More on Finding a Job

There was an interesting article in The New York Times by Thomas Friedman on “How to Get a Job” in the current economy. The article was focused on the company HireArt, which matches employers with employees, and which also along the way helps both groups with the transition from college to workplace. Note the two excerpts below:

“The market is broken on both sides,” explained Sharef [one of HireArt’s founders]. “Many applicants don’t have the skills that employers are seeking, and don’t know how to get them. But employers also … have unrealistic expectations.” They’re all “looking for purple unicorns: the perfect match. They don’t want to train you, and they expect you to be overqualified.” In the new economy, “you have to prove yourself, and we’re an avenue for candidates to do that,” said Sharef. “A degree document is no longer a proxy for the competency employers need.”

Added Sharef: “What surprises me most about people’s skills is how poor their writing and grammar are, even for college graduates. If we can’t get the basics right, there is a real problem.” Still, she adds, HireArt sees many talented people who are just “confused about what jobs they are qualified for, what jobs are out there and where they fit in.”

Of particular interest to English majors is the observation about the poor writing and grammar skills that HireArt has encountered. One advantage that an English major has in the current market, it seems, is the ability to stand out from the crowd on the basis of having good writing skills. That is a basic skill that a variety of employers will find attractive, and the market, it appears, is not exactly flooded with good writers.

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