Test your job-market smarts!

darts stuck to the o in Jobs

For the past year, we’ve offered a monthly Career Corner column in the Wisconsin State Journal for those looking to change careers or advance in their current profession. Now it’s time for a pop quiz. Test yourself to see how much you’ve learned about the rapidly changing job market in 2015.

Many large companies use applicant tracking systems to sort prospective employees. What should job seekers do to make sure they aren’t rejected by the computer that’s reading their resumes?

a. Use keywords that appear in the job description and the company’s website

b. Use a font that’s resistant to computer scanning

c. Submit a paper resume rather than an electronic version


You have college credits but no degree, and you’re thinking of returning to school after a long break. How many Wisconsin residents are just like you?

a. 100,000-150,000

b. 250,000-300,000

c. 700,000-1 million


Responding to posted listings is the most common job-search strategy, but it pays off only about 1 percent of the time. A much more effective approach is service networking. What is that?

a. Contracting with a networking service

b. Making connections by assisting someone in your field

c. Working as a server at networking events


Employers increasingly use videoconferencing to interview job applicants. Which of these tips could lead to disaster in a video interview?

a. Turning your computer so you face a window, to take advantage of natural light

b. Dressing any way you like from the waist down, since the monitor will show only the upper part of your body

c. Avoiding a bright light source behind you


The best strategy for getting a job is standing out from other applicants. What is most likely to make you stand out?

a. Skills and talent

b. A proven ability to do the job

c. Doing research to determine an employer’s needs


Most people hate networking events. What is a good tip for surviving one of these events and making progress in your job search?

a. Don’t go with the expectation of finding a job, but merely to connect with one or two people

b. Stay as close to the bar as possible

c. Avoid the subject of work


Along with job experience and traditional education, today’s job-seekers have alternative methods of showing that they’ve mastered a skill. For example, they can earn a digital badge, enroll in a massive open online course (MOOC) or complete a certificate program. What could make employers take these new-style credentials seriously?

a. Wearing your digital badge to a job interview

b. Quoting from a MOOC’s discussion forum

c. Applying what you learned in a work sample or a volunteer project, then including it in an online portfolio


BONUS QUESTION: Hiring slows down in December because of the holiday season, making it one of the worst times to look for a job. True or false?


ANSWERS: 1) a  2) c  3) b  4) b  5) c  6) a  7) c   Bonus question: False

Moira Kelley is a senior career counselor in UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies. She can be reached at moira.kelley@wisc.edu. For more information, see continuingstudies.wisc.edu/advising or call 608-263-6960.

This article originally appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal.

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