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Hiring Recent Grads? Look For One Thing on Their Resume

Most hiring managers overlook one factor that's a major predictor of success.

Everyone knows that finding good talent is difficult. So what if you could access an overlooked treasure trove of great talent that will supercharge your team?

It's not that tough--really. Especially if you regulalry hire recent grads. Just seek out, recruit and hire college graduates who played team sports like soccer, lacrosse, or football. I've got nothing against individual sport athletes, but those who played on teams will inject wonderful energy into your firm, driven by solid character traits that will power both their and your firm's success.

Here are commendable traits that former team sport student-athletes bring to the table:

1. Cooperative mindset

Playing on a team forces learning and communication. Working with fellow teammates on problem solving and ironing out differences is intrinsic to the pulse of a team. Camaraderie fostered in the heat of battle during tough games or brutal practices becomes a transferable trait. These are the kinds of attributes you want to foster in your workplace culture. 

2. Competitive hustle

Aggressive pursuit for the ball is similar to the mental exertion required to land an account or hit a challenging sales target.    

3. Clean mind and body 

Hangovers don't work on game day and practice sessions. Years of clean living establish a pattern that sets the team athlete apart from many conventional college grads. 

4. Discipline

Waking up early day after day to make it to grueling practices and forgoing typical college distractions takes unique inner strength. This kind of compass is the kind of trait you want glowing at your company. 

5. Perseverence 

Lose a game and dust yourself off. It happens. You have to get up the next morning and fight to win again. Every account and sales team needs to understand that tomorrow’s a new day, with new opportunities.


Last updated: Jan 17, 2014


Drew Greenblatt is the president of Marlin Steel, a U.S. manufacturer of steel wire baskets and sheet metal fabrications. Marlin Steel Wire has grown sevenfold since 1998 and gone more than 2,050 straight days without a safety accident, and believes passionately in the American manufacturing renaissance.

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