Feature Story

What Are Employers Looking For?

March 9, 2016 – by Billie Paulus ’16

More than 50 employers and organizations participated in Ohio Wesleyan University’s 2016 Internship and Summer Job Fair.

Recruiters Share Secrets and Opportunities at OWU Event

“Believe in yourself, and know that if this job is what you want, then don’t give up.”

That’s one of the key messages shared with Ohio Wesleyan students during the University’s 2016 Internship and Summer Job Fair. More than 50 employers and organizations participated in the recent event, coordinated by OWU’s Office of Career Services.

While the opportunities available at the fair change each year, the qualities sought by employers remain constant.

“It matters how you act when you walk up to the table,” says a manager for TechCorps. “I’m looking for someone who has a presence, a strong handshake, eye-contact, and the confidence to intentionally walk up to me and ask for information.”

Bill Brown of the All R Friends Foundation adds: “We want someone motivated, who cares about the field, and can ask intelligent questions. (Someone) energetic, personable, able to communicate – because our business is people.”

An All Life Integrative Center manager says, “Openness and willingness to learn is so important, and not everyone has that willingness.”

And a representative for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream says availability is high on her list, as well as someone who can remain calm under pressure. But above all, she says: “Friendliness and professionalism is the most important. We don’t want our employees to simply take customers money; we want them to make conversation and go above and beyond for every single person.”

“We value creativity and reliability!” YMCA representatives say. “We’re a cause-driven organization; we’re not just a job. We want employees who embrace what our organization is really about.”

Adecco, a staffing agency out of Columbus, has a particular list of attributes is look for when placing students with potential employers. “A good work history matters – we actually look at that. An outgoing and approachable personality is key. … We want students who are interested in a career, not just a summer job, not just a temporary position, not just a paycheck.”

Representatives from Randstand Corporate Services pay attention to a potential employee’s experience with internships and part-time jobs, particularly during the academic year. “Coachability is the biggest thing,” they say. “Someone who is teachable and eager to learn from new experiences.”

OWU graduate Rachel Vinciguerra ’14 now works for Repair the World, a nonprofit organization concerned with issues of food and education justice.

“We want people who are engaged already in what we’re about,” Vinciguerra says. “For Repair the World, that’s service work and structures of injustice. We’re looking for candidates who have potential for growth, and people who are committed to continual growth.”

Ohio Wesleyan’s Office of Career Services is available to help students prepare for interviews by assisting with resume preparation, interview skills, and more. Learn more about the opportunities available at www.owu.edu/careers.