CareerBuilder launched a study recently that caught my eye and could be consider “blog” worthy.  The idea of the study was highlight the highly competitive job market that the Class of 2009 faces.  Now you don’t need to have a Harvard Economics degree to find truth in that statement, but what is helpful are the areas of awareness for recent grads to consider when job hunting according to the survey.

1. Presenting Experience:

For recent graduates, one of the most challenging components of a job hunt is proving they have the relevant experience employers want in candidates.  Your resume should not only highlight tactical and tangible accomplishments like group projects, relevant course work or internships but also “soft” skill set.

Here are the top ten qualities and skills employers are looking for in new hires:

  • Communication Skills
  • Honesty/Integrity
  • Ability to Work in a Team
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Motivation/Initiative
  • Computer Skills
  • Detail Oriented

The majority of Gonzaga grads have a wealth of experience with many of these qualities and skills, the problem is how do you sell it.  If you have leadership experience in a club or organization that highlights one or more of these qualities, expand it on your resume.  This is not an economy to be humble about accomplishments.

2. Interview setbacks

The survey mentioned that 63%  of employers believed that the biggest interview mistake  recent graduates make is acting bored or cocky. How can you prevent that?

  • Once trick is to take notes during the interview (but no doodling!) and refer to them later when you have the chance to respond.
  • Listen for key words such as:  goals, accomplishments, objectives, visions, outline, overall, etc.  These words are indicators that the interviewer is mentioning a pivotal piece of information.  Perk up!

Other interview pitfalls included:

  • Lack of preparation.  (Yes, this keeps coming up over and over again.  Research really is that important.)
  • Professional dress and etiquette: Iron the shirt and pants, comb your hair and turn off your cell phone.   (All the way to silent please!)  Also 12% cited that forgetting to mail a thank you card can damage a successful interview.

All of this information shouldn’t be a suprise, but I guess when it comes to advice sometimes ithas more weight from a HR recruiter.  Keep it in mind job hunters!