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Per Survey, Most Hiring Managers Say Colleges ‘Somewhat Prepare’ Students for Working World

successAccording to a new survey, The Multi-Generational Job Search, conducted by Millennial Branding and Beyond.com, the top three attributes companies are seeking are a positive attitude, communication skills and the ability to work as a team.

Soft skills, anyone? It just goes to show there’s an emphasis on being that enthusiastic team player who communicates well. Furthermore, based on their data, earning a college degree is important but not as important as an applicant’s personality.

There are the soft skills again. Is there an echo in here?

Maybe the focus on a candidate’s personality is actually a good thing since 73 percent of hiring managers felt colleges only “somewhat prepare” students for the working world. Their biggest challenge falls into the category of how job seekers present themselves. Many people from hiring teams reported candidates are “unprepared and said they have a “bad attitude” while interviewing. 

According to Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of Promote Yourself, when it boils down to schools fully preparing graduates, he says there are a few things they can do differently to prepare their students for their first full-time job.

“Schools need to invest in a mandatory career curriculum for their students so they are prepared for the real world. In addition, business and personal finance classes should be taught across all majors because they are essential to preparing students and helping students invest in their futures. This should have been done years ago but now we are on ‘red alert’ because if colleges don’t do something about it, students will seek alternative forms of education.”

For students who earn that coveted diploma but don’t feel like they’ve fully been trained to immerse themselves into the Real World, Schawbel recommends they “take charge of their lives instead of waiting for colleges to support them.” This means seeking out mentors, apprenticeships, acquiring meaningful internships, doing freelance work, building portfolios and leveraging family and friends as much as possible.

His ultimate advice? “It’s wiser to spend more time networking and developing marketable skills over getting higher grades because we found that grades aren’t important in the recruiting process.”

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