In today’s rapidly changing job market, securing a position has become more challenging than we initially thought. As students embark on their journey in the professional world, there is often a question about what employers are truly seeking when hiring us. Is it all about grades and academic achievements, or do employers seek additional qualities?
To ease your worries, we compiled a list of qualities and attributes that will help you better prepare for a successful career launch.
Academic excellence is a foundation
Employers are increasingly looking beyond grades to assess a candidate’s potential.
According to a report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), GPA screening by employers for fresh graduates has decreased from a high of 73.3% just a few years ago to 37%.
That being said, you still need a solid GPA as it demonstrates your ability to acquire knowledge and work diligently. Besides, a great GPA is a great talking point during interviews! It can help you transition to a larger discussion about why you were so successful as a student.
Never underestimate the power of soft skills
As previously mentioned, fewer employers than ever care about entry-level candidates’ GPAs. Therefore, to stand out in a competitive job market, students are now required to have soft skills. According to Investopedia, soft skills can also be thought of as people skills. These can include good communication, interpersonal skills, leadership, problem solving, work ethic, time management, and teamwork.
These skills are crucial in the workplace as they help potential employers understand your personal attributes. They’re also indicators of your adaptability to the company culture.
Developing soft skills takes time. While online courses can be costly, feel free to apply for the Skills Bundle. Through the Skills Bundle, you will have the opportunity to develop essential skills while saving money.
Another way to demonstrate soft skills is through previous extracurricular activities like part-time jobs and volunteer work. When reflecting back on these experiences, an employer can tell a lot about who you are and what you care about.
While internships are valuable experiences, not all of them offer financial compensation. At IGNITE, we believe that everyone should be rewarded for their hard work. That’s why we’ve introduced the GLOW Bursary, designed to help you alleviate some financial burdens while gaining valuable hands-on experience.
It is not always about what you know, it is about who you know
In addition to technical skills and soft skills, you will need to network with people in the industry that you’re interested in.
Networking is a crucial aspect of building your career. One of the biggest reasons why networking is important is referrals. It starts with this simple instinct: we tend to trust the people we know more than the ones we don’t.
Similarly, employers will also contact their network when finding suitable candidates for an open position in their organization. This not only saves on hiring costs, but also ensures the reliability of the employee.
If you’re unsure where to start with networking, consider attending school alumni meetings. For instance, Humber Café at Humber College or Alumni Services at the University of Guelph-Humber can be great opportunities to connect with professionals in your field and potentially find a mentor.
Go beyond simply conducting the research
During interviews, interviewers love it when candidates do their research about the organization. Not only does it demonstrate that they are serious with the company but also a way to flatter the organization itself.
To truly stand out, go beyond mere research and incorporate your own ideas. Remember, companies are seeking individuals who can help solve their problems. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts based on the information you’ve gathered about the company, especially if they’re open to hearing them. Additionally, research the company’s competitors to gain a more realistic understanding of the market.
Your skills, confidence and preparation are bound to find you a job you enjoy. Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know over on Instagram!
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