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Fresh grads have unrealistic expectations, say bosses

According to a recent survey, fresh graduates have some catching up to do as employers are disappointed about their quality levels. A significant 70 percent of respondents said that the standards of fresh graduates were just average, while 24 percent believed that they were bad and only 6 percent said they were good.

The poor ratings were not generally linked to their academic qualifications, but rather their poor attitudes and communication skills shown during interviews or at work.

The employers were asked why it was hard for fresh graduates to get hired, the top cited reason by 68 percent of respondents was, fresh graduates ask for unrealistic salaries and benefits. A previous survey disclosed that 60 percent of fresh graduates expect a salary of RM3,500 for their first job while 30 percent want to be paid as high as RM6,500 in order to live comfortably.

However, the average salary offered to fresh graduates is only between RM2,100 to RM2,500.

Reflecting on the English proficiency levels in Malaysia that continues to be of concern, 64 percent of the respondents said that a poor command of English was the second reason behind fresh graduate unemployment. Being the main language for business communications, more and more employers are taking into account the importance of hiring candidates who have a good grasp of English.

The third contributing factor to fresh graduate unemployment was being too choosy about the job or company at 60 percent, followed by poor communication skills and demonstrating poor character during the interview.

“Fresh graduates should do some research on sites such as to better understand the expectations, requirements and salary levels offered by employers to prepare themselves for their interviews”, said Chook Yuh Yng, country manager of

“ is the first in Asia to enhance its job ad format to Richer Job Ads, giving fresh graduates the right information they need about the company and job position before they apply. It provides key details such as the salary, job description, job requirements and work location to ease the job hunt process and ensure that those who apply are serious and relevant” she added.

When the respondents were asked what gives fresh graduates an extra advantage, 39 percent of them said they would prefer those who have held leadership positions in their universities, 25 percent said they would choose those with high academic scores, 20 percent would select those involved in extracurricular activities and 16 percent would pick those who have done volunteer work.

- Bernama

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