Top 8 Skills Employers Look For When Hiring Graduates


Do you know what is the biggest fear of graduating students? That they won’t land a decent job afterward.

Now, isn’t that an unreasonable fear? After all, you will soon be graduating from a reputed college!  Yet, it is also true that employers often feel that recent graduates aren’t really prepared enough to join an organization.

What should you do in such a situation? Do you spend sleepless nights worrying about an uncertain future or is there anything you can do on your part to improve your career prospects?

In this blog, let’s see what are the skills and qualities that your future employers may be looking for when it comes to hiring graduates:

  1. Zeal to learn: Whether you have worked for an employer before or not, a common trait that employers are always looking for is unbridled enthusiasm and the urge to learn. This zeal helps them adapt to changes in life once they step out of college. If you come across as enthusiastic, your employers can be confident you will add value to their organization.
  2. Professionalism: Transitioning from classrooms to job boardrooms isn’t easy but if you have professionalism, it becomes seamless. Now, you may wonder, what exactly does professionalism entail? It includes a host of things, like showing up for work on time, being able to work as a team, brainstorming for new ideas, and respecting co-workers.
  3. Critical thinking: As you are about to graduate and step into the corporate world, you will find yourself stepping into unknown territory. This can be an unnerving thought, and  even if you have done part-time jobs earlier, you know it’s going to be different being employed full-time. The expectations on part of your employer will also be different this time. Master the art of critical thinking so that you can apply this to your workplace later.
  4. Soft skills: You cannot overstress the importance of soft skills for graduates looking to apply for jobs. Virtual meetings on Zoom, chatting on social media platforms, and texting have impacted the way we communicate. Students need to learn how to communicate better to get things done faster and to be able to peacefully resolve conflicts of opinion. For this, you need to practise speaking to people and meeting with them instead of communicating over virtual platforms.
  5. Fast learning: Unless you are focused and determined, you cannot learn fast. Employers want graduates who can think on their feet, who are quick to grasp concepts, and who can deftly use their knowledge and training to good use.
  6. Clear and concise writing: You may think every student automatically develops this skill in the classroom, but the truth is many students aren’t skilled to write things at a professional level. It’s not important to flaunt your writing skills; it’s more important to know how to break up complex information into easy-to-understand language that will benefit your audience. Before you start looking for jobs, make sure you develop this writing skill; it will stand you in good stead throughout your life.
  7. Teamwork: When companies hire newly-minted graduates, they know these students probably don’t have any prior work experience. So, what will they be looking for? It’s obvious they will want candidates who are keen to work as a team. They must have committed work ethics, the power to communicate, and the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.
  8. Leadership skills: You need to be able to identify what your individual and team strengths are. Once you can do this, you can work hard to capitalize on these to achieve your goals.

What’s common about these skills? If you look carefully, these are things you don’t have to necessarily learn inside the classroom. You have already inculcated them during your years on campus, without realizing it. They are part of your broader college experiences, where you learn them while engaging in extracurriculars or during your internship. If you can accrue even a couple of these skills, you can double your career prospects.

Companies like Goldman Sachs state that rather than hiring Ivy League graduates, they want candidates who have “an entrepreneurial spirit”, and people who are self-driven. You need to come across as someone who is willing to become an innovative problem-solver. You should be able to offer a fresh take on things and be willing to take chances. Only then can you stand out from the rest and land your dream job.