There is a big disconnect between candidates’ and employers’ perception of the job market.

A recent survey of 4,000 candidates and human resources professionals reveals the gap between their perception, and why it’s hard for employers and job seekers to successfully connect.

The biggest mismatch in their thinking is about qualifications.

Three quarters of human resources professionals surveyed (75%) say that they had difficulty filling positions because too many applicants were under-qualified. A similar employer survey from Manpower also found that a lack of ‘technical competencies’ was the biggest impediment to hiring.

Interestingly, candidates don’t see it that way at all. More than half of the job seekers surveyed (55%) felt that they weren’t getting hired because they were facing competition from too many qualified applicants.

The biggest challenge candidates face

That disconnect in perception leads to the greatest struggle for job seekers, according to human resources professionals. They say that too many candidates fail to prove in their resumes that they are qualified enough to be interviewed. This calls into question whether there is an actual skills gap on the market – or whether too many people are simply falling short of adequately demonstrating that they actually have the requisite skills.

The Human Resources professionals surveyed told the study authors that the key for job seekers to keep in mind is that hard skills, their technical qualifications need to be highlighted front and centre in their resumes. This is what 69% of employers will be looking for the most when they are reviewing resumes and choosing who to interview.

At the interview, however, according to 56% of HR professionals surveyed, it’s your soft skills, especially interpersonal relations that will get you the job.

“There’s no secret password for getting hired, however job seekers can increase their chances by highlighting hard skills in their resumes and demonstrating soft skills during the interview process,” said Joe Weinlick, VP Marketing at, who commissioned the survey. “Many job seekers have the right ingredients; now they need to put them in the right order.”

Technical qualifications on your resume will get your foot in the door for the interview, your soft skills at the interview can seal the deal.

Peter Harris

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