What Employers Are Looking For In Graduates

As a new graduate knowing where the focus lies for employers seeking strong employees will help candidates know how to present themselves during interviews. Here is a list of what employers are looking for in new graduates:

  • Professionalism: Professionalism encompasses an overall attitude all employers find desirable including responsibility, communication, appearance, and conflict resolution skills.

  • Respect: Some characteristics of respect include consideration, positive attitude, consistency and tolerance.

  • Integrity: One quality valued by employers is integrity, which can encompass continuing to practice and upgrade skills, adherence, focus and appreciation.

  • Caring/Community: A caring attitude and sense of community is integral for any graduate looking to enter the workforce. Five characteristics of caring/community include providing a valuable service, positive attitude, honest communication, providing support to colleagues and fellow students, and participation and involvement.

  • Engagement: Engagement is such an important attribute and valuable trait in a person. Some characteristics include ability to contribute, ability to participate, ability to achieve/exceed and ability to improve and excel.
  • Team Work: It is very important to view potential hires as team players who will contribute to their group in a positive way.
  • Leadership Skills: Leadership skills are important to most employers as they want to know that graduates will be able to grow, advance and eventually take on leadership roles. Having examples of leadership skills even for volunteer work and leading projects can help.
  • Communication Skills: Graduates must be able to use professional verbal and written skills and understand appropriate techniques suited to their area of expertise. Being prepared and able to answer questions clearly as well as having a well prepared resume and covering letter all provide proof of good communication skills.
  • Problem Solving: Everyone loves a problem solver who can deal with issues as they arise and avoid further issues by correcting challenges as they occur. Candidates should be prepared with examples of how they helped save the day and resolve issues.
  • Strong Work Ethic: This means that graduates can demonstrate they care about their work, associates, customers and/or patients and are able to adhere to rules and laws every day without question. They also complete their duties effectively before they leave at the end of the day. References work well to support a candidate has a strong work ethic.
  • Initiative: A go-getter with a “can-do” attitude shows they will get the job done and will take initiative to head up projects and complete tasks. Candidates should prepare at least one example in which they took the initiative with positive results.
  • Technical Skills: Technical skills would be directly related to a certificate or diploma: Operation of equipment, programs, procedures, etc.
  • Attention to Detail: Being thorough and demonstrating a capability to complete all duties without forgetting important or even small details is very important to potential employers. Having examples ready to show ways in which one has saved the day by noticing errors for example is a good way to show a candidate is detail oriented.
  • Organizational Skills: This is a little harder to prove to a potential employer however graduates can give examples of jobs they had or projects they worked on in which organization skills were required.