Looking at graduates

Graduates. What do employers look for?

Your search for that coveted job starts whilst you are at University and not when you finally graduate.
You can breakdown Employers into two defined groups.  Those that want graduates who are both skilled and highly technical and those who have got a more generalist   degree. Whichever group you belong to its not just your skills and knowledge that are important but what you actually do whilst at University. Many employers these days employ the use of psychometric tests so practice and get use to, and become proficient, particularly in the major groups including logical/diagrammatic reasoning tests, numerical and verbal reasoning error checking and critical thinking.
Employers these days don’t just look at academic results; they are looking for diversity in candidates in the form of volunteer work, part-time work or just travelling, etc. Having work experience is invaluable at interview time so try and seek part time work, not necessarily in the sector you are targeting. Life experience is always a positive when coupled with academic competence.  It’s also in this activity that a candidate starts to learn all about time management which is another great skill to have.
Employers look for leadership skills so sports coaches, university group leaders/decision makers will, in many cases, have the advantage here.
Graduates who are team players and have worked effectively in university groups, can give and take feedback and don’t shrug responsibility are also well sought after.
Employers like to understand what motivates a candidate and where their natural talent lies.
All candidates should read up and learn about the company they are applying to. Having an in depth knowledge of a particular company will often impress the interviewer and trigger a positive interaction and exchange of views. Show real passion for the company.
Above all prepare yourself properly, be on time, dress smartly, relax and go out and get that dream job you have worked so hard for.

Steve Blythe  (Recruitment and Social Media Commentator)

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