Question: What exactly do companies look for in prospective entry-level employees? Is it where someone gets his or her degree, or do employers look at other important factors?
Answer: The ideal profile of an entry-level employee boils down to three criteria in the employer’s mind. Think in terms of these three questions:
- Do you have the potential to deliver results?
- Are you motivated to do the job?
- Will you be a good fit for the team and the organization?
With entry-level employees, most employers are looking for the best bet on their investment. They tend to look for growth potential and the ability to contribute to the company over the long haul.
Some employers pay particular attention to a candidate’s alma mater because they have had a good experience in the past with selected schools or because they went there themselves and are biased in favor of the familiar. They assume that graduates of certain schools are most likely to deliver affirmative responses to the three questions above. That is why many companies limit their recruiting to certain colleges and universities.
Beyond the name of your college, you can impress employers by researching the priorities of departments of interest to you within the company, by citing specific examples of contributions you have made in work and campus settings, and by asking insightful questions that allow you in an interview to demonstrate mutual values and compatibility in style.
See Top 10 Lessons for Landing Your First Job for more information.Answer These 3 Questions to Land Your First Job by Andrew Ostler