College students are mere months away from graduating, which means they’re also getting closer to entering the job world.
“Right now, jobs are changing all the time and just because you have the skill set now, it doesn’t mean that’s going to be the most important thing to have six months to a year from now,” said Meredith Tornabene, Le Moyne College’s director of career advising and development.
Tornabene says her office keeps a close eye on job trends with a focus on what employers want in a job candidate.
“What they’re really looking for is someone who is confident in their ability but also willing to learn. Also, willing to take on new challenges,” Tornabene explained.
A recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed graduating seniors and employers have a different outlook on how prepared college grads are for their first job.
While surveyed recent grads believe they are proficient in the areas of professionalism, communications and problem solving — employers rated these as areas recent grads need to work on.
For example, employers rated the proficiency of oral and written skills for recent grads at 41.6 percent while students rated themselves proficient at 79.4 percent.
Along with college career prep teams — the recruiting and staffing team at AP Professionals recognizes these as skills for soon-tob-be grads to brush up on.
“Most of the candidates we get that are recent graduates come in with not as strong of an understanding of what potential and future hiring companies are looking for when it comes to strong verbal and written communications skills,” said Caterina D’Agostino, recruiting coordinator for AP Professionals.
Clients at AP Professionals are companies looking to fill job openings. AP Professionals finds out what employers are looking for and then posts their own link to a job description. The team then screens potential job candidates and then makes new-hire recommendations to the companies.
D’Agostino says well-written and error-free resumes and cover letters also go a long way in helping job candidates secure a first interview.
“The most important thing is to do your research and understand the job market in the area you live in and in the industry you want to work in,” D’Agostino explained. “Having realistic expectations that you will be making or you want to make.”
At Le Moyne College, Tornabene says her office often receives calls from companies that have hired alums hoping to hire more graduates.
Tornabene says students on campus regularly utilize the free services for career prep. The college touts 98 percent of its 2016 grads either having a job or working on a graduate degree, according to Tornabene.
One area of the survey where employers rated students more proficient than they rated themselves was digital technology. Employers rated the proficiency of digital technology for recent grads at 65.8 percent while students rated themselves proficient at 59.9 percent.
For a look at the results of the entire survey on “career ready” college graduates, click here.