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Even Without a Job Offer, Internships May Pay Off in the End

Even Without a Job Offer, Internships May Pay Off in the End . / Credit: College Graduation Image via Shutterstock

Here is a bit of mixed news for college graduates looking for their first job.  The majority of employers (87 percent) are planning to hire more recent graduates this year, but all that time spent at internships will not be much help in getting a job. New research has found that most employers will hire less than 30 percent of interns for a full-time position.     

Even though employers are not jumping at the opportunity to hire interns, many companies are looking for candidates with internship experience. More than 90 percent of respondents said that job seekers should have at least one or two internships and a similar number felt that those internships should last at least three months.   

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"The expectation that having an internship can lead to a job no longer exists," Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of "Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success" (Kaplan, 2009) said. "Employers should hire their interns into full-time positions to save recruiting and training costs. Students should strive to have as many internships as possible before graduation and not rely on a single employer for a job offer.”

Job seekers can improve their chances of getting a job by being prepared in the interview process. Overall, companies viewed communication skills, teamwork skills and a positive attitude as the most desired qualities in an employee. Job seekers can also improve their odds before graduating by taking relevant courses, getting a referral from a previous boss or professor and taking up leadership positions in on-campus organizations. Almost 30 percent of employers said that they would like candidates to have entrepreneurial experience.  

"Of all the things employers look for when hiring entry-level talent, it’s the so-called 'soft skills' that are valued most:  communication, teamwork, flexibility and positive attitude are by far the most sought-after skills," Jennifer Floren, founder and CEO, Experience Inc., said.  "Employers understand that everything else can be taught, so they look for the most promising raw material to work with."

Even as social networks enter the hiring process, job boards continue to be the most popular place recruiters search for candidates. Employee referrals follow job boards for recruiters. Just 16 percent search on social networks, the most popular of which are LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, in that order.

The information in this research was conducted by Millennial Branding, a management consulting firm, using data from Experience Inc., a provider of career services for college students.   

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.

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