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What You Need Besides Experience to Get That Job

A new survey has lifted the lid on what, beyond job skills, influence a hiring managers decision. The CareerBuilder study shows that job candidates may also need everything from a sense of humor to knowledge of current affairs to showing they are involved in their community in order to be successful.

The nationwide study, which included 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries, asked them to say which factors would make them more likely to choose one of two equally qualified candidates.

The top responses:

  • The candidate with the better sense of humor: 27 percent
  • The candidate who is involved in his or her community: 26 percent
  • The candidate who is better dressed: 22 percent
  • The candidate whom I have more in common with: 21 percent
  • The candidate who is more physically fit: 13 percent
  • The candidate who is more on top of current affairs and pop culture: 8 percent
  • The candidate who is more involved in social media: 7 percent
  • The candidate who is knowledgeable about sports: 4 percent

"When you're looking for a job, the key is selling your personal brand," said Rosemary Haefner of CareerBuilder in a statement. "Employers are not only looking for people who are professionally qualified for the position, but also someone who is going to fit in at the office."

This unspoken assessment proves doesn't stop when you get the job, of course. It plays a large part in determining who does and doesn't get promoted. The survey also asked executives to identify what they look for when picking out who gets promoted.

Speaking up counts for a lot: One third of employers say they are more likely to promote an employee who has previously asked for a promotion. However, there was much more agreement about what kinds of behavior keeps someone from being moved up, including:

  • Someone who says, "that's not my job:" 71 percent
  • Someone who is often late: 69 percent
  • Someone who has lied at work: 68 percent
  • Someone who takes credit for other people's work: 64 percent
  • Someone who often leaves work early: 55 percent
  • Someone who takes liberties with expenses charged back to the company: 55 percent
  • Someone who gossips: 46 percent
  • Someone who doesn't dress professionally: 35 percent
  • Someone who swears: 30 percent
  • Someone who doesn't say anything in meetings: 22 percent
  • Someone who cried at work: 9 percent
  • Someone who has dated a co-worker: 8 percent

However, you may want to think twice before trying to get a promotion. The study also found that at nearly two-thirds of the companies surveyed a promotion doesn't guarantee a pay raise.