The Thing Employers Look For When Hiring Recent Graduates

… isn’t something that can be done on campus. It’s an internship.

When employers recently named the most important elements in hiring a recent graduate, college reputation, GPA, and courses finished at the bottom of the list. At the top were experiences outside of academics: Internships, jobs, volunteering, and extracurriculars.

“When employers do hire from college, the evidence suggests that academic skills are not their primary concern,” says Peter Cappelli, a Wharton professor and the author of a new paper on job skills. “Work experience is the crucial attribute that employers want even for students who have yet to work full-time.”

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