What Top Entry-Level Employers Want Most

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<p><strong>State College, Pa. &mdash; Aug. 8</strong><br />CollegeGrad.com, an entry-level job site, has released the results of its survey on what employers want most in hiring new college grads. </p><p>The survey results indicate 42 percent of employers ranked a student&#39;s major as the top priority for hiring consideration. This is up from 37 percent in 2006. </p><p>Interviewing skills and a student&#39;s internships and experience ranked second and third.<br /><br />&quot;College students shouldn&#39;t be worried about whether they attended the right college or maintained perfect grades,&quot; said Brian Krueger, CollegeGrad.com president. &quot;The results of this survey clearly show that these are not what most employers are looking at first.&quot;<br /><br />What does it mean that employers first look at a candidate&#39;s major? </p><p>Employers explain that in initial hiring consideration, they are first concerned with a set of necessary skills.<br /><br />&quot;We are looking for candidates that possess the technical and enabling skills required to be an effective client service delivery professional,&quot; said Blane Ruschak, KPMG national director of campus recruiting. &nbsp;<br /><br />Also critical to employers is to find candidates passionate about their potential industry. </p><p>Randy Goldberg, Hyatt Hotels national recruiting director , said finding job seekers excited about their future position occurs most often when the candidate&#39;s major matches their prospective field of employment.<br /><br />&quot;Most of our entry-level management positions are not your typical 9-to-5 positions, so seeking out candidates with hospitality schooling and experience is a key ingredient to achieving a rewarding career with Hyatt,&quot; Goldberg said.</p><p>Employers repeatedly state that for students to separate themselves from candidates with the same major, students must be able to relate past experiences to the current job opportunity in an interview setting. </p><p>Also important is for students to demonstrate a range of transferable soft skills to complement the skills associated with their major. <br /><br />&quot;If a candidate is comfortable not only gathering and analyzing technical data, but also effectively communicating the results in presentations, lectures and one-on-one, this is much more valuable to a prospective employer than those who can only crunch the numbers,&quot; Krueger said. &quot;And those who can demonstrate this ability in an interview will stand out from among their peers.&quot; &nbsp;<br /><br />Employers seeking candidates with less technical majors also point to versatility as an important professional skill. </p><p>&quot;We are looking for candidates to be in a continuous learning mode, have a positive attitude and demonstrate a global perspective in their thinking and actions,&quot; Ruschak said..<br /><br />In addition to Ruschak&#39;s list of top soft skills for KPMG, other employers would also include the importance of communication skills, dedication, integrity, enthusiasm, creativity and adaptability. </p><p>&quot;These skills result in successful candidates and are not necessarily tied to any given major,&quot; said Vicki Decker, Winona State University director of career services.</p><p>Additionally, they can all be summed up in one word: passion.<br /><br />Passion about the opportunity is important to employers because it cannot be taught or faked. </p><p>When employers recognize that a student&#39;s enthusiasm and excitement about the job is genuine, that student will most often get the job.<br /><br />To demonstrate enthusiasm during the interview, Krueger advises providing examples of how passion has had a positive impact on results. </p><p>&quot;If you can show an employer in your words, actions and past behaviors that you have true passion for achieving excellence, you can and will be chosen over the superstar,&quot; Krueger said.<br /><br />The information was gathered while compiling the list of more than 500 top entry-level employers for 2007. </p><p>Employers were asked to rank criteria in order of importance for hiring consideration. </p><p>The following are the overall survey results:<br /><br />No. 1: The student&#39;s major (42 percent)<br />No. 2: The student&#39;s interviewing skills (25 percent)<br />No. 3: The student&#39;s internship/experience (16 percent)<br />No. 4: Other miscellaneous qualifications (10 percent)<br />No. 5: The student&#39;s computer skills (3 percent)<br />No. 6: The student&#39;s personal appearance (2 percent)<br />No. 7: The student&#39;s GPA (1 percent)<br />No. 8: The college the student graduated from (1 percent)</p>

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