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5 Traits Employers Look For In A Fresh Graduate in 2022

by Tarminder Singh | 20 Jan 2022

As a fresh graduate, job hunting is difficult enough, let alone meeting the expectations of employers. This is made more daunting because every year, the number of new graduates entering the job market is increasing. In 2020, over 450,000 graduates entered the job market, compared to 428,000 in 2019. This makes it imperative for fresh graduates to understand the “X” factors or traits employers look for.

Ace your job interview by demonstrating these qualities to your potential future employer!

1. Problem-Solving Skill

Problem-Solving skill is by far the top skill employers would prioritize. It essentially means analyzing a situation or problem and coming up with solutions to address the problem. This trait is universal across any industry or job domain that a fresh graduate wishes to pursue.

This is evident by the fact that most recruitment processes in today’s job market require the candidate to complete a logical and numerical assessment. This is to test the candidate’s problem-solving skills in a given scenario. For fresh graduates with zero or minimal work experience, think about a time or situation in which you showed proactiveness and the fact that you could identify a problem and formulate a solution.

2. Agility

Agility in simple terms means being quick and able to transition more smoothly. In the context of being an employee, it means being able to perform efficiently, embracing a culture of disrupting inefficient processes and more importantly, being accustomed to the idea of experimentation, i.e. trying out new methods. An agile employee is proactive and flexible in the face of changing demands. An agile employee is an asset for any employer as the employee can cope with changes, is open to finding new ways of working, and has a passion for continuous learning.

3. Initiative

The initiative goes hand-in-hand with proactiveness. This skill adds the ability of the employee to be resourceful, independent, and execute the work with a great degree of proactiveness. Initiative is also the hallmark of a budding leader. Employers look highly upon employees who take the initiative as it demonstrates that the employee can be an independent thinker and have the desire to achieve. Initiative will give fresh graduates a head start in the corporate world.

This can even be demonstrated during the interview process by researching the company, the role and asking meaningful questions to the employer.

4. Coachable

A coachable employee is worth its weight in gold. An employee who is coachable is open to feedback and ways to improve their work performance. Employees who demonstrate coachable skills are humble, reflective, great team players and have a beginner’s mindset, i.e. always looking for ways to improve.

Employers look highly upon employees who can be coached. This is because these employees can be groomed to future leaders and can be deployed across the entire company due to their desire to learn more.

5. Focus

The ability to focus is often under-rated but vital in any job. Focus means having the ability to pay attention and concentrate on a particular task or goal. Employees who are focused can shut out any unwanted “noises”, put their phones on silent mode, and not multitask between work and social media.

For fresh graduates, it is critical to hone this skill as an employee who is focused will be more appreciated by management and will be trusted with key projects that could accelerate their careers.


In summary, it is not easy for fresh graduates to find a job in today’s highly competitive job market. However, backed by solid academic credentials and these five traits, it would set them apart from other graduates and will be able to draw the attention of employers.

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