“Qualities That Get You Hired" - Employers

You know how you know all about every. single. thing. you want out of life?


Okay, some things? A few … maybe?

Turns out, employers aren’t half as lost. When it comes to internship-worthy candidates, most hiring managers are pretty clear about what they are looking for in an intern.

Good thing a whole lot of them (3,370 employers, to be precise) shared their wish-list in the 2017-18 Recruiting Trends report published by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI) at Michigan State University.

Asked to rank candidate attributes from most to least important, the employers surveyed in the CERI report came up with a handy guide - which we translated as follows:

  1. Enthusiasm

    Your application should show how much you care about that organization and/ or that role. Using examples from school/ sports/ volunteering, demonstrate how you are always up for a new project, to try your hand at something new.

  2. Fit

    Bankers don’t wear ripped jeans to work. Creative agencies are likelier to forgive your flaming blue hair. Before walking into that interview, do your research and know what you’re dealing with. Make it super-easy for them to see you’ll fit right into their space. Making waves is for dolphins - you’re just here to land an internship.

  3. Hardworking

    “Effort and persistence.” That’s what the report says, and that’s what you need to showcase. Look to school, summer jobs, projects and assignments to provide evidence of your love for getting things done.

  4. High-quality work

    Won awards? Been recognized as the best at something? Put it out there to attest to your ability to set and hold yourself to a high standard of achievement.

  5. Professionalism

    This ties back in with Point #2 about ‘fit’ (hey, pay attention!). The way you conduct yourself speaks volumes about your attitude and character. And employers are listening.

  6. Flexibility

    This may be ranked lower down the list but honestly, being rigid about what you’ll do, how you’ll do it…that just goes against the very grain of what it means to work as part of a team. You need to be the person colleagues can call upon to fill in where needed, to think through challenges and devise new solutions. Make sure your attitude conveys you are that person!

  7. Maturity

    Let your own experiences and observation of the world inform your judgment. That’s all we’ll say about that.

  8. Independence

    You don’t need a teacher - or a manager - looking over your shoulder as you work. If you have the ability to identify opportunities and the motivation to mine those opportunities, you’re gold.

  9. High quantity of work

    Stay focused, don’t dawdle. Okay? Okay.

  10. Relevant work experience

    If you have some, you’re wasting your time reading this (sorry!). Go ahead, start applying!

Source credit:

“Recruiting Trends 2017-18 47th Edition.” Collegiate Employment Research Institute, Michigan State University, www.ceri.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Recruiting-Trends-2017-Brief-5-Internships-Co-ops.pdf