My husband has been a teaching assistant on several occasions as he works toward his Ph.D. Sometimes he shows me the papers that college seniors hand in. If the papers of these soon-to-be college grads are any indication of the professionalism that can be expected from them, it’s little wonder that many are just forgoing the job hunt and returning their parents’ homes. And I’m not the only one who thinks the current crop of college grads is unprepared for the workplace. I recently heard a piece on NPR addressing that very issue.
Photo by rileyroxx via Flickr
The NPR story looks at a study done by York College researchers in Pennsylvania. It details the qualities that human resource managers and business leaders wanted to see in college grads, and found that most college graduates are lacking in some essential qualities. Even if you aren’t a recent grad, but have suffered a recent job loss, it can help to know what employers are looking for. If you want a job in today’s climate, you have to show that you are prepared. And that means, in some cases, losing the sense of entitlement that many college grads have, according to NPR:
Polk says researchers pointed to one area where recent graduates stand out: “There’s a sense of entitlement that we’ve picked up on, where people think they’re entitled to become, let’s say, president of the company within the next two years; they’re entitled to five weeks of vacation.”
Another issue is that many college grads just don’t know how to behave in a professional manner. Learning how to conduct yourself is vital if you want a good job — and if you want to distinguish yourself from the thousands of college grads with a desire to pay down their student loans hitting the job market.
According to the research done by York College, employers are looking for attention to appearance, ability to communicate respectfully and clearly, willingness to listen carefully and with attention, and the motivation to finish a task. And, while many employers appreciate the fact that many college graduates are tech savvy, they are less than impressed with the constant need for many to bury themselves in it, answering every text (sometimes during work hours and interviews).
Here are some helpful hints for showing your professionalism:
Our society has become much less formal in recent years. However, many employers desire a certain level of professionalism. If you want to get a good job, or even get a raise, it is vital that you conduct yourself in a professional manner, and learn how to interact with others in a way appropriate to the workplace.