|Having trouble finding a job? See what one recent study suggests might be the problem.|
If you’re a recent college graduate having trouble finding a job, it could be that a lack of professionalism is getting in the way of landing a position. According to York College of PA’s Professionalism in the Workplace Study, 96% of the HR respondents reported that one’s professionalism affects the likelihood of being hired. This year, 92.9% of surveyed managers said that an employee’s professionalism has an impact on promotional opportunities.
According to York College, professionalism includes:
Acting unprofessional is the opposite of these skills, with a few additions. The survey noted an increase in inappropriate use of social media, as well as excessive cell phone usage for personal calls. A new aspect of unprofessionalism is unfocused workers. Again, IT is a distraction, but personal problems due to the poor economy and less ownership of one’s work also contribute to the problem.
- Interpersonal skills, including etiquette, being courteous, showing others respect, and exhibiting behavior that is appropriate for the situation
- Communications Skills
- Time Management, including being punctual and using time efficiently
- Being ethical
- Having a work ethic
- Being knowledgeable
Some aspects of professionalism may be improving, but this could be due to the poor economy. With more people applying for jobs, hiring organizations can choose applicants who demonstrate more professionalism.
Whose responsibility is it to teach young adults professionalism? Less than half of the survey participants said their companies have programs to develop these skills. Rather, most believe that schools should develop professionalism in their students, regardless of their field of study. York College of PA is one of the few schools truly trying to accomplish this through their Center for Professional Excellence, run by Executive Director Matthew Randall. Most schools report similar goals, but if you look closely, you’ll find many offer job hunting skills training (e.g. resume writing and interviewing skills), but don’t really teach professionalism. That is left to the student and their family to develop.