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Why Grades Aren’t Enough: How to Really Get Ahead in the Job Market


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Since 1980, the Number of U.S. Jobs Requiring More Education, Experience, and Training Have More Than Doubled Than Jobs Requiring Less Preparation

68% increase in jobs requiring more preparation

  • Strong social skills are even more critical to finding a career than hard skills
    • 83% increase in jobs needing strong interpersonal, management, or communication skills
    • 77% increase in jobs needing strong analytical skills, like critical thinking or computer skills
  • Yet, Americans are still skeptical that college is the way to prepare for the working world
    • 16% of adults think a bachelor’s degree prepares students “very well”
    • 21% think it prepares students “not too well”
    • 8% believe it prepares students “not well at all”

72% of people believe that individuals bear most of the responsibility for acquiring the skills to succeed in the job market

  • Having a Strong Personality Is Just as Important as the Right Education
    • Did you know that the top 5 things employers look for have almost nothing to do with your degree
      • Leadership—80.1%
      • Being a great team player—78.9%
      • (Written) communication skills—70.2%
      • Problem solving—70.2%
      • (Verbal) communication skills—68.9%
    • But some companies are still known for snatching up the brightest minds from the “best” colleges
      • > 95% of Facebook employees went to a top 200 US college
      • > 80% of Google employees went to a top 200 school
      • > 70% of Morgan Stanley employees went to a top 200
      • > 60% of Microsoft employees went to a top 200 school

So, how do you show employers you have the “It” factor?

  • It’s Never Been More Important to Find the Right Fit
    • Before you get the job
      • Do your Company Culture homework
        • 64% of Millennials would rather work for a company for 40K that they believe in, than for 100K at a job they find boring
        • 70% of employees who lack confidence in senior leaders say they aren’t fully engaged in their work
        • Finding a place you love will pay off in the long run
      • Make a killer resume that can’t be ignored
        • ~250 resumes are submitted for every corporate job opening
        • Only 4-6 will be interviewed
        • Only 1 will be offered the job
      • Interview the interviewer
        • 33% of interviewers know within 90 seconds if they would hire the applicant due to non-verbal cues
        • 47% of interviewers say applicants have little to no knowledge about the company
        • Demonstrate your personality by asking relevant questions know and showing the company is a great fit for you
      • Whistle while you work
        • Be known for something specific
          • Meeting the standards isn’t enough—go above and beyond expectations
          • Having a personal touch or specific skill will get you noticed and move you ahead
        • Make your own side project
          • Excelling at a personal endeavor that helps your company shows you’re an innovator
          • Building a personal “unique selling proposition” will make you indispensable to your workplace
        • Work harder than everyone else
          • Very few people work as hard as they possibly can
          • Working harder than everyone else is the easiest way to get ahead