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What Employers Look for in Graduates

What Employers Look for in Graduates

For anyone graduating this December, planning to someday graduate, or looking for a job, these tips are for you. Applying for jobs or starting a new job can be daunting, but that’s why I bring you these helpful tips, so that you know what employers look for in graduates and expect out of you.

1.  Writing Skills

Employers in all fields (creative, business, tech, etc.) need people who can write and write well; good writers help them communicate their companies ideals, brand, and product to potential investors and clients. On top of that employers desire people who can produce original content and who can recycle old ideas in new and creative ways.

2.  Interpersonal Communication Skills

We’ve all seen it; the person you’re attempting to have a conversation with is texting, tweeting, or even playing candy crush. No doubt, our phones have ironically affected our ability to effectively communicate in person. Employers like to see that you can make real conversation and successfully articulate your thoughts.  Employers hire people who can communicate their suggestions, and hey, if you can illustrate your ideas well, you’ll have a better chance of seeing them materialize. Good communication will also benefit you in other areas, as your ability to speak well and feel comfortable talking to people will work wonders when you eventually give presentations, pitch ideas, etc.  Once you pull off an intimidating presentation, your self-confidence will grow as a result. Win. Win.

3.  Go-getter attitude

A little extra enthusiasm goes a long way, and a lot extra goes even farther. Show an employer that you care by finishing projects in a timely manner and by taking tasks head on. Saying “I’m on it!” instead of “Yeah I will get to it,” or “Sure” makes a big difference, and shows that you care about the work you’re doing. Even better, ask if your boss if there is anything that you can do, anything that needs tweaking. Taking initiative is one of the most important qualities you can bring to your work environment, because not everyone thinks to do so.

4.  Problem solving

No matter what field, employers value having people on board who do not shy away from problems; in facing problems and overcoming them people learn something new.  Employers desire someone who does not panic at a problem, but sees problems as challenges. Solving problems is part of any job, and if you can both logically and creatively work to solve problems, your employer will be grateful.

5. Team-player

You worked in groups in grade school, and you will continue to work in groups as an adult;  working in teams is part of life. Be a team player. Working on teams can sometimes be stressful or frustrating, but if you can work well with other people and take on a leadership position to keep everyone on track, employers appreciate that. The more people contributing to a task, the more ideas will get bounced off one another; this dynamic is especially needed in the start-up community.

Keep these tips in mind next time you start a new job or are headed to an interview. I promise they will work to your advantage.

Stay positive and good luck!

-Sinead McDonough

Sinead McDonough's picture