Survey Results Indicate Academic Major is Most Important Criterion for Hiring Consideration

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CollegeGrad.com, the #1 Entry Level Job Site, today released the results of its survey on what employers want most in hiring new college grads. Which is more important to entry level employers Â? the college you graduated from? Your GPA? Or what you majored in? According to the survey results, the answer may surprise you.

CollegeGrad.com, the #1 Entry Level Job Site, today released the results of its survey on what employers want most in hiring new college grads. Which is more important to entry level employers – the college you graduated from? Your GPA? Or what you majored in? According to the survey results, the answer may surprise you.

The criteria that the employers ranked as most important are as follows:

1 – The student’s major (35%)

2 – The student’s interviewing skills (24%)

3 – The student’s internship/experience (21%)

4 – Other miscellaneous qualifications (7%)

5 – The student’s GPA (5%)

6 – The student’s computer skills (3%)

7 – The college the student graduated from (3%)

8 – The student’s personal appearance (2%)

The survey results show that employers ranked a student’s major as the top priority for hiring consideration. Also very important to employers were the student’s interviewing skills and their internships or experience.

"This is great news for students who worry that they didn’t attend the right college or that their GPA is not high enough," said Brian Krueger, President of CollegeGrad.com. "The results of this survey show that these are not what most employers are looking at first."

What does it mean that an employer first looks at a student’s major? "We screen by major," explains Elizabeth Polak, Talent Acquisition Manager for Owens Corning. "[We also] screen by GPA and demonstrated leadership and experience."

But in a mass pool of job-seekers with the same major, how do employers differentiate among candidates? Polak continues, "The key differentiators for us are communication skills and maturity: how effectively does the student speak and write and are they comfortable in front of a variety of audiences?"

"Be congenial," said Ron Guzinski, GEICO's Assistant Vice President of Human Resources. "Have a 'get-it-done' attitude and be a team player - anything less than that will draw down the company's productivity and your career growth."

So while a student’s major, or their specific experience as outlined on their resume may get their foot in the door for hiring consideration, employers often base their hiring decision on total skill sets. "Employers want their new hires to have the attributes that are difficult to train," said Dr. Bob Greenberg, Director of Career Services at the University of Tennessee. "Among these are communication skills, interpersonal skills, solid work ethic and a drive to achieve. These attributes apply to almost any corporate environment."

Steven Jungman, National Recruiter at Mattress Firm agrees. "At Mattress Firm, we hire attitude and energy and we teach skills and procedures; this has helped us to build a fully-functioning family style company where everyone is united toward the same goal - to be number one in the markets where we do business."

These concepts are especially important for job seekers who have made it through the screening process and landed an interview. As Don Kjelleren of the Middlebury College Career Services Office recommends, "while deconstructing the individual elements of 'What Employers Want' don’t overlook that employers are looking for a complete candidate exhibiting a blend of these factors."

During the interview, Maureen Crawford Hentz, Director of Career Services at Wentworth Institute of Technology advises using the survey results as an important tool. "Understanding that employers do indeed look for major first can help a student package him or herself appropriately. A student graduating with an Electronics Engineering degree but applying for a position that requires a Computer Engineering degree will need to emphasize co-op experience in the field, and detail the specific technical skills he or she brings to the table.

Krueger’s advice in preparing for the interview? "Do your homework. And practice, practice, practice! No matter how strong the resume, no matter what your major, no matter where you went to school, no matter what your GPA, you must be able to effectively communicate your background and experience if you wish to succeed where others will fail."

More information on the survey results along with a list of over 500 of the Top Entry Level Employers are posted at http://www.CollegeGrad.com.

About CollegeGrad.com:

CollegeGrad.com is the #1 entry level job site on the Internet and is the leader in the field of entry level job search. Established in 1995, CollegeGrad.com has been conducting the Top Entry Level Employers Survey for the past six years. Brian Krueger is President and Founder of CollegeGrad.com and author of the best-selling book for entry level job search, College Grad Job Hunter.

Additional employer and career center quotes, along with other recent press releases, are available at http://www.CollegeGrad.com/press.

Contact: Heidi Hanisko

Phone: 262-375-6700

Email: [email protected]

Brian Krueger, President and Founder of CollegeGrad.com, is available for further interviews with national media on topics related to Internet job search and entry level college student hiring trends. Contact Heidi Hanisko to obtain contact information.

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This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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Heidi Hanisko