The Secret is Out Part 4: What Employers Look for – Teamwork/Collaboration

This is part of a series of blogs: #4 of 8! If you missed the first ones, you can read them here.

Onto the next secret of what employers are looking: Teamwork and Collaboration. I am pretty sure you have been hearing about these since kindergarten. The question is, are you able to work in a team – even when the people don’t all think, look or talk like you – to achieve goals? You’ll want to make sure you practice because 90% of employers in a recent survey done by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) rated it as ‘essential’ or ‘absolutely essential’ when evaluating new college grads for a job.

So what is it? According to NACE, it is how you “Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. [How you] work within a team structure; negotiate and manage conflict.”

Here is a fun example from one of my students:

You’ll be surprised how much you have in common with people if you just talk to them

“In my Understanding Movies class, we had a group project: to analyze one of our favorite movies from our childhood based on the principles we learned in class. I was excited because I sat next to my two close friends and we knew we would be doing it together. Then the Professor explained he had created the groups. When I met my teammates, it looked like we didn’t have anything in common: one was an exchange student and the other was a transfer student from Boston. What movie could we all have watched and liked? After talking to them more, we found out we were all psychology majors and we all lived in Queens. By being open, we found we had more in common than we had thought – and ended up getting an A. (The movie we chose was Lord of the Rings – the Return of the King)”

So…. Can you come up with 1-2 examples of when you have showed teamwork/collaborations? It doesn’t have to be complicated or long. Jot them down so you start getting your personal ‘cheat sheet’ ready for an interview.

Stay tuned for my next blog, What Employers Look for (secret 5 of 8)




By Mariana Ayerbe
Mariana Ayerbe Associate Director of Career and Professional Development, Manhattan Campus Mariana Ayerbe