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What qualities do recruiters look for in a Fresh Graduate

Updated on September 27, 2015
Sundeep Kataria profile image

Wellness Consultant | Astrologer, Palmist, Tarot Reader | Head Hunter, Human Resource Consultant, Corporate Trainer | Author, Blogger |

What qualities do recruiters look for in a Fresh Graduate
What qualities do recruiters look for in a Fresh Graduate | Source

Who is a Fresher or Fresh Graduate

Before I actually try to invite the attention of my readers (who may be job seekers or their parents), it is important for me to define this term. A Fresher or Fresh Graduate is a person who has recently completed graduation.

Therefore, he or she has no work experience.

The job market scenario

Every year millions of graduates enter the job market. Given a choice, the employers will like to hire a person who has some experience for entry level positions in their organisation. This will help them to cut down on the induction and training cost and the new incumbent will also start the work effectively faster than a fresh graduate.

However, it may not be always possible due to various reasons. Therefore, the employers also hire the fresher either directly or engage the service of executive search firms.

Freshes in the job market scenario for
Freshes in the job market scenario for | Source
Fresh Graduate
Fresh Graduate | Source

The job opportunity for the Fresher or Fresh Graduate

Therefore, the inexperienced graduates should take this as the opportunity to showcase their abilities to the prospective employer and try to get the job.

Many job aspirants, freshers in particular, do not have a complete idea what the hiring managers want or what they are looking for. This is disastrous as it shows the candidate’s unprofessional attitude to the recruiter. Even if they have no work experience, the organisation expects professional approach from a fresher as they are going to be the part of the corporate world.

What qualities do recruiters look for in a Fresher Graduate ?

In the absence of corporate work experience, it is the evidence of skills and talets, which will make you stand out from the crowd. Naturally it would be extremely beneficial for the fresh graduates to know what are the top qualities that they are expected to have and display.

Here is a list of some of the top skills and qualities. Start imbibing them now or improve on what you already have got so you are ready to impress the recruiters.

Important traits that a fresher should possess-

1. Good Communication Skills

An organisation is a group of people and there is always a need to interact effectively with outsiders as well as other employees. This demands good mastery over verbal as well written communication. Not to forget the listening skills too.

If you feel that your communication skills are not up to the mark then start working on it immediately. Do not hesitate to take the help of a professional. If need be sign up for a short course. Your aim should be to have precise, clear, concise and focused communication ability.

2. Keen Learner

A man who is learning is always young and as soon as he stops learning he is like a man with obsolete knowledge. So always be open to new things and never hesitate from learning new skills even if you know that the information would not be of any use to you immediately.

3. Awareness of the professional environment

The organisation would like to hire someone is best informed of the issues of his professional domain and the latest changes. In other words, it is also the test and indicator or your business acumen. Therefore, be prepared and informed about the important as well as the latest updates in your field of specialization.

4. Enthusiasm to work for the company in particular

An often asked question in the interviews is “What do you know about us or about our company?” Another question which the fresh graduates are often asked is “Why do you want to work for us. Naturally, it is important to know properly about the company before appearing for the interview. This way the hiring manager confirms that you are serious about the interview and the job with the company. This assures him that you are no longer a careless collegian.

Therefore, do a thorough research about the company, its history, products, manufacturing facilities, divisions etc. If possible, try to align it with your own career objectives – genuinely, of course.

5. A professional attitude

Usually, interviewers do not expect a fresher to be a professional in his approach and behavior. Therefore, when you display a professional attitude in all your gestures, you can surely win the confidence of an interviewer.

It is not difficult to communicate that you are a professional in your outlook. Just dress well and appropriately for the interview and have a matured body language.

Tips for job seekers: Top traits and skills employers are looking for

6. Creativity

Every year hundreds and thousands of fresh graduates enter the market place for getting a job. With a large number of aspirants, the interview processes have become more complicated. This helps the recruiter in selection of the best suited person and elimination of the rest. In such tough conditions, Creativity is one of the key ingredient recruiters are looking to find in the candidates these days.

Needless to say that those who clearly stand out surely have a perfect amalgamation of creativity and domain knowledge.

7. Earnestness to work and perform

It is the opinion of many HR Managers and Business Heads that hiring a fresher is not without the risk. Most of the graduates are still in the college atmosphere which doesn’t make them very serious or gives them awareness to have long-term career plans and desire to grow in an organization. As a result a big percentage of the graduates drop out within first 3 months of joining the organisation. Also a casual or semi casual approach towards the responsibilities given is also not uncommon.

All this adds to hiring costs. Hence the recruiters give this quality big importance to ensure that the candidate will stick to his job after joining and is keen to perform too.

8. Ability to tack different jobs

Sometimes there is a sudden request received by the HR department that supporting staff is required urgently. Under these circumstances, the Human Resource Department looks for young, energetic person who is versatile so that he or she could be transferred.

Hence at the time of hiring, the recruiters also look for this quality in the candidates.

9. Humility

Even if you are one of the best colleges or universities in your part of the world but you are going to start most probably from the first rung of the ladder.

All others would be above you in the organisational hierarchy. Therefore, to survive and be successful in the organisation, "intellectual humility” is of ultra high importance. Without the humility, you are putting a full stop to learning. The “intellectual arrogance” makes a graduate argue or disagree too often with his / her seniors and colleagues – a situation wchi the HR department definitely wants to avoid in their company.

10. Work Experience

Is it not ironic that the employers at times ask you about your work experience while knowing very well that they are interviewing a fresh graduate for the job?

Don’t be surprised or panic at all. Think about your part time job or your summer projects in the corporate during your last semester in the college / university. In addition you can think of the community service or voluntary job you have done on the campus or in some sports club, community or NGO. Now you can relate the experience earned there and how it can be transferred to the job for which you are applying.

Even if you don’t have much professional experience, it doesn’t mean you don’t have these skills.

11. A Strong Character

Certainly no hiring manager of an organisation is going to recruit an individual who does seem to have a good character, even if he has many other qualities. It is only a matter of degree – but every organisation and every job needs a person who has a good character traits. Some of the most desired and important character traits are:

  • Ethical
  • Self Discipline
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Responsible
  • Humility
  • Perseverance
  • Vision
  • Intelligence
  • Loyalty
  • Flexibility
  • Ambition
  • Teamwork skills
  • Leadership skills

If money is lost, nothing is lost; if health is lost, something is lost; if character is lost, everything is lost.

— Old saying

What Recruiters look for in a Business graduate


An interview is a two way process through which the interviewer tries to gauge the candidate’s capability and potential.

It may be kept in mind that when recruiting graduates, while some employers may place greater emphasis on one set of skills and attributes over the other set. Also it doesn’t mean the skills and qualities mentioned above are the only qualities they’re looking for! There can be many more but presence of these qualities is quite important too.

Therefore, the candidate needs to explore his / her own strengths, latent talents, polish them and make the recruiter notice them in a most professional way.

If you are more keen than you can go a step further. You may do some research on your own about the company by speaking to some college seniors already employed in that organisation to seek theri advice about which qualities and skills the recruitment managers may be seeking.


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    • Sundeep Kataria profile image

      Sundeep Kataria 2 years ago

      Often I find the fresh graduates at the time of interview, confused or not well informed and sometimes a bit of both. What are your views, please do share for the benefit of all.