Plug-and-play: What employers look for in fresh graduates

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2019 06:44 AM | Updated as of Mar 25 2019 09:02 AM

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Vivian, a young woman graduating this year poses for her boyfriend as he takes pictures of her with the cityscape in the background as seen from Antipolo City, March 19, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Job vacancies are growing but so is the number of job seekers. Fresh graduates don't need to get left out if they know what employers are looking for, according to the head of an online recruitment platform.

"The volume of vacancies remains to be growing but not enough to accommodate the entire population. It becomes tougher for jobseekers to actually land a job because there are many more competitors looking for the same jobs," said Jobstreet.com Philippines country manager Philip Gioca.

"You have to prove that you’re the person for that job because there are more people now competing for the same job," Gioca told ABS-CBN News.

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Jobstreet.com Philippines country manager Philip Gioca. ABS-CBN News

Jobstreet currently has about 150,000 job ads, some of which have more than one vacancy per ad, and nearly 9 million candidates on the platform. 

Recruitment portal Jobstreet.com Philippines shared the top skills employers are looking for when hiring fresh college graduates: 

GOOD ATTITUDE AND WORK ETHIC

Individuals with a "good outlook" are more appealing to recruiters because they usually turn out to be more productive in the workplace, Gioca said.

Candidates with a good attitude are usually team players who help drive productivity and efficiency in the workplace, he said. 

GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Employers prefer candidates with good oral and written communication skills. Graduates who can articulate and simplify the message they want to convey are more likely to get hired, Gioca said.

"It's really being able to communicate what you want to do in English," he said. 

ANALYTICAL THINKING

Employers are also likely to hire graduates who are able to "synthesize" and process data since this aids in decision-making, Gioca said. 

AGILITY

Employers prefer graduates who are flexible, agile, energetic and confident, Gioca said. 

"You have to have that energy, hindi yung pagpasok mo pa lang pagod ka na," he said.

(You can't be tired already at the start of the work day.)

EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

In the absence of experience, companies "gauge" experience through extracurricular activities, Gioca said. 

STANDOUT RESUME

A resume has to stand out in a formal but creative way. It serves as the "first touch point" between the recruiter and the candidate, Gioca said. 

Aside from presenting the applicant's personal and educational background, it should communicate where the candidate is good at, he said. 

"You need to prove in the resume and in the interview that you are a self starter or what we call plug-and-play, you don’t need so much training before you can be really good," he said.