Staffing Kansas City

New Graduates Need More than a Strong GPA to Find Employment

  • Post author:

Congratulations! Graduation is just around the corner. While it can be easy to think about checking out and sliding through that last semester, don’t do it just yet. The work you do now can go a long way in helping you prepare not only for your first job but for the transition from school life to full-time employment.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) recently offered some advice on what employers are looking for on the resumes of new graduates. Gone are the days when you could just rely on a strong GPA to catch the eye of a potential employer. Research conducted by NACE found fewer employers are using GPA as a screening tool. Only 38.3% of employers taking part in the current Job Outlook survey used GPA as the criterion for hiring college graduates. While GPA is an important indicator of the mastery of information in a class, it says little about one’s skills in general.

Looking Beyond

NACE’s Job Outlook 2024 survey found nearly 90% of those surveyed indicated they look for evidence of a student’s ability to solve problems. 80% look for candidates with strong teamwork skills. Other non-tangibles in high demand by two-thirds of those surveyed include a strong work ethic, good written and verbal communication skills, analytical/quantitative skills, technical skills, and flexibility/adaptability. In short, employers want to know if you can be creative, think for yourself and solve problems – basically thinking outside the rules of a class or a textbook example.

So, what should you highlight? NACE recommends showcasing internship experience received during one’s college career. Employers said internship experience is often a top factor when deciding between two equally qualified candidates for a job.

“College students graduating into today’s job market need to develop competencies that will help them in the workplace through the various experiences they have inside and outside the classroom,” said Shawn VanDerziel, NACE president and CEO. “Furthermore, what can make them stand out from other candidates is the ability to connect the skills and qualities they developed to the position and articulate that connection to employers on their resume and during interviews.”

Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency welcomes new graduates with open arms and relishes in helping them find that first employment opportunity after graduation.