Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips
Job-hunting tips from the April 11, 2005 issue of QuintZine.
New college graduates with good communication skills have an advantage over their competitors in the job market, according to a study published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Employers responding to NACE’s Job Outlook 2005 survey were asked to rate the importance of a variety of skills and qualities. Communication skills, as well as honesty/integrity, earned the highest ratings.
Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director, notes that candidates have “two key opportunities to demonstrate to employers that they have good communication skills — on their resume and in the interview.” says Mackes. “Ironically, when we asked employers what skill was most lacking in college job candidates, good communication skills also topped the list.”
That’s not to say that good communication skills and honesty/integrity are the only skills and qualities that employers see as important. In fact, “employers have a pretty extensive list of skills and qualities they look for in job candidates, including good interpersonal skills, a strong work ethic, and teamwork skills,” says Mackes.
And that’s assuming the candidate meets the employer’s basic criteria for job candidates, such as the requisite degree, experience, or GPA.
A candidate’s work experience is also important to employers. According to Mackes, many employers look to hire new college graduates who have “relevant” work experience, gained through an internship or cooperative education experience, but even unrelated work experience can help a candidate stand out.
“Employers are looking for evidence that a candidate has the skills, qualities, and abilities they believe are important to workplace success, and work experience — even if it’s not directly related to the job at hand — can provide that evidence,” explains Mackes.
Along with the increased willingness of recent grads to relocate comes an increased level of competition for open positions. Student job-seekers no longer compete only against peer graduates, or graduates from other nearby schools. Instead, they now compete against graduates in a national and even international arena.
Of those respondents willing to relocate, almost 24 percent would be willing to relocate only within their local or statewide area, while 40.4 percent would relocate nationally, and 35.7 percent would be willing to relocate internationally.
- Personal finance adviser
- Medical scientist
- Computer software engineer
- Environmental engineer
- Biochemist and biophysicist
- Sales manager
- Computer system analyst
- Agent and business manager for artists, performers, and athletes
- Marketing manager
- Producer and director
- Advertising and promotions manager
- Management analyst
- Postsecondary education administrator
- Financial manager
- Airline pilot, copilot, and flight engineer
- Market research analyst
- Securities sales agent
- Medical and health services manager
- travel expenses
- employment-agency fees
- resume-preparation fees
- career-counseling expenses
- the cost of advertising your services
- newspapers and other periodicals purchased for their help-wanted ads
- legal fees paid to an attorney to review an employment contract
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