Aaron Basko
Assistant Vice President for Enrollment and Career Services
From a
survey of 318
At least 25
93 percent of employers said that a demonstrated capacity
to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex
problems is more important than any other attributes the
student can offer.
95 percent of employers say they prioritize hiring college
graduates with skills that will help them contribute to
innovation in the workplace.
80 percent of
employers agree
that regardless of
their major, every
college student
should acquire
broad knowledge in
the liberal arts and
Strongly endorse such educational practices as
collaborative problem-solving, internships, senior projects,
and community engagement.
More than four in five employers say that in evaluating
applicants they find it helpful if job candidates have a
digital portfolio, along with the usual resume and college
Two in three employers believe most college graduates have
the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in entry-level
What this survey of employers and others have suggested is
that the major isn't nearly as important as what college
students do in and out of the classroom.
Employers sometimes say they can’t find qualified
candidates but:
o 10% Of Candidates offered won’t accept the job at the wage level
o 15% Cite lack of candidate knowledge, but only 21% of employers
said they provided employer-based training
Companies want “experienced candidates who can
contribute immediately with no training or start-up time.”
Read more:
1. They need to have realistic goals and expectations.
2. They need to be true team players and have a can-do positive
3. Not be afraid of a four letter word - W.O.R.K.- hard work will get
you rewarded and promoted! Seek internships if there are
opportunities in their field.
4. They should seek Mentors and enjoy networking whenever
5. Take on leadership opportunities whenever possible (i.e. clubs,
sports, work, etc.)
1. Be involved; don't fly under the radar thru college. Get involved in clubs,
volunteer, join a fraternity, join student Government. It’s important to have
these experiences to give yourself great stories during the interview process.
For us it is about leadership.
2. They need to know what they truly want. Be confident about themselves and that this is the career they
want. We won't bring someone on if we think they are not committed
3. With Target it is not important that they are perfect, what I mean is a lot of students view mistakes as
taboo. It’s more important that they learn from their mistakes and can show us how they have grown as a
leader. It has been a common miss that I have seen students in an interview give a more low scope answer
because they don't want to talk about mistakes.
4. 100% of our job involves people whether our guests or Team members. We look for people who can
relate well to others and engage and inspire them to be better. So they need to be engage with people.
This sounds easier than it is. I suggest taking class on public speaking or something equivalent even if it is
not part of degree. This is also where involvement with clubs and volunteering can help. The social
interaction is very important.
5. Many students ask me about advancement opportunities which are great. We want our team to be
ambitious but one of my old coaches used to say to me that if we focus solely on winning and not on the
game its self then we might not win. The most successful Team members I have seen are the ones who
focus on their own development anything we do in life is earned not given.
1. We look to ensure students are involved in organizations, sports, volunteering, part
time jobs. Shows they can multi-task!
2. Personality – they need to bring it to the table. In our organization we only have a
service to sell, so if they come to the interview lacking personality (ambition and drive to
do the job) we will continue to look at the next candidate.
3. Showing up to the interview in appropriate attire. Having one or two outfits set aside
just for the interview process.
4. Bringing reference letters from their professors is nice to see.
5. Knowing our company. Who we are and what we do. I see many students who do
their homework and research our company, however for every one student that does this
one student does not. When a student has not researched our company and can’t tell
me what we do, I think of it as them just looking for a job and not a career. They didn’t
take the time.
1. Be able to discuss your leadership, communication and other transferable skills. They
can be more valuable than hiring based on major.
2. Have a realistic expectation of the types of jobs available for recent graduates.
3. PATIENCE. If advancement opportunities are available then you will get there! But
take the time to develop the skills needed to prepare you for that next step.
4. Consider the long-term benefits within a company, like advancement opportunities
and job security, rather than going for the "get-rich-quick" schemes.
5. Don't be afraid to brag! Be proud of your academic, leadership and work
accomplishments and share them with employers.
1. In addition to the skills previously mentioned, Good
Communication Skills – not everything can be communicated
via text message/email. Face to face conversations are the
most valuable
2. Don’t be entitled – Many firms offer a lot of perks/flexibility,
but you have to earn it. Don’t be afraid to WORK
Sales representative
Machine operator/assembler/production worker
Truck driver
Software developer
Marketing professional
IT manager/network administrator
* Fox Business, July 2013
Adopt the right attitudes-be positive-work is
different than college-earn respect
Adjust your expectations-expect to be
Master breaking-in skills-OK to be new
Manage the impressions you make-be
professional-first impressions are so important
Build effective relationships-find ways to “fit in.”
Don’t try to change the culture
Become a good follower-learn the norms-watch
Understand your organization’s culture-pay
attention to the way things are done-figure out
what is expected of you
Develop organizational savvyrites of passage
Understand your new-hire
role-don’t be frustrated
Listen to your supervisor-make
her/him look good
Master the tasks of your job-be
a good listener
Acquire the knowledge, skills,
and abilities you need-learn
from others
More than two-thirds of
students plan to enter the
work force immediately
upon graduation.
When choosing among
potential employers, the
most important factors
students say they consider
are the opportunity for
personal growth, job
security, and a good
benefits package.
Human Services
Nature of the work
Opportunity for personal
Job security
Friendly co-workers
Annual salary
401(k) company
Encourage on-time graduation
Get them on LinkedIn (But don’t create their profile)
Help them get to the Career Center early
Get them to engage with their education and think “value
added” through Advanced Learning Experiences
Start them thinking about networking
Use the Career Services Website
Train analogy
Advanced Learning Experiences
o Research
o Internship
o Study Abroad
o Group Work
o Clinical/Field Experience
o Volunteer Work
o Club Leadership
o Language training
o Honors
Assessments – earlier the better, online Holland Quiz and
MyNext Move
Individual career counseling
Resume critique
Cover letter/graduate school essay review
Mock interviews
On-site employer interviews
Job Fairs
Job alerts
Internship database
Mentor network
Post resumes
Career course
Text message alerts
Sample resume database by major
Salary resources
Grad school tips
Mentor Advice
Join our mentor network
Help us engage with
Encourage your student
to come see us early
Visit our Top 10 Tips for