Are Entry-Level Job Seekers Setting Their Expections Too High?

Job SeekersBeing young and idealistic are often viewed as positive human attributes. But when it comes to landing that first job, newly minted college graduates may be a little too starry-eyed for their own good -- at least within the advertising and marketing fields.

More than a third of advertising executives say entry-level job seekers have unrealistic career expectations, according to a recent survey released by the Creative Group, a California-based job-placement firm.

The news isn't all bad, however. Nearly half -- 46 percent -- of executives polled said entry-level job seekers have "somewhat realistic" expectations, while another 10% said applicants were being "very realistic." That shows that many young people really do have their feet on the ground when it comes to career goals.

The survey also suggests eager applicants should be prepared to do well in the interview, with 35 percent of executives saying that vetting meeting carries the most weight when determining whether an entry-level applicant is a suitable hire. More than a quarter placed the most weight on a candidate's resume, while another 15 percent said job applicants' body of work, or portfolio, mattered most.

One thing entry-level workers can do to ensure their expectations are in line with reality is to do research on average salaries and skills in demand -- to avoid over- or underselling themselves during the application process, says Donna Farrugia, Creative Group executive director.

"Job candidates also should learn as much as possible about the companies they are interviewing with," she says, "so they can ask informed questions when meeting with hiring managers and get a realistic sense of what the position entails."

Another recent survey, released Monday by Deloitte Consulting, shows that so-called "millennials" -- those born 1981 through 2000 -- have outsized expectations of their employers.

Twice as many millennials regard their employers' commitment to corporate responsibility and volunteerism to be very important, compared to their older baby boomers, according to the Deloitte study, "Talent Edge 2002: Building the Recovery Together -- What Talent Expects and How Leaders Are Responding."

Millennials are also nearly three times more likely to say a "fun work environment" is important compared to boomers -- 55 percent to 19 percent, the survey found.

Among Deloitte's other findings, as the economy continues to gain momentum, a growing number of workers -- about two-thirds -- are pursuing new positions with other companies -- and they aren't shy about sharing why they're leaving.

Executives said career advancement, more pay and additional ways to earn income topped the list of employee grievances, according to the survey.

Next: Top Companies Hiring This Week

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Jim Rainey

It's sad to think we regressed back to the 1930's. Where companies
care little for the employee. When we have more people looking for work,
the companies can pay little, with no benefits. How can a person feed a family
on $11.00 dollars an hour. The days of making a decent wage is long gone.

May 04 2011 at 7:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Realistic would be wages above the poverty level. Bingo!

May 04 2011 at 7:21 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply


May 04 2011 at 6:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

With all of the "entitlements" we have these days, everyone thinks that because they were born they deserve a H. S. diploma and even a college degree. Naturally they think they should be GIVEN a high-paying job for which they aren't qualified!

May 04 2011 at 5:33 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to wisnorma's comment

I definitly WILL NOT hire anyone unless the crazy Obamacare is revoked.
This has been the biggest job killer in the history of this nation.
You voted for these nuts, now you have to pay for your actions.

May 04 2011 at 5:15 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to kirkton007's comment

Like you two below, I 32 have been trying for a year now to get a job.. This tough job market is due to the fact that employers want to know when the Economy is going be more Stable before hiring any more.. The Saddiest thing is I have come across many men and women your Ages that can't even get into the door of an interview, much less they are discriminated against because of the fear of having to pay out medical insurance, This is insanity! And it needs to stop.

May 04 2011 at 4:04 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Shaolin's comment

Blame Obamacare for much of it

May 04 2011 at 6:43 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jevans7188's comment


September 03 2011 at 12:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

I'm 59 years old and cannot even get the hint of an interview, plus have a disabled husband so can't work nights or weekends. I'd go for entry level if someone gave me the chance!!

May 04 2011 at 3:52 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

I am 55 years old and have been unemployed for over 2 years now. I'll take the entry level job!

May 04 2011 at 3:47 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Jeanne's comment

They need to treat these young bosses like Bin Laden then the jobs wpould come real fast.

May 04 2011 at 7:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I strongly agree with you. I have shaved years of experience off my resume and still nothing. I do however, see the same jobs I have applied for being posted again and again. It seems that many companies only want a minimum amount of experience so they can pay a minimum amount of money - i guess you get what you pay for.

May 12 2011 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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