So, you’re fresh out of school and looking to take the world by storm. The problem is, you’re not sure about what those blue-chip firms of the world are looking for in a new graduate. Whether you’re applying for an entry-level role or an internship (whether paid or unpaid), the process of vetting new, young hires can be as thorough as just about any other position at a company.
What you need to do is get into the mind of a recruiter, in order to think critically about what they’re looking for, and how you can deliver it to them. Here’s our handy list of what these firms are looking for, and what you can do (before you graduate) to get your foot in the door.
Ever heard this word before? Sticktoitiveness is the idea of being able to stick to something, to follow through with it, and to ultimately get the job done. When it comes to recruiting out of school, this the type of trait that gets a lot of attention from larger firms. When you’re getting hired for an internship, a company wants to know that you won’t quit three weeks into the gig – they want you to be there for the long haul, which is why they’re investing in you in the first place.
This might sound like something of a stock answer, but I’m not talking leadership in terms of quarterbacking the football team or being elected class president. Leadership takes many different forms, and one of the best ones that larger firms look for is known as “thought leadership.” This means pioneering new ideas, a new initiative, and being able to showcase the fact that you made a difference.
Studies have suggested that one of the major issues that new graduates have when it comes to entering the workforce is that they lack problem-solving skills. Thanks to the way traditional education is set up, questions and answers come pre-packaged in ways that make dealing with more uncomfortable problems difficult, confusing, and downright scary. For this reason, these critical thinking issues can cause major barriers for anyone looking to get hired right out of school – and, even if they do land a job, it hurts their chances of success and progression within a company.
One of the major skills that students fresh out of college don’t pay enough attention to is the skill of socializing. Networking is such an important skill when it comes to getting a job or an internship out of school, and many students lack these abilities (and, therefore, lack the opportunity to join the ranks of a solid company). Larger firms want to know that you know your way around a conversation and that you can hold your own when push comes to shove. If you can think on your feet, show what you know, and do it in a way that makes the company proud – companies are going to be mailing employment offers right to your door.
Okay, this is an easy one, but it’s not as simple as being the top of your class. It’s about refining the skills that help you get good grades, even if when they’re not great grades. One of the main things worth highlighting here is just how you go about studying. Did you know that taking classes online can help with test preparation? For example, many blue chip firms administer reasoning or ability tests (assessments) to identify promising candidates among a huge pile of job applicants. Being prepared for such selection assessments by practicing in advance using tailored test prep packs could hugely improve your odds of success. It also showcases almost every other habit we’ve covered here:
- Sticktoitiveness – to do something even when it’s not necessarily required
- Leadership – to go out of your way and to do something that others aren’t
- Professionalism – to prioritize your learning above all else
- Problem Solving – to deal with educational issues outside of the lecture hall
The fact of the matter is that preparing for tests with online classes is a great way to engage with, and grow, all of these traits that the big firms are looking for. It can help develop your skills while bolstering your grades. This way, not only do you get to sit down for an interview (thanks to your test scores), but you’ll charm your interviewer with the other skills you’ve cultivated.
5 Great Traits. Better Employment Opportunities.
What will you do after you graduate? You can avoid all of the horror stories of former classmates moving back into their parent’s basements, and head right to the top with some of the nation’s best companies – with the help of these key skills. At the same time, taking online classes can be a powerful tool in helping to grow and nurture these skills, while resulting in the test scores to get you that interview in the first place.
Don’t forget, the best companies in the world are those who hire people who don’t take no for answer, who take the lead, who take on problems (without asking for help immediately), who know how to speak their mind, and who have the smarts to back it up. It sounds like a magical mix, but it’s totally achievable. Just stick to it.