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What do employers look for?

There is no one answer to this question! It goes without saying that different employers are looking for different things, depending on the industry they work in and the nature of the job. But there are some general points that are common to most graduate level positions:

  • What have you done whilst at University to gain more experience and develop your skills. This includes part-time work, volunteering, getting involved in University life and going on work placement.
  • Can you demonstrate what you have learnt from these experiences, and how they have developed your skills?
  • Do you have a general understanding of what they do and how their organisations works?
  • Are you motivated, determined, and enthusiastic about working for them?
  • Are you going to be a reliable employee? Do they see anything in you that makes them worry that you might not turn up to work on time, act in a professional manner, adjust to working from 9-5 every day (if appropriate).
  • Do you have some of the general transferable skills that almost all organisations are looking for?
  • Depending on the job, are you creative, do you have experience of social media, can you demonstrate commercial awareness, and can you utilise what you’ve learnt during your degree in the world of work?
  • And whilst we talk a lot about the importance of work experience, getting a good degree result is just as important. Some graduate positions have a minimum requirement of a 2.1, so whilst it’s important to have fun at University, and gain experience at the same time, you mustn’t lose sight of the importance of getting good marks.