It is very important for me to know that generally, what are the key factors for employers in selecting students for a Co-op job?

Do grades matter the most as students normally don't have much related work experience?

Please rank the key factors in accordance with their importance.

  • Sadly, it's usually the size of the tax breaks. Co-op students are more unreliable than new graduates, and new grads can be very unreliable...
    – Nelson
    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:44
  • 2
    I'm assuming you don't mean the British supermarket (And others) chain the Co-Operative.... For those of us not in the know, what is a Co-op job? I have a feeling this is not something that will have a concrete answer and will change from location to location. You may also find a better answer on the Academic orientated stack exchange.
    – Draken
    Nov 18, 2016 at 13:15
  • 1
    @Draken Co-op jobs are quite similar to internships. Professional jobs for university students as a part of their education. Most co-op programs will require either 2 or 4 semesters spent employed in these kinds of jobs to graduate.
    – Myles
    Nov 18, 2016 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


Matching of the program to the role is going to be first and foremost. Hiring a software engineering student for an accounting co-op placement is a hard no, for an electronic engineering co-op placement is a long shot. Beyond that perceived quality of the school will be a significant factor. MIT students will have an easier time landing a placement than those from Northern South Dakota State University. After that grades, whatever experience you do have, and any personality shows through in your application are all factors.

For factors in your immediate short term control, get good grades and be involved in extracurricular activities related to your field.


Ultimately all jobs come down to fit in the end. What each specific co-op employer is looking for will be specific to that employer. Some will put higher preference on grades, some on personality, some on extra curricular activities.

All you can do is look at the stated requirements which are often non-negotiable. If they want to hire people in their Junior year, they will throw out any applications from Freshman for instance. If you meet the stated requirements (as all the other candidates will as well) then it is the unstated things that determine who they pick. Ultimately everyone picks the candidate they think will do best at their particular place.

Since this is a competition, then you do what you can to maximize the factors you can control like grades or outside interests, practice to improve your personal presentation in an interview situation and keep applying until you get offered a particular job.

Note that others will be competing, too and may be a better fit at that particular place. Just because you meet the stated requirements does not guarantee you will be picked or even interviewed. It means you are not usually eliminated in the first review of the applications.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .