11 qualities the Best Places to Work want to see from your grads

Do your students eye those lists of best places to work and wonder how they can land a job at Amazon or Apple?

Recruiters from those top companies recently shared their advice for candidates with Fortune magazine. According to the article, the organizations on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list are currently hiring for more than 160,000 positions. Here's how your students and grads can improve their chances of landing one of those jobs.

1: A customized application. Candidates should only apply to positions they're genuinely interested in and should tailor their application materials to each opportunity.

2: Attention to detail. Eliminate typos and grammar errors from application materials.

3: Support for the organization's values. Employers love candidates who understand their mission and can articulate how they'll help the organization reach its goals.

4: Referrals. More than 30% of all hires come from employee referrals, according to SilkRoad, and some leaders told Fortune that number is even higher at their organizations. Experts encourage candidates to use tools like LinkedIn to explore their networks and schedule informational interviews.

5: Phone skills. Most organizations do the first-round interview by phone or video, and interviewees told Fortune it's critical to make a good impression at this stage.

6: Authenticity. Candidates should avoid filler words, common catchphrases, and corporate jargon. Instead, leaders say they want candidates who are honest, genuine, and clear about what they value.

7: Teamwork. Employers want to see evidence of collaboration, and some recruiters say they look for candidates who use the word "we" instead of the word "I" when describing accomplishments.

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8: Optimism. Candidates who trash talk their previous jobs can make recruiters worry they'll bring that negative attitude into their new role. Instead, recruiters say they want forward-looking candidates who focus on the positive qualities they want from their next position.

9: Sincere interest in the position. Several recruiters told Fortune they don't like it when candidates say they want to "get [their] foot in the door," because it indicates they'll be restless in the role. Instead, they prefer people who express genuine enthusiasm about the specific role they've applied to.

10: Curiosity. Recruiters pay attention to the questions candidates ask at the end of the interview. Thoughtful questions demonstrate enthusiasm and preparation.

11: Gratitude. Candidates should send handwritten or emailed thank-you notes to their interviewers to show that they appreciate the time the interviewers spent with them (Maurer, SHRM, 6/23/17; Donnelly, Fortune, 2/21).

90% of students say they have great interview skills. Their employers beg to differ.

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