Work Experience & Relevant Experience: #CBJobChat Recap

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Since the first Monday of this month was Labor Day, we held our monthly Twitter job on Monday of this week, getting insight from job seekers, recruiters and career experts. Last night’s session involved experience and how job seekers address their work history through their resume and interviews and we got a lot of great feedback.

Be sure to keep following @CareerBuilder on Twitter for updates about upcoming chats and other Q&A opportunities that are coming up in the future.

In our hour chat, we had great questions and great advice given. We’re actually going to be switching up the format of our chat a bit for next month, so we’ll keep you posted on what the next incarnation of this will be. We’ve started plotting away and we think you’ll love it.

For your convenience, here are some of the best comments of the evening:

Q1:

Jobseekers: How strictly do you adhere to experience requirements on job postings when applying?

Employers: How much leeway is in a job posting? Are experience requirements flexible?

I stick to them very closely – but recently spent 90 mins on an online app to find out at the end I failed the 5+yrs mgmt exp – @AnotherDKJ

Most job postings are straightforward. If you have the experience, apply. If you’re close…apply – @KBaumann

As a recruiter I can tell you #jobseekers do not adhere to work experience requirements, but recruiters do – @Jeffrey_PHR

If I can make a connection btwn the skill set it takes to do a particular task then I am willing to be flexible – @CreativeVP

Job postings can be very subjective. It’s about the right fit. Exceptions can be made – @KBaumann

Pay attn. to the posting. Requirements are usually mandatory; preferred qualities are more flexible – @ABalderrama

If I really want the job, if I’m > 80% of them I will still apply & hope they love me enough to make an exception! – @Hansell_Gretel

My experience is that experience requirements tend to be more flexible with internal hires, or if the market is really tight – @SalarySchool

Pretty strictly esp if job is looking for entry-level worker. More exp. is an opportunity to grow if I have the basic req – @LunaRising

I have seen cases where that “director” job turns into a “manager” job to get the right person into the position – @SalarySchool

If the experience is “required”, there’s less leeway. Example: applying for MBA job w/Associate degree – @KBaumann

Does a “mature” future employee have a chance in the digital world? & how to NOT be discriminated due to age? – @EdJAlberts (Check out this article)

Usually don’t adhere unless req 5+ yrs, experience as a recent grad it’s hard w/lots of edu & min experience – @Captivation4

 

Q2:

Jobseekers: Do you find employers more concerned w/ your skills or career history? How do you explain a break in employment?

Employers: What are ok reasons for job seekers to have a break in employment, if their skills meet the job requirements? 

I feel like everyone should be given a little more leniency nowadays. It’s uncharted water for many – @JeffSwan

Listing temp jobs on my resume seems an issue for me – @Olugraphics

List them as you would any job, maybe mark (temp) next to it. Shows you’re doing something between perm. gigs – @ABalderrama

You have to be able to explain the gap in employment. “I was finding myself” isn’t an answer. Fill the time w/volunteer exp – @KBaumann

Ok reasons for gaps: Deployment, family, etc. It’s not so much about the gap. It’s about what you did/accomplished. – @KBaumann

There’s an art to following up. don’t do it too much (e.g.5x/week) & perhaps email/sms towards breaktime/end of

day – @KHairyalonto

Any advice for cross country relocation job seekers? I am not looking for $$ to relocate or interview-just a new job – @CaliGirl62011 (Check out this article: http://cb.com/qwTMCR)

For my last job, I said I was willing to relocate at my own expense in my cover letter. Then negotiated relocation – @AnotherDKJ

I think we should give less importance to experiences which are not required for the applied job – @TheJobFactor

The okay reason if its about a 2 year gap should be school – @EGrisselr

 

Q3:

Jobseekers: How far back do you go when listing experience? Do you have a cutoff point?

Employers:  Should there be a cutoff point for experience or is all experience relevant?

Most companies will want to know all employment in last 6-10 years or last 3 jobs – @TomBolt

As far back as ‘exp required’ requests or at least 5-6 yrs – @LunaRising

We don’t want to know your HS courses. It’s all about relevancy – @KBaumann

10 yrs. is good enough. Unless its a State or Federal job then they want to know every job you had since you were born – @IJobSeek

 

Q4:

Job seekers: Do you bring up a layoff or termination or wait until you are asked?

Employers:  How much does a termination or layoff influence a hiring decision for employers?

In my case i was family leave and I inform when asked – @TheresaDoria

Layoff not a killer, but be prepared to explain the circumstances and what you have done since if still unemployed – @TomBolt

You can wait until you’re asked, but you shouldn’t lie/talk around it. It’s worse to be caught in a lie – @ABalderrama

Layoffs aren’t typically a reflection of the employee’s performance. Terminations are. Hiring decisions will vary – @KBaumann

It can be a negative influencer. Candidates need to be prepared to talk about what happened – @MTATL

It can influence mgr, but if you have a good track record, you can easily address. Get great former boss ref’s – @SalarySchool

Make sure you ask ppl permission to use as ref & know what they will say – @TomBolt

Line up as many diverse references & alternatives as possible – @TalentTalks

We’ve included links to all of these Twitterers above because they frequently post informative, helpful news and tips that job seekers can really learn from. Again, we recommend following us on Twitter to tips, advice and news about all things job related. Check out all of our #cbjobchat recaps here. Also, feel free to leave us a comment with topics or ideas you’d want to discuss in future #cbjobchats or in other ventures which we’ll be announcing very soon.

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