Home > Students > What Employers Want From the Class of 2017

Comments 0 Comments

Summer is near, and for the class of 2017, that means it’s about time to get a grown-up job.

While we’re sure you’re all charming and talented, we wanted to help you by asking jobs experts what recruiters want to see from new graduates this summer. Hopefully these tips can help you polish your resume or change your approach to interviews and land that post-graduation job.

What Skills Are Most in Demand?

Monster, the employment website, recently released data on entry-level job postings that showed the top “hard skills” employers want are computer-related, including quality assurance, structural query language and Java. Other skills in high demand are pediatric specialization and knowing another language.

If those skills aren’t already in your toolbox, don’t fret. Monster also compiled the most sought-after “soft skills.” They include oral and written communication, marketing, Microsoft Office, being detail-oriented and problem solving (pro tip: these key words should be in your resume if you have these skills).

Applicants can demonstrate good communication skills through impeccable cover letters and resumes, said Vicki Salemi, career expert for Monster. Also, prepare well for interviews and speak clearly.

Keep your cover letter succinct to ensure it “pops” for recruiters who might spend only seconds reading it, she said.

“Think of your resume as a sheet of paper and you have a yellow highlighter,” Salemi said. “What two or three things would you highlight to show a recruiter that you’re an incredible candidate?” Once you know that, you know what your cover letter should focus on, she said.

If they’re not proficient in Microsoft Office, Salemi recommended taking online tutorials. Don’t take this lightly: Some recruiters test candidates to make sure they’re proficient in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Where Are Employers Hiring?

Monster’s data also included the cities that had most entry-level job postings. Salemi said new graduates should certainly consider applying where the jobs are, but also make sure to have a plan to get to far-flung cities quickly if they need to attend an interview or, even better, get hired.

“Hiring can actually happen quickly as many times as it may feel like it’s dragging,” she said.

While cities like New York and Washington have plenty of jobs, there is also plenty of competition, Salemi said. Depending on the industry, some graduates should also be sure not to ignore suburbs where employers might have more trouble attracting young applicants.

What Recruiters Like

Be likable, Salemi said. Yes, it sounds obvious, but as when she worked as a recruiter, and two candidates left were identical on paper, it came down to who seemed like they would fit better in the company interview.

That means be respectful, but be yourself. When it comes time for small talk, make sure your personality shines through.

“The top thing they’re looking for is someone we can see fitting in there,” Salemi said. That means someone who won’t stress out while dealing with a tight deadline, someone they wouldn’t mind working late hours with and someone who has more to chat about at the water cooler than work.

And if the job search doesn’t pan out right away, recruiters want to see that applicants haven’t wasted their summer. Employers are looking for resilience and an openness to change, according to Marc Cenedella, CEO of Ladders, a career site. There’s no better time to demonstrate that than during a dryer-than-expected job search.

“They want to see that you’ve done something with your time,” Salemi said.

Salemi recommends volunteering or taking local classes to keep your skills sharp and build your network. Getting part-time work during the job search might also help those who need to start paying back student loans. (You can see how student loan debt affects your credit with a free credit report snapshot from Credit.com.)

Image: FangXiaNuo

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.



Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team