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What are graduate employers looking for?

what are graduate employers looking for

What graduate employers really want is a strong, dedicated candidate full of dedication and potential. An impressive CV is the best starting point for securing a graduate role.

A great way to impress employers is to show how many skills you possess having gained experience from working or during your education including whilst at college or university.

Potential employers are impressed by applicants who explain what skills have been gained during times spent outside of work. This can make applicants stand out from their competitors.

If, for example, a person has been volunteering or doing something related to social work, it shows that this candidate is hard-working and wants to help other people.

Employers often prefer people who are interested in how their work impacts society or the environment. Therefore, applicants should focus on showing what has been learned during times spent outside of university or college to help them to stand out amongst others. This can really make a difference in the eyes of potential employers.

What do the employers really want in a candidate?

Employers want graduates that they can train and shape into their future leaders. Therefore, they are looking for something extra – a point of difference – to contribute.

Graduate employers also want people who have been exposed to different situations through their studies and extra-curricular activities. They will be looking for evidence that the candidates can successfully negotiate a range of challenges – even ones they may not have seen before! It shows them you are curious about how things work and willing to learn new skills.


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Source: Bright Network, Graduate Career Advice

Skills employers are looking for

  • Communication skills such as writing and speaking.
  • Teamwork - showing that you can work in a team environment, develop relationships with people and contribute to the success of others is an essential skill for most graduate jobs.
  • Include examples from previous jobs or university projects where you have demonstrated teamwork and your ability to think logically.
  • Graduates who can think logically, solve problems, and apply this in practice are crucial for most graduate jobs.
  • Leadership - being a team member and leader is essential for most graduate jobs.
  • Initiative - taking responsibility and demonstrating problem-solving abilities are desirable traits sought after in graduates.

Top tips on writing your CV

  • Ensure that the CV layout is clean and easy on the eye as it makes a more positive first impression.
  • Ensure that the information included matches what the employer has requested in their job advert/ vacancy description.
  • Ensure that you describe your skills, experience, and personal qualities in a way relevant to the job role or industry sector they are recruiting for.
  • Where possible, try to include specific examples of when you have used these skills - this gives employers more proof of what you can do rather than just saying it!
  • Use the same language as used in the job advert/ vacancy description.

Final thoughts

A lot of employers look for specific skills and experiences when recruiting new hires so make sure your CV is as informative as possible to make yourself shine!

If you learned something new today, please share this article with someone who might benefit from the information we have provided here.

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