Employers of recent college students continue to stress the importance of a candidate’s non-academic characteristics when evaluating them against others for post-graduation employment. While academic excellence will always be a strong factor in differentiating applicants consider this; according to a recent survey of 315 Employers by the Association of American Colleges and Universities 93% cited critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills as more important than a transitioning student’s undergraduate major. Similarly, in a survey of 144 Employers conducted by The National Association of Colleges and Employers critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, the ability to work in a team and communication skills were all rated as essential when considering a recent graduate for a job.
As a student it is critical you not only demonstrate academic excellence during your college experience but also acquire the competencies companies want to see in their new hires. Volunteering, starting a school club, fundraising, running for student office or tutoring fellow classmates are just a few examples of how to build these desired qualities into your personal brand. While temporarily closed to new applications another great way to acquire desired traits is to become a Student Publisher on LinkedIn. By representing your school, you will demonstrate to employers the leadership, ambition, drive, passion and collaborative skills they look for in applicants while being exposed to LinkedIn’s 400MM members (many of whom are recruiters for entry level roles). Check in often using the link below as the New Publisher selection process should open up shortly.
By participating in activates like those above you will not only demonstrate qualities companies say differentiate applicants for jobs but also get more out of your college experience. My advice: follow your passion and get involved!