Fri, Apr 27, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Education not always key to getting hired, poll says

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Only 11 percent of the nation's recent graduates believe they enjoy an advantage on the job market because of their skills in a foreign language, but many graduates believed proficiency in a second language to be crucial to their competitiveness in looking for employment, according to the results of a survey released yesterday.

The survey was conducted by the Council of Labor Affairs' Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training between March 5 and March 27. Four-hundred-ninety-two employers and 3,287 job seekers were polled.

EARLY START

The survey found that 85 percent of recent graduates had gotten an early start on their job hunt, beginning the search before finishing their degrees.

Electronics, information technology and service sectors were the most commonly targeted employment fields.

Thirteen percent of employers,however, said they would not choose to hire new graduates because they lacked experience and because few positions were suitable for them.

The survey also found that the major criteria used by employers in selecting between job applications -- in addition to academic background and proficiency -- included an applicant's sales ability, professional skills, computer skills and foreign language proficiency.

EDUCATION

While 58 percent of new graduates surveyed said they felt that a higher education background would facilitate their search for employment, only 46 percent of employers said the educational background of job applicants would affect their decision to hire them.

Most of the employers polled said it was unimportant whether job applicants were graduates of famous universities or not, with 52 percent saying there was no direct connection between their hiring decision and the status of the university from which an applicant had graduated.

Meanwhile, 33 percent of employers said they would not hire job applicants who were self-righteous and arrogant, 27 percent would reject applicants who were unable to express themselves clearly and 20 percent would reject applications from those who lacked manners.

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