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Jennifer Rogers

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Your resume tells a story about you

Advice from employers by Guest Blogger, Angela Ponrahjah, Employer Relations Intern in the Career Development Center

A national survey of employers made clear that they are looking for certain key attributes on a resume – these are qualities and skills that will help a job applicant stand out from the crowd. The table below outlines the top 6 attributes that may help you assess your resume and take steps to build necessary skills that are in demand!

Problem-solving skills may be linked with interpersonal skills, tactfulness, entrepreneurial skills, and strategic planning skills.  Team work is closely linked with communication skills, friendliness, and personality. While getting a good GPA is certainly important, employers say that these skills are equally significant in being successful in a workplace.

Internship experience carries a lot of weight and you should focus on finding jobs that are related to your field of study and industry which will benefit you more in the long-run.

In relation to career readiness competencies, the next big thing to consider is what employers expect from you once you’ve been hired. Employers are expecting new hires to be able to solve problems in unique ways whilst being able to work collaboratively in a team environment. They prefer those who are technology savvy and it will also be beneficial to have global / multi-cultural fluency that can help create a diverse workplace.

Click on the below links to see the complete list of skills desired by employers:

Source: National Association of Colleges & Employers Job Outlook 2018 Survey, 201 employer respondents

Problem-solving skills 82.9%
Ability to work in a team 82.9%
Communication skills (written) 80.3%
Leadership 72.6%
Strong work ethic 68.4%
Analytical/quantitative skills 67.5%




General Information

Evaluating a Job Offer – How to decide?

Sometimes, after interviewing with multiple employers, we know which employer and job would be our favorite, but sometimes it’s not so clear.

This is the time to assess your Work Values.  What is most important to you?  What do you want from your work-life?  Most importantly, will these jobs help move you forward in your career progress?  If these are difficult questions to answer, make an appointment with one of the Career Development Center staff; they have tools to help you evaluate what factors and conditions are most important to you.

Some people find themselves in the position of getting a job offer from a place that is not their first choice.  This is a tough position to be in because you need a job.  It’s easier to handle if you know that you are in the midst of more interviews with other employers.

We suggest you be honest and try to negotiate for more time to get back to them with an answer to their offer, “an extension” is what you are asking for.  Let them know that you have not yet completed all of your interviews, and give them a timeframe – when you will be able to assess all options before you.

Know that they may not be able to wait as long as you’d like, so ask about the last possible date.  Then you have some decisions to make.  Again, come in to the Career Center and talk this over if your answer is not obvious.

Strong Caution:  Accepting a job offer, then continuing to interview with other employers is a dangerous, slippery slope.   If a different job pans out that you want more, you are now forced to renege on the first offer.  This puts employers in a hard spot as they have spent time, energy and resources in to their recruiting process and now must start all over, or have a spot that will go unfilled.  From their perspective, if you had just said No from the beginning, they could have offered this to someone else who really wanted the job.

Moral of the Story:  Think carefully, and get lots of help, thoughts and advice if you have some hard decisions to make!

Employer Hot Topics

Advice from Employers

Here are some tips from Employers who are looking to hire students.

  1. It would be beneficial if you could get exposure to jobs or internships related to your major whilst in college. This will better enable you to look for the right type of jobs post-graduation.
  2. If an interview is scheduled and you are unable to attend, ensure that you communicate with the potential employer and let them know if you wish to reschedule or cancel the interview.
  3. If an organization offers internships, 49% prefer students to be in their junior year and 40% would accept applications from freshman or sophomores.
  4. You are encouraged to use your college career webpage because these employers who are trying to reach you. Visit the Career Development Center’s Job & Internship Listings frequently.
  5. It is important to research and know about the company before attending interview sessions.
  6. Read the position description and have several questions ready for the interviewer about the job role and company.
  7. Customize your resume based on the jobs you are applying for.
    E.g. list “technical skills” on a resume when applying for a technical position.
    You can attend one of our resume writing seminars hosted by the career development center or learn from our online resources to get help with drafting your resume.
  8. Employers expect you to research market rate salaries to get more realistic expectations about salary offers.

Source: Minnesota Job Outlook Survey 2016