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Broadly speaking, in today’s highly competitive work environment, employers mostly are looking for:

  • A mix of good qualifications
  • Personal achievement
  • Good communication skills
  • An ability to meet targets and deadlines

All the above traits generally contribute to the making of a good candidate who could be employable.

Be a ‘Go-getter’

Besides qualifications and good institutional background, recruiters want people who possess the natural drive and fortitude to get things done, people who can help customers solve issues using not only strong intellectual capabilities and rigor but also good judgment and a healthy dose of practical sense.

Gap between theory and practice!

But first be sure there is a big gap between theory and practice of recruitment. Consider the following and understand the factors that go into the selection process: 

  • Employers will always say that they want the best graduates for their organisation, although what that means in practice can vary.
  • In a survey of successful candidates about the recruitment criteria, it turned out that though employers expect high academic achievements but at the same time they give  equal importance to the ability to demonstrate key ‘competencies’: the skills that are needed for working – rather than academic – life. 
  • Recruiters are looking for something in particular when they advertise a job. If you can show that you have the qualities they’re looking for then you can give yourself a distinct advantage. Knowing how to analyse what an employer wants in a job advert can give you a real edge.
  • At interview, it is essential that you sell your skills and experiences. Don’t hold back on showing the interviewer your enthusiasm for pursuing your chosen career path.
  • Never say anything negative about a previous employer or a person whom you have worked with or for. Even if you were fired from a previous job, never say anything negative or critical.

Competencies on test

When you start your job search and begin applying for your first graduate job, it helps to know what recruiters are looking for. It’s all about your ’employability’ and what value you can add to an organisation. It’s very likely that employers will define this in terms of ‘competences’: the skills that are needed for working – rather than academic – life.

Three ‘Cs’

There are three Cs which more or less remain constant throughout your working career and turn touchstone of your usefulness to the employers. They are:

Contacts –

Do you have enough contacts? The more contacts you have in the marketplace, the more likely it is you will find the job you want. The more people you know and who know you, the more likely it is you will uncover one of the 85 per cent or more of job openings that are never listed anywhere.

This is why it is so important for you to network continually. Join clubs and associations. Ask people for referrals and references. Tell your friends, relatives, and associates that you are in the market for a new job. Make sure that everyone you know is aware that you are available and looking for a job. Nothing is more important than your circle of contacts. The great majority of jobs that are filled in the hidden job market are filled because someone knows someone. And you can expand your range of contacts just by telling people that you are available and asking for their help and their advice.

Credibility –

Your reputation is important! The second C is credibility. This is made up of your reputation and your character. Your credibility is the most important single quality about you in terms of getting recommendations and referrals from your contacts. Make sure that everything you do is consistent with the highest ethical standards. Make sure that you never say or do anything that could be misconstrued by anyone as anything other than excellent conduct and behavior. Remember, people will only recommend you for a job opening if they are completely confident that they will not end up looking foolish as a result of something you do or say.

Competence –

Be good at what you do. The third C is competence. In the final analysis it is how good you are and how good you have been in your previous jobs that will determine, more than anything else, how good you can be at the job under consideration. Next to your character, your level of competence will be the single most important factor in determining your success in your career. This is why you must be continually working to maintain and upgrade your levels of competence through personal study all your working life.

Ability to lead

Leadership is one of the key components that all employers would want in you so that you do not have to be prompted to do things as you are self-driven.

The willingness and the desire to accept responsibility for results are key factors. It’s the ability to take charge, to volunteer for assignments, and to accept accountability for achieving the required results of those assignments that matter a lot.

The mark of the leader is that he or she does not make excuses. You demonstrate your willingness to be a leader in the organization by offering to take charge of achieving company goals and then committing yourself to performing at high levels.

Likeability factor

Likability is another trait that tilts balance in your favour during the interview or formal interaction.

Employers like people who are warm, friendly, easygoing and cooperative with others. Employers are looking for people who can join the team and be part of the work family.

Many employers may even be looking for those who are not only qualified but also likable and could easily take to the company’s work culture without causing too much of `discomfort` to the existing team. After all, more revenue and growth are related to the team work.

Keep eyes and ears to ground

A new research shows that the vast majority of employers – domestic and foreign – are looking for a “cultural fit” and at times even winking at the educational skills of a candidate while hiring him ! So be flexible and keep your eyes and ears closed to the ground.

To conclude, Experience, job-skills & ability to communicate is a recipe of a good employable candidate recruiters look for!