Employers want ‘star qualities’

Lindsay Sainlar

After years of part-time jobs, passed classes and internships, it may come as a surprise to some that experience and a college degree aren’t the only things potential employers are looking for.

Because employers already expect college graduates to be an expert in their field, they are looking next at the personal qualities of the potential job candidate, said Carol White, associate director of the Career Services Center.

Radcliff junior Rachel Shook, who plans on being an English teacher, said she knows the importance of being good at both personal and technical skills.

“If you’re not good with the students, it won’t matter if you’re good at your job,” Shook said.

These qualitative skills include a person’s ability to communicate, think fast and work well with others. ?

“These skills are pivotal to your success on the job,” White said, adding that anyone can have a 4.0 grade point average, but if they can’t think on their feet or get along with other employees or customers, they won’t make it very far in a business. ??????????

“I call them star qualities,” White said.

Before going into an interview, White suggests that students step back and assess the qualitative skills they have shown through campus activities, employment or class projects – activities that enhance a person’s ability to work well with others.

“Students need to know what they have to offer as well as verbalize those skills,” White said.

She suggests looking up specific job descriptions on the Internet database Monstertrak.com that might be of interest to see what the employers are looking for in job candidates.

White said that for whatever reason, a lot of people have difficulty expressing their qualitative skills in a job interview. She stresses that students need to be able to overcome their modesty.

“Employers won’t think you’re bragging or overstepping,” White said. “They need to know what you can offer.”

Reach Lindsay Sainlar at [email protected]