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Experience, character, skills all play a part in landing a job

Finding a job is on the forefront of every senior’s mind.

Experts say degree qualifications, experience, attitude and volunteer work all play a part in helping a student find that perfect job.

Gary Swisher, coordinator of Career Development, shared some insight about what employers are looking for in college graduates as they pore over resumes and interview potential hires.

“Employers want candidates who can come in and start to contribute immediately,” Swisher said. “Not take weeks or months to get up to speed.”

This is why internships are regarded with such importance at MVNU.

“Internships make you competitive for entry-level positions,” Swisher said.

However, work experience is not the only ingredient in this job-acquiring recipe.

Attitude and character are important qualities employers look at as well.

“Any employer can train you on procedures and methods,” Swisher said. “But character and attitude are very hard to instill if you don’t have them at the outset.”

This is why liberal art students hold such a high value to many employers looking at the softer skills, Swisher explained.

The soft skills are the ones you cannot teach, such as your willingness to learn, meet goals, be a self-starter, work well with others, and adapt to new situations.

These types of skills are prized by employers, Swisher said.

While most jobs, like nursing or teaching, demand a certain degree, there are some where a specific degree does not matter. In sales, for instance, experience and personal characteristics can trump degree.

Even volunteer work is not overlooked by employers.

“Experienced recruiters value volunteer and other extracurricular activities, sometimes as much as, or even more than stronger academic performance,” Swisher said.

Swisher recommends including volunteer work and other related activities near the bottom of a resume.

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