Disconnect: 9 things job-hunters expect and what employers really want

Here's what employers want, what job-hunters must do, and the disconnect between the two parties when it comes to interviewing, social media, etiquette and more.

How to avoid common job-hunting mistakes

The rules of landing a job continue to shift and CareerBuilder has provided you with a map for avoiding them.

Its latest survey polled more than 5,000 job seekers and 2,700 hiring managers on what to expect during the hiring process and unveiled a series of surprising mistakes candidates are making that are keeping them from landing the job.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of HR at CareerBuilder, said the survey highlighted a sharp disconnect between what job hunters and companies expect when it comes to the hiring process.

Here's what employers want, what job-hunters must do, and the disconnect between the two parties when it comes to interviewing, social media, etiquette and more.

Credit: flickr/LGEPR
Be prepared to interview with C-level execs

When prepping for an interview, most professionals expect to meet with the hiring manager, HR or even members of your prospective team or direct reports. But that's no longer a certainty. Nearly 40% of hiring managers polled said they require job candidates to interview with senior management - (CEO, CFO, COO, etc.).

Even if you're not meeting with the CEO, prep as if you were and you'll be ahead of the game. And remember: the first 6 seconds of any job interview are the most crucial. Be on-time, respectful and win over the interviewer (regardless of corporate rank) with your soft skills.

Make sure your online presence is spotless

This is a no-brainer, but bears repeating: Assume hiring managers will research you online and edit your social media presence accordingly.
The study found:

- 48% of employers Google a candidate
- 44% will find you on Facebook
- 27% will look for you on Twitter
- 23% will check Yelp, Glassdoor or other rating sites

The site usually most concerning to candidates is Facebook. And, thanks to the new Graph Search feature, you can no longer hide your profile search from an investigative hiring manager.

Click here for more tips on scrubbing up your profile.

Know the company with which you're interviewing

Lack of skills is still the main reason people aren't hired, the survey found. But two surprises:

- 23% will dismiss a candidate who is not a good fit with their company culture (Here's a hint on that.)

- 18% eliminate candidates whose salary requirements are too high

If you're expecting management pay, don't interview for an entry-level job. Similarly, if you hate to wear ties, don't apply for the traditional corporate job. Don't waste your time ñ or the employer's. If you think the job is a good match with your skills, try to find a contact on the slide to get the scoop on dress code and other aspects of corporate culture.

Credit: flickr/Desi
Thank you notes are critical

Are thank-you notes holdovers from birthday presents from Grandma or legit job-seeking tools? The latter, the survey finds.

Fifty-eight percent of employers say it's important to write a thank-you after an interview; 24% say it's very important. That's 82% of hiring managers who are expecting a note. Mom was right, get writing.

U.S. News & World Report says that thank-you note writing puts job candidates in the top 10% of job seekers because most don't even bother.

Thank the interviewer for their time, be specific about the job for which you applied (as they may have interviewed for more positions that day, and show you listened by mentioning something interesting the interviewer said.

Go mobile

The survey showed job hunters also had specific expectations of hiring companies. The first? Companies needs to have their job searches optimized for mobile devices. CareerBuilder says employers who aren't mobile-optimized are missing out on key talent they need to find quickly.

- At least half of job seekers with mobile devices spend three hours or more looking for jobs via those devices every week (49% are searching on smart phones, 59% on tablets).

- 65% of workers who search for jobs via mobile devices will leave a site if it is not mobile-optimized; 40% leave with a negative opinion of the company.

Weigh company reputation versus salary offer

Asked if they would consider a salary that is 5% less than their lowest acceptable salary, a significant number of job hunters said they would depending on the company's image and applicant experience.

- 68% said they would accept a lower salary if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process. 29% percent of job seekers said they don't think employers do a good job of reinforcing why their companies are a good place to work.

- Job seekers also said they would accept a lower salary if the company had exceptionally positive reviews online (67%) or if the company had a lot of positive press recently (65%).

Place importance on work/life balance

Flexibility is the new norm. Job seekers are placing a heavier emphasis on a company's ability to provide a good work/life balance when they are considering a job offer.

- 72% of workers said it's important that a company offers flexible schedules when they are deciding whether to take a position.

- 44% said it's important that the company provide telecommuting options. Again, this harkens back to a previous point: Ensure you mesh with the corporate culture of the company to which you're applying. If you want to work for Yahoo, don't expect work-at-home options, for example.

Related: How to hire telecommuters: 7 must-ask questions

Expect a report on your application status

Everyone at one time or another has felt that they sent their resume into a black hole. The survey finds unresponsiveness can have a ripple effect. An earlier CareerBuilder study shows that job seekers who don't hear back after applying to an employer are more likely to stop buying products or services from the company. How much are employers at risk?

- 62% of job seekers don't feel the companies they have applied to have been responsive.

- On the flip side, 56% of employers admitted that they don't respond to all candidates or acknowledge receipt of their applications; 33% said they don't follow up with candidates they interviewed with to let them know they didn't get the job.

Consider a company's employment brand

Job seekers say an employment brand is a must-have. While not a new concept, what is alarming is that only 38% of employers believe their company has a very clearly defined employment brand. This can adversely impact job seeker perceptions and ultimately application rates.

46% of workers said a company's employment brand plays a very big role in their decision to apply for a job within the organization; another 45% say it plays somewhat of a role.

Related: The best places to work in IT