What Employers Really Want From Graduates

Last week, we brought you a blog post about the benefits of hiring mature candidates. This week, we’re focusing on new graduates. Graduates bring a whole new set of skills in comparison with older applicants, so employers expect different things from them when they take them on board.

No matter what you studied, college and university courses are designed to prepare you for the world of work, so you have a good head-start when applying for positions. You’ve completed projects that have taught you how to work well on a team, make decisions and solve problems. What other skills do employers expect you to have?

Leadership Skills

When surveyed, more than 80% of employers said they search for evidence of leadership skills on an applicant’s resume. On top of that, you must also be able to show that you can work well in a team. Demonstrate how you’ve taken part in extra-curricular activities and taken initiative in particular situations to place yourself in an appealing light.

Technical Knowledge

Most employers are looking for staff that have technical knowledge that’s related to the job role. Whether your course was relevant to the position you want, or you’ve picked up some work experience or an internship alongside your studies, displaying that you have a passion and genuine knowledge about the role is a great way to stand out.

Solid Communication Skills

You have to be able to communicate verbally with people both inside and outside of an organisation. You must be able to present in front of groups of people and have the confidence to reach out to stakeholders and clients. Becoming a part of your school’s committee or debate team is a good place to start.

Good Computer Knowledge

One thing that gives younger candidates the edge is that they’re digital natives. They know computers, software and are good at analysing quantitative data. Most jobs will require you to be proficient at using computers. If you’re not, make sure you’re taking some evening classes to get practice in, or you may be left behind in the stream of more qualified candidates.

In 2015, the three degrees that were claimed to be most in-demand were business, engineering and computer & information sciences. Whichever degree you took, employers will only consider you if you can display that you’re a great team worker and decisive problem-solver.

If you feel like you need a head start when you’re fresh out of uni, contact First Personnel. We’re a job agency that connects job seekers with suitable positions and acts as a point-of-contact whenever you have questions or feel like you need a new position. You’ll be assigned a recruiter that’s experienced in your particular industry, so you can be sure we have the knowledge to get your foot in the door of the field you want.