There comes  a point when you are looking through job postings on websites and you start to filter through hundreds of companies for job vacancies, and start blasting out your resumes to their HR department.

You have struggled through the early stages of life to get your strings of A’s, the professional developments you went through, and volunteering that you have done to differentiate yourself from the competitive pool.

In best-case scenarios, you will receive follow up for interviews or worst, none, even if you have tried your best in improving your CV records.

You have been told to score good grades; go to good universities or college and you will get a high paying job. Well, that notion couldn’t be more irrelevant today.

I’m not asking you to not study hard; not even asking you to drop out of the university. But there are many more criteria an employer is looking for in their potential hires apart from your grades and which school you graduated from.

The economic landscape has changed drastically. From an economy that looked for individuals to fulfill a certain set of jobs on their job description to an economy that is looking for individuals who do not only possess the necessary technical skills or specific skills for the job, but also individuals who are humble, trustworthy, resilient, adaptable, creative and able to work in team and lead.

So what exactly are companies looking for nowadays?

Ability to Solve Problems

The World Economic Forum ranked Problem Solving skill as one of the top skills that are valued in today’s economy. Many companies are looking for creative and innovative individuals who are able to formulate solution(s) to challenge(s) set in front of them, be it project related, relationally and really, at the end of the day- to be able to face any challenges in front of you.


Humility is most treasured by many companies, but humility does not compromise your self- confidence, let alone your performance and achievements. Companies are not looking for somebody who knows everything from head to toe. You are new to the organisation, there are a lot more to learn about the people, organisation’s culture and work dynamic. Your college degree might open the first door for you, but you will have to be keen to learn! Companies are looking for graduates who are teachable and willing to learn along the way.

Able to Work and Lead in Team

Working in a team may sound cliché, but it’s the most common working setting in many organisations, be it in a project or in a certain department. The ability to work in a team is most valued in many organisations as you will have to possess the skills to manage power, politics, conflicts that may occur in a team to achieve the targeted result of the project and/or ensuring the flow of work.

Traditionally, companies look at academic records and necessary experiences, depending on the suitability of the role that you applied for. However, companies today are looking beyond academic performances.

Recently, The Financial Times published an article mentioning that the Big Four firms look for individuals with the potential to succeed in the role even though candidates may or may not possess a bachelor degree. This shows that the economy is looking for unconventional individuals, with the drive and motivation to succeed. Employers look for people with the right attitude to be taught and learn the trade, instead of a snobbish college graduate with strings of A’s around the neck.

Remember- during a job interview, your attitude and character trumps whatever was written on the CV!