What Employers Really Want from Recent College Grads
Perfect grades? Internships? Clubs and activities? Summer work experience? Many college students knock themselves out trying to add any or all of the above onto their fresh resumes, but will they really help them get the job?
A recent study done at Oklahoma State University concluded that certain experiences are likely to help land a job, while other experiences are not nearly as valuable.
Although what employers valued most varied by industry, at the top of their lists were (in no particular order):
- interview skills
- internships and majors related to the job being applied for
- ability in a foreign language
- communications skills
- problem solving ability
- the proven ability at working well with others
- critical thinking skills
- writing skills
It's interesting to note that excellent grades were not ranked as high as other skills and experiences, but according to the study, employers still believed them to be important. The majors chosen by students and their coursework definitely ranked higher than clubs and activities.
The results also show that students who let their writing skills get rusty as the result of communicating via text and Twitter, had better brush up on conventional punctuation, grammar, spelling and sentence structure before they graduate.
"Each student should strategically acquire accomplishments and qualifications which are both valued by employers and consistent with the student's preferences, goals, and talents," says Bailey Norwood, one of the study's authors. But above all, never underestimate the value of interview skills, which were ranked as one of the most important assets for job seekers .
Hopefully the information provided by the study will make it easier for recent college grads to get their foot in the door, in their desired field.
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