Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Skills Employers Want and New Grads Lack


Employers say that aside from your college major, there are other skills and abilities that help job seekers stand out from the crowd during the job search. This year more than ever, in the toughest economy in years, competition among new grads will be greater than ever.

Employers say they want new hires who will fit in with co-workers, fit into the workplace, and are able to get the job done.

JobWeb says, "Unfortunately—and ironically—the very qualities employers look for are the qualities they find lacking in many new graduates. Employers say new grads lack face-to-face communication skills, especially writing skills. They say many students tend to lack presentation skills, teamwork skills, and overall interpersonal (gets along well with others) skills."

In the same article, employers also noted that new grads tend to lack a good work ethic. Some say students have trouble with basic job skills such as time management and are unable to multitask to meet deadlines. Some new hires do not have realistic expectations for their new positions: they are not loyal to the organization and they “have a high sense of urgency and want to climb the ladder overnight.” Other employers say new hires lack professionalism: they lack maturity and knowledge of business etiquette, including how to dress appropriately.

Here is how employers rank the importance of skills/qualities from new grads.

1.Communication skills
2.Strong work ethic
3.Teamwork skills (works well with others)
4.Initiative
5.Analytical skills
6.Computer skills
7.Flexibility/adaptability
8.Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
9.Problem-solving skills
10.Technical skills

To succeed at work, these are job skills you must master. Where do you rank?

2 comments:

jacqueline said...

It seems to me that there are a several reasons why new grads lackthe "plays well with others" skills. The first is that students are isolating themselves through their constant socialization through the internet, cell phones, etc. This is also a reason why they can't write! I will never forget the time someone wrote a tech column and it was written entirely in texting abbreviations. The columnist basically told the guy to get a life and learn how to write properly!

Another reason why young grads lack those skills is because mom and dad have protected their kids from ever having their feelings hurt or being disappointed. Parents need to let their children make mistakes, suffer failures and have differences of opinion with their peers so that they gain these skills.

A third reason is the we have lost the differentiation that we used to have about public and private behavior. What you do at home and with your friends is not what is acceptable in the workplace.

By working with career services, reading credible websites, and heeding their advice, a new grad learn these new skills.

Jacqueline Noble said...

It seems to me that there are a couple of reasons for new grads lacking the "plays well with others" skills. The first is that students are isolating themselves through their constant socialization through the internet, cell phones, etc. This is also a reason why they can't write! I will never forget the time someone wrote a question into a tech column and it was written entirely in texting abbreviations. The columnist basically told the guy to get a life and learn how to write properly!

The other reason why young grads lack those skills is because mom and dad have protected their kids from ever having their feelings hurt or being disappointed. Parents need to let their children make mistakes, suffer failures and have differences of opinion with their peers so that they gain these skills.