5 Things Recruiters are looking for in hiring fresh graduates without experience

Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

Hiring fresh grads without experience is nothing new to recruiters. Regularly, fresh graduates will be jumpstarting their professional careers and finally apply what they’ve learned from years in school. It’s an exciting prospect for sure, but the thrill of job-seeking is often hounded by the feeling of trepidation. A lot of job postings emphasize prior experience as an advantage, making it difficult for fresh graduates without experience to take the first steps of their careers.

We’ve all been in the same scenario: freshly-minted college graduates submitting their resumes to prospective employers for the first time. There’s no reason to fret, though. Hiring fresh grads have the advantage because they are ambitious, tech-savvy, and updated with the latest trends. These qualities are valued well. It also doesn’t hurt if you can show professionalism, respect, and other soft skills needed in the workplace.

To help you prepare better for your first job-seeking experience, it pays to know the things recruiters look for among fresh grads:


We often see reports listing down the schools companies prioritize when hiring fresh graduates, but why do they have these preferences in the first place? It all boils down to the quality of the program that schools offer. Perhaps one school has a better program with an intensive curriculum. Some schools might even showcase excellence in a particular program. For most recruiters, fresh graduates who underwent these programs are equipped with more knowledge and better skills.


Perhaps you’ve earned medals as a student-athlete or represented your school in an international summit or competition. Significant achievements, or even extracurricular activities, during your school days, are no small feats. These indicate a promising employee armed with skills that may come useful. There’s really no such thing as fresh graduates without experience. Even a simple fundraising student campaign counts as experience and this tells a lot about a fresh graduate.


Internship programs provide a taste of what it’s like to be a professional in the real world. As a result, you’ve definitely learned a lot of valuable lessons from the experts on your field. Recruiters, however, aren’t likely to look at which company your internship took place. Rather, they would want to know how you did during this period, as it helps them gauge a candidate’s attitude and problem-solving skills.

Interpersonal Skills

If you were able to hone your communication skills at work, you’re in luck: a recent survey revealed a growing preference for interpersonal skills among fresh graduates. In an increasingly competitive market, companies are placing higher importance on fostering teamwork among their employees. Candidates who have a solid grasp on their interpersonal or communication skills would be a perfect fit, as they can better work with other people. This is something you should definitely look out for if you’re hiring fresh graduates without experience.

As what the people in Kandio believes in, there is value in injecting fresh blood into a company. This gives you an opportunity to foster a community inside a company and to gain more perspectives. There is more value in having people who take their colleagues out for a beer or who would throw out jokes in an elevator. There is a difference between being a professional and being a colleague. And there is great value if you can be both.

Actual Skills

Hiring fresh grads or not, you must still prove to employers that you have the capabilities to perform the role. At the end of the day, employers must look for candidates who can perform a particular role, especially if it involves technical stuff. Expect prospective employers to give you a test to see how extensive your knowledge actually is. Aspiring web developers, for instance, should expect to have their knowledge on Java, C++, or HTML put to the test.

As you face a new chapter in your life, never forget to put your best foot forward and don’t be afraid to stand above the crowd.


Aside from looking at a fresh grad’s internship when hiring fresh grads, there’s really no other measure of competency aside from going through their grades. You don’t have to set very high standards and only look at the quantitative figures. Better yet, look at the bigger picture. Maybe your candidate didn’t have a very high grade for a particular subject. However, all of his or her subjects were above average. This can give you the impression that he or she might be a generalist and has the potential to be an expert generalist like Elon Musk is.


To many, it may sound unrelated to your job requirements when hiring fresh grads. But the underlying factor here is that ambition is a measure of greater things beyond doing the job. Fresh grads might not know yet about the things that they want to do in life. And if they realize this sooner, this could indicate a strong sense of determination which could prove to be extremely valuable.

For fresh graduates without experience, happy job hunting! And recruiters, happy hiring fresh grads!

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