Each year, a new batch of college graduates will enter the workforce, with varying degrees of success in finding work. Some graduates with an excellent academic record (e.g., GPA) will find a job quickly and prosper, while others will struggle. Even if they have a terrible academic record, some graduates will succeed in the profession. What is the source of the discrepancy? Why aren't academic and professional success the same? What are the actual needs of employers?
Scholars write about job performance and the factors that influence it. Many recruiting managers and executives discuss the qualities they seek in a candidate. Many desired attributes are universal, even if they range from sector to sector and job to job. These attributes are not always the same as those required for academic success. Because GPA isn't a proxy for intellect, as many people believe, it isn't a strong predictor of job performance (see the blog on why GPA doesn't predict job performance).
Even if a student entering the workforce is intelligent, it is frequently insufficient. Employers need employees who are well-rounded, cooperative, and dependable. The top five attributes that lead to good job performance and professional success are outlined in this white paper which you can download.
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