Campus Recruiting: What Employers Want to See

Here’s some good news for students about to enter the job market: today’s employers are looking for a fresh perspective.

Sure, there are people out there with relevant experience – but some new data from staffing firm Accountemps suggests that experience doesn’t necessarily triumph over youth.

According to a recent Accountemps poll of chief financial officers, the majority of companies are doing as much, or more, hiring as they were five years ago.

Among those whose companies are more actively hiring new graduates, fresh ideas and innovative spirit (30 percent) and enthusiasm (22 percent) were cited most often as the reasons.

“When your work experience is limited, demonstrating creativity and enthusiasm during the interview is your strongest asset,” said Bill Driscoll, district president for Accountemps.

With that in mind, the company is offering five tips to help employees innovate on the job:

  1. Never stop learning. Keep up with trends by reading industry trades and set Google news alerts for topics that interest you. Take courses that appeal to you, even if they’re outside your field. Being exposed to a wide range of ideas is a natural creativity booster.
  2. Try a different angle. Look at business challenges from a variety of perspectives – how would your customer see it, or someone from a different work group? This can help you identify new ways of doing things.
  3. Take a break. If you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to come up with new solutions, step away from your desk and get some fresh air or focus your attention elsewhere. You will return to the task with renewed energy.
  4. Mix it up. Purposely stray from your routine; even taking a new route to work or trying out a new lunch spot can provide inspiration.
  5. Collaborate. Two heads are better than one. Bounce ideas and talk through challenges with other team members.

The more enthusiasm and creativity you bring to the job, the more you will stand out from the crowd.

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