Diverse Opportunities
Whether or not education plays the most important role in your likelihood of getting hired, there’s no doubt that taking opportunities to learn and grow in your career is a beneficial piece of the puzzle. And, you don’t necessarily have to follow a typical four-year degree path. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in America require an associate’s degree or less. Career Technical Education provides the skills and training needed for many career, including welding, physical therapy, and mechanics, and is an alternative to a university. If you’re hoping to further your education without following a four-year plan, check out this article for more information.

What do you think is more important – education or experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

The Results Are In: What Did You Gain out of Your Summer Internship?

internship_poll_webIn a recent poll, we asked what you believe you gained out of your summer internship. The results show that, overall, Movin’ On Up readers feel their summer internship was a great way to get hands-on experience in their career of choice. In fact, 67% of respondents stated that their experience was the most prevalent thing they took away from their internships, while 33% of respondents shared that their internships were simply ways for them to meet an educational requirement.

Getting an Internship
It’s clear that summer internships are a great way for college students and recent graduates to gain some real-world experience before heading back to school or entering the workforce. But, internships aren’t only found during the summer months. In fact, fall and spring semester internships are nearly just as common.

If you’re looking for an internship, consider taking the Internship Predictor Poll from Internships.com for an intricate look at what programs would be great for you. Then, visit one of the several places available to find opportunities near you. Your school or university may be an excellent resource for finding the perfect internship. If you’re a recent graduate, check with your school’s alumni office to see if they have ways to help their graduates find internships. Career fairs are also a great way to get your foot in the door by asking about potential opportunities. And, you can always contact your local Express Employment Professionals office to see what jobs they have available.

If you had a summer internship, how did you find out about it? Share with us in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

The Job Search Can Build Self-Esteem

Self Exteem Job SearchThe job search is commonly associated with stress and fear. When it seems like the rejection letters pile up as months go on, even the most confident of job seekers can feel their confidence drain. I can remember that feeling of defeat during my job search when I received more rejection letters than bills.

Author Virginia Sullivan shares a different story on the Huffington Post. She explains a personal journey of how unemployment and searching for a job built her self-esteem and made her a better person. Check out the link below to read how she found light at the end of the tunnel. Do you agree with her? How would your journey differ? Let us know in the comment section below.



Give Your Career a Boost With These Certifications

career boosting certificationsWhile you should always try to have specific examples of how you’ve been able to demonstrate and utilize your skills, sometimes it takes a certificate or recommendation from a credible organization to get the attention of a decision maker or hiring manager.

There are several industries and jobs that may not require a college degree, but do need a form of accreditation or certification. There are also certifications that, while not mandatory, can greatly improve your chances of getting a job, promotion, raise, or new responsibilities. Here are some in-demand certificate programs to consider that can help open doors in your career or job search.

Foreign Languages
If you work in a retail or customer service environment, having the ability to speak more than one language can make you a valuable asset to current or potential employers. It can be difficult to prove on your own, so having a certification in a language can be a significant boost. Contact your local community college, university, or distance learning center for relatively inexpensive programs in foreign languages that may result in a certificate, but not a degree.

Computer Support
Many large companies have their own IT department or specialists, but software is always changing and it can be beneficial for you to keep up with those trends through training like Microsoft’s learning and certification programs. IT workers could benefit from these programs.

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
A great alternative to spending several years and lots of money getting a college degree in the medical industry, consider looking into a critical clinical medical assistant (CCMA) program that is offered by technical or vocational schools. A CCMA offers training in clinical and laboratory procedures, and administrative training that could help give you a boost in the medical industry.

Project Management Certification
If you have much experience in project management, earning a project management professional certification (PMP) is almost required. But if you are looking to move into management, earning a PMP from organizations like the Project Management Institute can not only get you ready, but also demonstrate to your manager that you are working toward management.

Sales! Sales! Sales!
It’s difficult to find college degrees specializing in sales, but there are several worthwhile certifications that can help you prepare and grow as a salesman. Since there are different fields and industries in sales, talk to a mentor or network with sales professionals to find out which industry-specific certification program you should consider if you’re new to the field, the National Association of Sales Professionals offers a general certification that can give you a starting point.

You don’t have to rely on yourself to gain extra knowledge and experience to stay on top of your industry and boost your career. There are several options that are cheaper and less time consuming than earning college degrees. What are some accreditations or certifications you have earned that helped your career?