New Job Hunting Advice From Hiring Managers

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Looking for holiday work? A handful of recent surveys asked the people who make hiring decisions what to do and where to go – see what they said.

A bit of good news for those looking for work: A new survey of hiring managers [PDF] says 1 in 5 of them plans to hire permanent full-timers before the year’s out.

The research from employment website CareerBuilder is based on more than 2,600 responses – and indicates more than a quarter of managers plan to hire temporary workers for the holiday season too. Many of those spots may become permanent.

Hiring managers are being interviewed about their interviewing a lot lately. Another job-related survey was released on the same day – this one from Accountemps. And just a week earlier, Challenger, Gray & Christmas talked up their survey about job fairs.

Let’s combine the job tips we can cull from the managers’ responses…

  1. Highlight in-demand skills. Two-thirds of managers are worried about getting no-talent applicants for specialized positions. They’re particularly concerned about engineering (37 percent) and IT (33 percent) right now, so if you have the skills, play them up.
  2. Go big. Companies with more than 500 employees are 10 percent more likely than smaller ones to make new fourth-quarter jobs permanent. Smaller companies are more likely to keep the people they already have.
  3. Go home. While chatting up a bunch of employers at once sounds convenient, job fairs are the least effective way to find a job. That’s according to the HR folks interviewed for the Challenger study, who rated job fairs as 1.6 out of 5 on average – probably because it’s hard to stand out from the hungry mob. More effective? They suggest job boards, classifieds, networking, and even cold calling, although they also include some fairly obvious job fair advice (at the bottom).
  4. Follow up. Don’t be shy. Eight in 10 managers encourage a call or email to check in about a week after submitting a resume. Of those, 38 percent say do it in a week or less, while 43 percent say within two weeks. Politely reiterate your best qualifications, but don’t bug them more than twice.

We also recently covered seasonal work in Jobs for Holidays – 7 Tips to Get Hired. Looking for more job tips? Check out awful resume mistakes to avoid and how to keep it professional at the office.

Stacy Johnson

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