Students: Do you know what employers want?
You've sacrificed and toiled in order to earn perfect grades, worked at internships, and filled your already busy schedule with extra-curricular activities. Now you’re ready to land a job. The belief that these attributes will enhance a resume and impress an employer is widespread, but does it really reflect what employers seek in a new hire?
To answer this question, researchers at Oklahoma State University conducted a study of more than 450 college graduate employers. They examined the attributes employers look for in new hires. For example, the top three qualities employers value in the agribusiness industry are communication skills, critical thinking skills, and writing skills.
Overall, internships and majors related to the job were highly rated, as well as foreign language skills and interviewing skills. While excellent grades were not ranked as high as other skills and experiences, they are still important.
According to the study, students should tailor their career choices to their personal strengths and aspirations. Grades, extracurricular activities, leadership positions, internships, and awards speak for an individual as a whole. The full study is published in the January-February 2011 issue of the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education.