College students should forego relying only on a strong GPA if they hope to catch the eye of potential employers through their resumé.
A new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) suggests students may instead highlight attributes and skills they developed in their classwork and through their various experiential assignments as well as internship experience gained during college.
NACE’s research has found that employer use of GPA as a screening tool is plummeting, down 35% from just five years ago. Among employers taking part in the current Job Outlook survey, just 38.3% use GPA as a criterion in their college hiring process.
When employers participating in NACE’s Job Outlook 2024 survey were asked what attributes they are looking for on the resumés of the candidates they consider for their job openings, nearly 90% indicated they are seeking evidence of a student’s ability to solve problems and nearly 80% are seeking candidates who have strong teamwork skills.
At least two-thirds of employers report they are looking for a strong work ethic, written and verbal communication skills, analytical/quantitative skills, flexibility/adaptability, and technical skills.
“College students graduating into today’s job market need to develop competencies that will help them in the workplace through the various experiences they have inside and outside of the classroom,” said NACE President and CEO Shawn VanDerziel. “Furthermore, what can make them stand out from other candidates is the ability to connect the skills and qualities they developed to the position and articulate that connection to employers on their resume and during interviews.”
Employers cited in the survey that internship experience is the top deciding factor when deciding between two equally qualified candidates for a job opening.