British jobseekers are too reserved to effectively sell themselves while job hunting, according to new research from Gumtree.com. Employers claim that nearly half (42 per cent) of job candidates regularly undersell themselves, and a third of job seekers (28 per cent) downplay their skills and capabilities in interviews*.
- 92 per cent of UK jobseekers aren’t confident talking about themselves in a job interview
- 20 per cent of jobseekers keep their unemployment a secret
- Under 25s most likely to play down their skills during a job interview
The research found that 92 per cent of UK jobseekers aren’t confident talking about themselves in an interview, and a third (27 per cent) feel that they sell themselves very poorly because they find it hard to talk about their skills and abilities. Additionally, shyness (13 per cent), modesty (12 per cent), and being too reserved (11 per cent) are all reasons why those looking for jobs struggle in interviews. Younger generations of jobseekers are the age group most likely to play down their skills during a job interview.
Gumtree.com conducted the research amongst both jobseekers and recruiters to help understand the difficulties facing those looking for work today. Working with John Lees, careers expert and author of ‘How To Get A Job You’ll Love’, Gumtree has created a new careers hub on the website with help and advice for candidates ranging from CV writing to handling tough questions in interviews. The new careers hub can be found at www.gumtree.com/careers.
A sizable player in the job board market, Gumtree.com has the third largest audience of jobseekers of any UK job site and the highest unduplicated reach of any major job site (Comscore March 2012).
According to UK employers, 42 per cent of jobseekers are underselling their skills. Industries where jobseekers are most likely to undersell themselves in an interview are:
- Public sector (53 per cent)
- Media (52 per cent)
- Health worker (51 per cent)
- Retail (46 per cent)
- Education (45 per cent)
- IT workers (42 per cent)
- Marketing (41 per cent)
- HR (35 per cent)
- Finance and accounting (32 per cent)
- Hairdresser/beautician (25 per cent)
According to careers expert John Lees this can make it even harder to find a job: “With unemployment levels still high across the UK it’s clear that candidates need to cut through the competition and stand out from the crowd. While we are known for being a reserved nation, there is no room for modesty in the current cut-throat employment market. I hope that the guides and information on the new Gumtree careers hub can go some way to help candidates secure their next role.”
As well as underperforming at interview, one in ten (10 per cent) keep their unemployment a secret and the same number are embarrassed about looking for work so keep it to themselves (10 per cent). A third of jobseekers (27 per cent) think that speaking about the job search is taboo and just one quarter (26 per cent) of job seekers are happy to talk about their job search and seek help from others.
Matt Gregory, Head of Recruitment and Classified Sales at Gumtree.com says: “We’ve worked with John Lees to address the challenges faced by candidates in the current employment market to create a bank of helpful resources for UK jobseekers. We hope that candidates can really learn from this, and help improve their job prospects across the board.”