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2008 Spring "All or General" Employer Survey Results!

The 2008 Career Survey of All Employers was conducted in February of 2008 and includes Business, Social Services, Media, Government, etc. employers.  It does not include Education, Part-time, and Healthcare employers.  This survey asks many career-related questions and provides very good information.


  • 1043 Employers Surveyed
  • Received 104 Responses for a 9.9% response rate
  • Sent one email via eRecruiting to all 1043 employers with link to survey in email
  • Online survey utilized
  • Click here for a pdf file of this survey

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Question 1-Do you like to see "academic classes" or "relevant coursework" listed on resume? (103 responses)
A. Yes- 82 employers/ 79.6%
B. No-21 Employers/ 20.3%

Question 2-Do you prefer to see the category “computer skills” on a student resume? (104 responses)
A. Yes-87 employers/ 83.7%
B. No- 17 employers/ 16.3%

Question 3-Do you find the use of an “objective” helpful on a resume (103 responses)
A. Yes-61 employers/ 59.2%
B. No-42 employers/ 40%

Question 4-Do you prefer “References Available Upon Request” listed at the bottom of the resume or a separate “reference page”? (104 responses)
A. Reference available upon request at bottom of page- 43 employers/ 41.3%
B. Separate reference page-43 employers/ 41.3%

C. Other-18 employers/ 17.3%
No responses

Question 5-Do you think it is ok for a student to go over one page for his/her resume? (98 responses)
A. Yes-63 employers/ 64.2%
B. No- 35 employers/ 35.7%
• As a rule of thumb, one page for a traditional college student is plenty, though there are always exceptions- 26 employers
• No more than two pages total-5 employers
• One Page- 11 employers
• If the student has more than 10 yrs of work experience, and is above the MBA level- 2 employers
• It is ok for someone w/many years of experience, but not for a student- 2 employers

Question 6-When describing experiences on a resume, do you prefer to see a bulleted list OR a wraparound textbox area that looks like a paragraph (97 responses)
A. Bulleted List-88 employers/ 90.7%
B. Wraparound textbox- 9 employers 9.3%

Question 7-What are some of the most common mistakes you encounter on a resume? (responses)
• Grammatical/Spelling errors: 55/ 52.9%
• Too long: 3/ 2.8%
• Emailing or faxing resumes adds to the worse mistake which is poor appearance: 2/ 1.9%
• Lack of proofreading 5/ 4.8%
• Poor format 13/ 12.5%
• Missing or incorrect contact information: phone, email etc.: 21/ 20.2%
• Candidate can not back up resume, or resume does not tell a story that makes sense:5/4.8%
• Inappropriate Email Addresses: 5/ 4.8%
• Objective which is inconsistent with the position being applied for: 3/ 2.8%
• Providing positions experience not related to open position: 2/ 1.9%
• Not emphasizing enough of the acquired skills (leadership, teamwork, communications, etc.) that were enhanced during college or work: 2/ 1.9%
• Lack of anything quintessentially unique to the specific applicant that sets him/her apart from the general candidate pool (an "ace up the sleeve," if you will): 1/ .9%
• People list interests and hobbies: 2/ 1.9%
• not listing clubs/organizations relative to major: 1/ .9%
• I believe that education should be at the beginning, right after contact information; I don't like to scroll through an entire resume searching for education: 1/ .9%
• The Objective is a complete waste of space. Listing accomplishments from oldest to newest: 1/ .9%
• The state only accepts applications from individuals applying for positions currently being recruited. We want applicants to put in as much detail as possible to make sure all experience is captured, including volunteer or intern work that pertains to the job area: 1/ .9%

Question 8-During what time of year do you typically recruit/hire the most students/professionals? (105 responses)
A. Fall-12 employers/ 11.4%
B. Winter-3 employers/ 2.8%
C. Spring-19 employers/ 18.1%
D. Summer-4 employers/ 3.8%
E. No one particular time- 57 employers/ 54.3%

Question 9-How should students dress for a job fair? (96 responses)
A. Business Professional- 48 employers/ 50%
B. Business Casual-37 employers/ 38.5%
C. Business Semi Casual-11 employers/ 11.5%
• Actual interviews should be at least business casual.
• As an employer, I understand that students are attending career fairs around their class schedule, so I don't expect professional attire, but I don't think it's appropriate to look like they rolled out of bed. Also, as a technology company, our corp culture is Business Casual (that's what I wear to career fairs!).
• Better than business casual not less.
• Depending upon where the job fair is conducted....I believe that some of the colleges/universities that I have attended, suggest to the students to wear white & black...this at least lets the vendors know which are students of the college/university, from the general population in the area.
• Depends on the type of job also, but for a professional position you must look the part.
• first impressions are critical
• First impressions are lasting.
• From my perspective, business casual okay. But for many it may not be and if it was me, I'd wear a suit.
• gone are the days when most employers are looking for a particular look, it is best if a student come looking relaxed and comfortable in his/her clothes
• I so totally don't care
• I'd much rather see them over dressed than under dressed.
• It does depend on the type of job fair. Example summer/internship fairs casual. Career job fairs professional.
• It is appropriate during a school day to be dressed business Semi-Casual
• No jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or baggy attire.
• This is the first impression. Dress as if you are interviewing for a job you want.
• Typically, business prof but it depends on the setting.
• Unless it is a part-time job fair, in which case biz casual is ok
• we are a software company - we need smart people, not smart looking people.
• you might want to check your spelling on this question....
• You never know who you will end up meeting. It's better to be over dressed than under dressed.

Question 10: When using Job Fairs to recruit students/professionals, when is the best time of year for the fair? (85 responses)
A. Fall- 30 employers/ 35.2%
B. Winter- 10 employers/ 11.8%
C. Spring- 44 employers/ 51.8%
D. Summer 1 employer/ 1.2%
Can you be more specific with job fair dates?
• 2 Months before the end of each term that will be graduating students
• After the holiday seasons.
• And Fall
• December to March
• early spring - early March
• early spring - early March
• Early to Mid September works best. We sched OCI for early October and it would be helpful to have 3-4 weeks before.
• Fall and Spring
• Fall or Spring work. No specific dates, just need enough notice to place it on my calendar. Due to the cost we only do one a year. We have chosen the fall so we don't have to deal with winter weather conditions.
• February to early March
• have not used any job fairs.
• I guess for some reason most people gear up for changes in the fall, September to October for preparing for the winter.
• I think Spring is better when recruiting for internships because most students are not looking all the way into May in the fall.
• I want to be speaking with students closest to graduation.
• Just after the semester break
• Late July, early August. Gov't. Budgets are July - June.
• March
• March 1- April 20
• March/April
• Mid Oct to early Nov
• Near holidays
• no preference
• No specific preference on time of year
• October November
• Optimal since many companies want to hire for the Jan 1 start of the next calendar year
• Our fiscal year begins July 1 so we would begin recruiting for new positions in late Spring (April/May).
• Prior to the start of on-campus interviews for that semester.
• prior to graduation
• September/October
• The Fall and Spring are the best times of the year for fairs.

Question 11: What time of day do you prefer job fairs? (83 responses)
A. Morning- 44 employers/ 53%
B. Afternoon – 39 employers/ 47%
• Either time works- 8 responses
• 11-3 is the best time for me.
• But longer than 2 hours.
• Combination of morning and afternoon hours.
• Mid morning to 5 p.m.
• Mid-morning start time
• no earlier than 10 am and ending no later than 4-5
• People tend to be at their best earlier in the day
• Starting at 1 or 2 is ideal. That way I don't miss the entire day in the office.
• The 7:00 am- 11:00 am window is ideal (I'll take the students that are there at 7am....)
• The job fair should capture the largest audience, so over the lunch hours is always helpful.
• Time that would attract most students
• Whenever the majority of students are able to attend.

Question 12: If a student has not heard from an employer concerning his/her application, when is it ok for them to follow up with an email or phone call? ( 92 responses)
• A. 1 week- 39 employers/ 42.4%
• B. 10 Days-18 employers/ 19.6%
• C. 2 Weeks-21 employers/ 22.8%
• D. 3 Weeks-8 employers/ 8.6%
• E. Do not bother the employer-6 employers 6.55
• 1 email or phone call then let it drop.
• 30 days
• After the closing date applications are rated and applicants are advised whether or not they meet the minimum qualifications. If they don't, they are given the opportunity to submit additional information.
• also, one day for interview as thank you follow up
• Although I believe you can follow up within three days, just to show you are interested, as long as it is done in a none-pushy manner too.
• Applicants are provided very detailed information in their application for Federal Government positions, including information about whether or not they qualify for the position. Once the applicant has completed the application process and made it through the interview, they should send and email thanking the interviewer for the meeting. A follow-up email or call in 2 weeks to ascertain the outcome of the interview is appropriate. Private industry norms are different.
• Employers will normally reach out to the people they consider prospects...
• Give the employer time but also show that you are interested. No follow up can sometimes show disinterest.
• It also depends on the position. With a more specialized position where I only get a few resumes it is more acceptable to contact me. For positions that are more general or common I probably get 50 or more resumes and do not always have the time to see whose has applied or whether I have received their resume or not. Even when I have the time to check it is tedious.
• one week after deadline or within 10 days
• The way to contact the employer is through a network contact. Find someone who knows someone that can assist.
• Unless the employer specifies when they will make their decision.
• Usually, they will only call when interested. Many have a no call policy.
• With the magnitude of resumes coming through the door, at times it can take a while to review a resume

Question 13: How do you prefer to be contacted by a student concerning a job? (98 responses)
• A. Email- 82 employers/ 83.7 %
• B. Phone- 15 employers/ 15.3%
• C. Snail Mail- 1 employer 1 %

Question 14: In your estimation, how should a student behave/act while on their first year on the job? (Give advice)

• "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." I think this is key for professional behavior. Students should find a professional mentor and take cues from their behavior.
• A boss of mine once told me when he was interviewing new hires he would ask them "How many hours do you want to work a week?” The best answer he said he could get was "Give me an hour and I will show you why I am worth 40." After considering this I believe you could look at it for both getting and keeping a new or old job. You need to enjoy yourself, but keep the "water cooler" and gossip hounds at a double arms length. You need to be 15 minutes early each day, and offer to stay late now and then, work through illness, and always show your inner smile.
• A job is not an entitlement, but a privilege and an opportunity. Treat it that way and you will succeed and advance.
• Act as if it's the most important job in the world. Master it all (however mundane); and then show initiative in asking for more work and showing overall interest.
• Adhering to company policy and taking the opportunity to learn and gain experience from mentors within the organization.
• Always make sure your immediate supervisor knows when you are about to leave for the day, and ask if there is anything else you can do.
• Any first year employee should be remaining in an academic mindset, absorbing and learning the most they can about the position and the company culture.
• Arrive early, stay late, and go above and beyond
• As a learner and willing to work extra until they catch on....
• As a professional employee, suitable attire, punctual, expect to make up time lost, attention to detail tasks taught, expected to think, resolve issues and ask questions.
• ask as many questions as possible, always seeking to learn
• Be as professional as possible
• Be in a "receive" mode ... learn as much about the business as you can. Make sure you understand the organization's policies & procedures. Take the initiative to make sure you are always doing something work related (including reading trade publications when you have down time). Take notes when being briefed/trained. Ask for help when you don't understand something, and don't wait until the 11th hour to do so. Try to convey that you enjoy being at work ... smile.
• be natural and should have a strong will to learn
• be on time for everything they class, worksite, be professional with customers at all times, don't make excuses.
• Be on time to shift/schedule; act professionally; do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions
• Be positive and in the learning mode.
• Be Professional, Stay on top of your work and make sure you have like a mentor who would help you out. Be Punctual, Pay attention to detail, Be Proactive and also be a Team Player and always go above and beyond since you are the new kid on the block.
• Be punctual, always busy, and open to learning & helping with tasks in office.
• Be very willing to learn and help out were needed. Soak everything in. Be very professional and over dress until you understand the culture.
• Behave in a mature, professional manner. Learn everything you can about the projects you are assigned and the industry in which you work. Ask questions and seek mentors, but don't be a pest. Observe the social norms in your office and respect experience. Do your best on every assignment. Do not provide answers unless you are certain you are correct. If you don't know something, say you will find and then follow-up.
• Calm, professional, be on time, not late. Listen.
• Cautiously Confident
• combination of listen and demonstrate commitment
• confident but open to learning, respectful to admin, peers & clients
• Dedicated, professional and eager to succeed.
• demonstrate a strong desire to dig-in, learn and become a part of the team
• Do not call out or expect time off requests to be met immediately. Ask for time off in a timely manner. Volunteer for extra duties.
• During the training period we want new employees to take an active interest/part in learning the job, making sure they understand what is being taught and expected of them. We look for employees to be self-starters, able to pay attention to details, team players, act in a professional manner, not in just the first year, but throughout their career.
• Eager to learn, motivated to succeed. Pay Attention and follow directions
• Eager to learn, self motivated, attentive to training, eager to take on new tasks, helpful to other employees, professional
• Enthusiastic, Great Attitude, Ask many questions...
• Extremely professionally. Be better than you need to be.
• Follow the company handbook; be on time to work and do not take too much unscheduled time off.
• Friendly, professional, willing to learn (listener), flexible, always on time, and always wanting to set himself/herself apart from the "average worker"
• Go above and beyond. First one to arrive, last one to leave. Make that critical first impression as a hard worker and you will be rewarded.
• He or she should remain positive, respectful, professional, great time management skills, and creative
• Humble but driven. It all depends on the nature of the position. I see a lot of college graduates that are extremely intelligent, but that act like they know everything. College degrees are a dime a dozen these days and employers want the education piece as well as the experience.
• I believe the number one thing is to ask questions....until you have the best understanding of the position. Stay focused and be pro-acting....always looking for things to do as opposed to sitting still and waiting for someone to tell you what to do.
• I want to see passion and for them to take pride in their work.
• I want to see them as they really are. In my opinion, they should not be acting differently.
• In the same manner as after the first year - put forth their best effort in everything.
• Interested, motivated, open-minded and social.
• It depends on the office and the environment but you should always be on your best behavior your first year and be very professional. You have to prove yourself first.
• Learn as much as he/she can by listening. If paired with a "mentor" don't mimic the person but rather listen and learn from him/her
• Learn as much as you can. Don't earn a reputation for anything other than being a hard worker.
• Like a regular employee -eager to learn and to impress. They should arrive on-time or early and have good work ethic.
• Motivated and driven to learn as much information as they can, who knows what it where it will take them but they are sure to learn some valuable information and skills in their first few years of employment.
• Motivated and involved people get the pay raises. You only get one chance at a first impression.
• Motivated, self-directed, ask questions
• Much like a student, they are in a learning phase; learning about the company, the people, the business/industry, inner office workings, etc. Listen and ask questions.
• Not like they are still in college; save that for after hours. I had fun in college, too, but the party has to stop at some point.
• Out work everyone, come in early and stay late. Do not turn anything down.
• Positive with a smile goes a long way.
• Proactive
• Professional (which can mean many things to many people I realize), eager to learn, eager for feedback on what they are doing well and what areas need improvement.
• Professional and attentive to the duties of the job
• Professional and conscientious. Be on time! Be willing to start with the "unsavory" work as well.
• Professional and Hungry
• Professional and willing to learn - no different than any time on a job.
• professional manner
• Professional, always
• Professional, give 110% to be the best. What other answer is there?
• Professionally
• Realize that you have a lot to learn and listen more than you talk; Be on time and dressed appropriately; Do not expect immediate promotions/pay increases; Do not tell your boss how to do his or her job better; Do not quote your parents or bring them into your work issues; Do not expect to take leave whenever your friends need you; Keep personal phone calls/emails/text messages to a minimum; Do not expect the work environment to change immediately to the way you "like to work."
• Respectful, observant, willing to learn, ask for and be responsive to coaching. Take notes and ask questions. It is not good to come in and tell your boss 10 ways that the production process could be better based on what you have read about blah blah etc.
• Seek every possible opportunity to learn as much as you can about your job, your company, and your industry. By actively listening and observing what goes on around you, and asking questions whenever possible, you'll quickly become knowledgeable and valuable. Have patience, though, and don't expect to learn everything there is to know in a matter of weeks, or even months!
• Strict adherence to policies, self reflective of their work and quality of work, and intent on learning how to do a job regardless of previous experience.
• Take 3 months to learn as much as you can while making notes of anything you might question. Once you get your "feet wet" you can then look into ways to help improve processes. You're hired for your ability to help the company but you want to at least give it time to understand how things work and not immediately challenge everything you see.
• Take a true interest in the position. Do not try to impress others, enjoy your job and perform your responsibilities to the best of your abilities.
• Talk to their boss often, get feedback, change quickly as needed.
• The first year is a learning year. Most of the time it is teaching a student about professional conduct. They should ask a lot of questions.
• The first year is always a year of training. The new staff should always remember that they are constantly learning, should ask appropriate questions and be open to the guidance offered to them by their more experienced colleagues. I encourage them to always ask for feedback and to try anything once. It's such a different world once you're out of won't know you like something until you try it!
• The student should be given this directive by the employer prior to starting. I prefer that the student considers themselves a young professional completing their last few credits to obtain their degree verses "an intern". They should behave and act as if this is their first career opportunity following graduation day.
• They should be a sponge and soak it all in. Students need to learn how to take charge of their situation without becoming pushy.
• They should be eager to learn, realistic regarding expectations, flexible regarding assignments, and willing to adapt to the organization's culture.
• They shouldn't act any different during the first year then on the 10th year. You should always be professional and appropriate for the environment you are working in. Don't ever think that just because you have passed your orientation period or because you have seniority that you can slack off or that your job is any more protected than it was a day after you started. We are all replaceable if we aren't doing are best.
• This is a tough one because I work in a non traditional industry. However, in my opinion students need to be aware that they need to "lay low" and use the time necessary to "learn the ropes." At the same time take opportunities when they present themselves.
• Treat it like a class with a very strict attendance policy.
• Willing to learn and accept responsibility for their position.
• Willing to learn new skills and start with basics
• Willing to learn!!
• Willing to learn, open to feedback, and flexible
• With enthusiasm and willingness to learn

Question 15-Comments, Questions and Suggestions:
• Being that we are a State Agency, we generally do not utilize resume's, we have a MD-State Application that is used for an actual position that the student believes they qualify for.....most of state positions require an application process along with a testing process for placement on an eligible list and positions are hired through this list.
• Charlie...I really don't look at resumes as our organization is so small and not expanding. I am, however, always open to mentoring and helping SU students with their careers. Hope to see you soon. Best, Bruce
• Great Students!
• Great survey. I hope this helps!
• I don't believe that colleges are doing enough to prepare graduating students for the workforce -- reality is that the world doesn't run though social networking websites and interviews must be done in person, in a professional manner. A half-day seminar and maybe some practice is all students need to prepare for dressing for success and understanding interview etiquette. You may want to consider asking some employers to volunteer to come in for mock interviews and give feedback. There are a few schools that do this and their students are very successful because they stand out from the rest.
• I hope I have been able to help you a little bit at least. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and your students. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.
• I learn more in the actual interview than I ever do from a resume. I need you to interact with me. I wanted you to be engaged in the conversation and not just give me one or two word answers.
• I noticed a typo that you may want to correct in question #9 where it should read "shirt."
• I was talking to a fellow recruiter at the job fair and we were commenting that students could benefit from social cues and behavior while at work. Just an idea.
• I would like all students to think outside their "dream job", and consider other industries/businesses to start their careers.
• I’m looking for Sharepoint programmers RIGHT NOW.
• Let me know if there is anything else I can provide. Happy to assist and feel very much an expert in this particular area. Would be happy to give a free class on the topic to university students.
• Students need to realize their appearance and demeanor at the job fair makes an impression.
• Your fair was well done

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