So you’ve got a college degree. It seemed like a fantastic achievement at the time, but now you’re starting to wonder. So many of the job listings make work experience sound more important than education. You may be beginning to doubt the value of your diploma and the wisdom of investing so much time and money on your education.
Don’t. Only 31 percent of Americans over age 25 have a four-year college degree; you’re in an elite category. Your education is worth a lot, both to you and to prospective employers. But like any other asset, if you want it to be properly valued, you’ve got to know how to sell it.
College graduates—especially recent grads—are a great value for employers. Market yourself and your skills properly, and you will soon begin to realize a return on your investment. Here are just some of the assets you should be highlighting in your interviews.
Learning skills. This may seem like it goes without saying, but it doesn’t. Through your educational attainment, you’ve demonstrated and been rewarded for your ability to learn. Continuous learners are immensely valuable to employers because the skills needed in today’s workplace are changing at a record pace. Find a way to show your interviewer that you are continuing to learn and grow day by day since you finished school.
Recently acquired analytic skills. You still remember what you learned in statistics—which is more than can be said for those who are several years out of school—or who never went.
Communication skills. Your time in school honed your written and oral communication skills in a way almost nothing else can. Writing ability is increasingly rare—and highly valued by employers.
Social media and online networking ability. Online media and networks are of fast-growing importance to employers. While older workers can acquire the language and skills of social networking, you are a native in this world. Use this to your advantage.
Critical thinking skills. In a 2013 study by Hart Research Associates, 93 percent of employers agreed that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than his or her undergraduate field of study.” So don’t worry if your major doesn’t perfectly match the job; rather, tell the potential employer about the problem-solving skills you acquired in school.
Potential to grow with the company. You’re looking for a career, and will offer loyalty to an employer who values you. If you are just out of school, this is the company’s best (and, let’s just say it, cheapest) opportunity to get you onboard … where, if things work out, you could stay and contribute for a good long time.
If you are looking for the perfect job, a staffing agency that knows what employers want and how they think is a great place to start. Professional Staffing Group never charges a fee to job seekers. Contact us today to find out how we can help you put your college education to work!