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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