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What Employers Want and Expect From

College Graduates & What Students Want

From Employers

Aaron Basko
Assistant Vice President for Enrollment and Career Services
What Employers Want in College

From a
survey of

At least 25
Key Findings
93 percent of employers said that a
demonstrated capacity to think critically,
communicate clearly and solve complex
problems is more important than any other
attributes the student can offer.
More Key Findings
95 percent of employers say they prioritize
hiring college graduates with skills that will
help them contribute to innovation in the
Additional Findings
80 percent of
agree that
regardless of
their major,
every college
student should
acquire broad
knowledge in
the liberal arts
and sciences.
What Else Matters Most in College?

Strongly endorse such educational practices as

collaborative problem-solving, internships,
senior projects, and community engagement.
More than four in five employers say that in
evaluating applicants they find it helpful if job
candidates have a digital portfolio, along with
the usual resume and college transcripts.
Two in three employers believe most college
graduates have the skills and knowledge they
need to succeed in entry-level positions.
Survey Findings
What this survey of employers and others
have suggested is that the major isn't
nearly as important as what college
students do in and out of the classroom.
Skills Employers Want
Is There Really a Skills
Gap ?
Employers sometimes say they cant find qualified
candidates but:
o 10% Of Candidates offered wont accept the job at the wage
level offered
o 15% Cite lack of candidate knowledge, but only 21% of
employers said they provided employer-based training

Companies want experienced candidates who can

contribute immediately with no training or start-up

Read more:
What This Employer Panel Expects of SU Students -
Enterprise Holdings
Terri Morris (SU Graduate)-Talent Acquisition Manager

1. They need to have realistic goals and expectations.

2. They need to be true team players and have a can-do

positive attitude

3. Not be afraid of a four letter word - W.O.R.K.- hard work will

get you rewarded and promoted! Seek internships if there are
opportunities in their field.

4. They should seek Mentors and enjoy networking whenever


5. Take on leadership opportunities whenever possible (i.e.

clubs, sports, work, etc.)
Target: Christopher
Store Team Leader
1. Be involved; don't fly under the radar thru college. Get involved in clubs,
volunteer, join a fraternity, join student Government. Its important to have
these experiences to give yourself great stories during the interview process.
For us it is about leadership.

2. They need to know what they truly want. Be confident about themselves and that this is
the career they want. We won't bring someone on if we think they are not committed

3. With Target it is not important that they are perfect, what I mean is a lot of students view
mistakes as taboo. Its more important that they learn from their mistakes and can show us
how they have grown as a leader. It has been a common miss that I have seen students in an
interview give a more low scope answer because they don't want to talk about mistakes.

4. 100% of our job involves people whether our guests or Team members. We look for people
who can relate well to others and engage and inspire them to be better. So they need
to be engage with people. This sounds easier than it is. I suggest taking class on public speaking
or something equivalent even if it is not part of degree. This is also where involvement with clubs
and volunteering can help. The social interaction is very important.

5. Many students ask me about advancement opportunities which are great. We want our team
to be ambitious but one of my old coaches used to say to me that if we focus solely on winning
and not on the game its self then we might not win. The most successful Team members I have
seen are the ones who focus on their own development anything we do in life is earned not
Trinity Logistics - Denise
Talent Acquisition Manager
1. We look to ensure students are involved in organizations, sports,
volunteering, part time jobs. Shows they can multi-task!

2. Personality they need to bring it to the table. In our organization we only

have a service to sell, so if they come to the interview lacking personality
(ambition and drive to do the job) we will continue to look at the next candidate.

3. Showing up to the interview in appropriate attire. Having one or two outfits

set aside just for the interview process.

4. Bringing reference letters from their professors is nice to see.

5. Knowing our company. Who we are and what we do. I see many students
who do their homework and research our company, however for every one
student that does this one student does not. When a student has not researched
our company and cant tell me what we do, I think of it as them just looking for a
job and not a career. They didnt take the time.
The Sherwin-Williams
Company - Rachael Conn
Recruitment Specialist
1. Be able to discuss your leadership, communication and other
transferable skills. They can be more valuable than hiring based on major.

2. Have a realistic expectation of the types of jobs available for recent


3. PATIENCE. If advancement opportunities are available then you will get

there! But take the time to develop the skills needed to prepare you for
that next step.

4. Consider the long-term benefits within a company, like advancement

opportunities and job security, rather than going for the "get-rich-quick"

5. Don't be afraid to brag! Be proud of your academic, leadership and

work accomplishments and share them with employers.
McGladrey-Jen Poklemba -
Senior Talent Acquisition
1. In addition to the skills previously mentioned,
Good Communication Skills not everything can
be communicated via text message/email. Face to
face conversations are the most valuable
2. Dont be entitled Many firms offer a lot of
perks/flexibility, but you have to earn it. Dont be
afraid to WORK
Top 10 Jobs Employers
Cant Fill
Sales representative
Machine operator/assembler/production worker
Truck driver
Software developer
Marketing professional
IT manager/network administrator

* Fox Business, July 2013

First Year on the Job-12 Steps to
I. Adopt the right attitudes-be positive-work is
different than college-earn respect
II. Adjust your expectations-expect to be
III. Master breaking-in skills-OK to be new
IV. Manage the impressions you make-be
professional-first impressions are so important
V. Build effective relationships-find ways to fit
in. Dont try to change the culture
VI. Become a good follower-learn the norms-watch
VII. Understand your organizations culture-pay
attention to the way things are done-figure out
what is expected of you
Other Steps
VIII. Develop organizational
savvy-rites of passage
IX. Understand your new-hire
role-dont be frustrated
X. Listen to your supervisor-
her/him look good
XI. Master the tasks of your
a good listener
XII. Acquire the knowledge,
and abilities you need-
What do Students Expect From
Employers (NACE-2013)
More than two-thirds of
students plan to enter
the work force
immediately upon

When choosing among

potential employers, the
most important factors
students say they
consider are the
opportunity for personal
growth, job security, and
a good benefits package.
Students say theyd most like to work


Human Services

And when they consider a job, they
look at:

Nature of the work


When considering a job offer, new graduates look for:

Opportunity for
personal growth

Job security

Friendly co-workers
When scoring one job offer against another,
the benefits that matter most include:

Annual salary


How Can You Help
Encourage on-time graduation
Get them on LinkedIn (But dont create their
Help them get to the Career Center early
Get them to engage with their education and
think value added through Advanced Learning
Start them thinking about networking
Use the Career Services Website
Train analogy
Advanced Learning
Advanced Learning Experiences

o Research
o Internship
o Study Abroad
o Group Work
o Clinical/Field Experience
o Volunteer Work
o Club Leadership
o Language training
o Honors
How Can We Help
Assessments earlier the better, online Holland
Quiz and MyNext Move
Individual career counseling
Resume critique
Cover letter/graduate school essay review
Mock interviews
On-site employer interviews
Job Fairs
Job alerts
Internship database
How Can We Help
Mentor network
Post resumes
Career course
Text message alerts
Sample resume database by major
Salary resources
Grad school tips
Mentor Advice
How Can We Partner?
Join our mentor
Help us engage with
Encourage your
student to come see
us early
Visit our Top 10 Tips
for Parents