Well, time flies, it’s November now! You should start thinking about applications for graduate jobs if you are in your final year or at least looking for an idea what you need to do in order to find a job or internship later. To be able to do it, you should have a clear idea what should be on your CV to make sure it appeals to the potential employer. Of course, the skills that you are going to list on your CV will depend on the specific role that you are applying for. But still, there is a set of transferable skills that each employer would like job applicants to possess. These are so-called soft-skills which we are going to discuss in this article.
What are soft-skills?
These are the skills that represent general knowledge and emotional intelligence which are essential for successful work inside the company. They are like employability competencies which will make a person efficient at work and pleasant to work with. These are transferable skills because they can be applied in any work environment and it does not matter in what domain the company is operating. Such skills can be developed over the time once the person is progressing with his or her career. To make sure that your potential employer gets interested in your profile and trusts the skills you have listed, you need to provide real examples where you’ve successfully implemented such skills and in what sort of environment.
Soft-skills include interpersonal and professional competences which are not easily quantified (it is not hard-skills which can be measured in terms of levels or diplomas – for example, the level of a foreign language or computer software knowledge).
What graduate soft-skills are highly in demand?
Every year job market relates to the changes in technology and economy but still, there are skills that will get you hired since they can be applied to every career. Although most graduates tend to focus on hard-skills, most job interviews are about fit questions where you have to demonstrate your soft-skills. According to the research carried out by Business Insider, around 57% of the surveyed employers said that these skills are most important. These are the competences that will help you to become a good teammate, a leader, and an effective worker. Nowadays, such competences as how to work in a multicultural environment, how to survive in an environment with switching priorities, how to manage time in an efficient manner are highly valued by employers. They also help employees to progress at work and create an efficient and friendly atmosphere in the workplace.
For building successful relationships at work and progressing with your tasks, you have to be able not only to share your ideas but also to listen to others’ suggestions and concerns. Therefore, during your interview process, you should listen carefully to the things that your interviewer is telling you to ensure an effective exchange of ideas and information. It is a two-way process and you should prove to the employer you are good at speaking as well as listening and responding to others.
This is one of the fundamental qualities expected of you, dear job seeker. In today’s working environment you need to be able to collaborate and compromise with people coming from all sorts of backgrounds. To become a successful team member, you should control your own ego, encourage other people’s initiatives and be able to interpret other peoples’ actions. At the times of globalization, when organizations work on massive projects spanning several continents, it is no longer possible to do all the work on your own. Therefore, during your interview process, you should give examples of how you’ve successfully collaborated with others and came to good result in order to persuade your employers that you are great as a teammate.
Very often at work you will not be able to stick to a firm plan and therefore you will have to adapt your strategy and your actions along the way. Therefore, a lot of recruiters are looking for people who are actually able to switch priorities and manage ambiguity without losing enthusiasm for achieving good results. During your interview and on your CV it is always a good idea to mention how you’ve came up with a good decision or successfully completed a project in a dynamic environment.
The concept “time is money” has been around for centuries and it became even more pressing in the 21st century. Nowadays, you should value your time as well as the time of your clients, your managers, and your colleagues. Therefore, being efficient at work you are doing and at decisions you are making is a prerequisite for a successful career progression nowadays. You should always mention on your CV that you’ve been able to resolve a particular situation within a limited time frame which can be a proof of the fact that you have maximized your productivity to achieve a good result. Here you can read about ways to raise your work efficiency.
And here is proof that the employers have always valued this skill:
“The quality of your work is obviously important, but so is volume. Managers want to see if you get good work, and a lot of it, done.”
author of “Time Management from the Inside Out”
An ability to tackle a problem and find a positive solution that satisfies both sides is a valuable skill to have. You should formulate sentences on your CV under the section “Work Experience” to demonstrate how you overcame certain difficulties. You should give a concrete example of how you did it. For instance: “you encountered a complex problem A, you used innovative ideas B, and drew the following resources C, which helped to extract the positive result D”.
Being a good team member is not all that is required by the employer. Sometimes you need to step up and manage the team in order to get the best results out of it. You need to have organizational skills, the initiative, and the drive to perform well and not to be easily satisfied with mediocre results. This will demonstrate to the employers that you have long-term career goals, you are responsible and that you are ready to take initiative to achieve the best outcome. On your CV you can write examples of the social / team sports positions that you’ve held in the past as well as decisions and solutions you have implemented in corporate or academic environments.
Managing stress at work, making mistakes and finding a way to correct them is a key quality to survive the job in a dynamic environment with a lot of responsibilities. Employers do not expect you to be a superman or a superwoman, but they do expect you to be responsible and to be able to withstand the stress and problems you might encounter at your workplace. To have tactics for coping with unforeseen failures and mounting pressure will guarantee emotional welfare for you and predictable high-quality results for your employers. Candidates with higher levels of stress management are usually better at problem-solving as well. Therefore, if you plan to work in such stressful professions as law, investment banking or medicine, you should be ready to discuss at the interviews how you’ve managed difficult situations, how you cope with stress and your ability to deal with negative feedback.
This is your ability to inspire yourself and others around you, to come up with strategies and ideas that will drive you to achieve great results. This is one of the most highly valued skills that the employer is looking for in a recent graduate. This is the trait that will make you stand out from the crowd of other graduates looking for the same job as you. Therefore, it is extremely valuable to indicate on your CV and during the interview process why you’ve decided to take a certain job or you‘ve started practicing a specific type of sport and the results that you have achieved. For example, on your CV you can indicate: “captain of a volleyball team at high school (prize – best player of the 9th form)”.
An ability to think independently, to synthesize multiple sources of information will help you to draw personal conclusions and make innovative decisions. Intuition and imagination will help you to find solutions where others could not see them. Therefore, it is important to indicate on your CV that you possess such fresh thinking capabilities: you should concisely describe the novel situation in which you’ve worked and how you’ve successfully come up with an idea or suggested a solution to resolve it. It can be about a new strategy, creative design or innovative idea that have helped the business and its clients.
This quality is applicable both to your private as well as professional life. It starts with your self-belief, when you trust your intuition, you are self-aware and you believe that you can deliver good results. Of course, this should be based on your real results and achievements rather than your ego. When you are good at things you are doing, when you find creative solutions to arising problems, when you lead your team to a successful completion of a task – this should make you confident with your abilities. During the interview process, you should stand out as someone who has awareness of who he/she is, who can take the responsibility and who knows how to deliver great results.