Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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Firms seek grads who can think fast, work in teams

They can get good grades, earn a diploma and breeze through that campus rite of spring, the job interview. But college graduates still might not land a decent job.

The world's top employers are pickier than ever. And they want to see more than high marks and the right degree.

They want graduates with so-called soft skills _ those who can work well in teams, write and speak with clarity, adapt quickly to changes in technology and business conditions and interact with colleagues from different countries and cultures.

``Soft skills tend to differentiate good college graduates from exceptional college graduates,'' says Joseph Krok, university research liaison at Britain's Rolls-Royce.

To find out what employers are seeking from university graduates around the world, The Associated Press talked to dozens of corporate recruiters, university career counselors, economists and students. What's clear is that companies increasingly want skills that don't show up in a college transcript or a sit-down interview.

``What the employers want is a well-rounded student,'' says Jean Manning-Clark, director of the Colorado School of Mines' career center. ``The ones that get 10 to 12 job offers are the ones who have strong soft skills.''

And companies are going to ever-greater lengths to identify the students who have the right mix of skills by observing them in role-playing exercises to see how they handle pressure and get along with others, relying more on applicants who have already proved themselves in internships and co-op jobs in which students work while attending school, and organizing contests that reveal how students solve problems and handle deadline pressure.

``It used to be that the interview itself was where you made or broke your chances with a company,'' says Dan Black, head of campus recruiting in the Americas for the accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young. ``Now the assessment is a much longer and broader process.''
Read More at : EconomicTimes


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