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Posted May 28, 2016 by

Core advantages of vocational and technical education programs

Engineering photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

There are many purposes served by vocational and technical colleges. These colleges create many opportunities for students to further their professional careers and to earn more money. They also offer many career programs in practical fields that don’t require academic training in traditional four-year programs.

This article will present some core advantages of vocational and technical courses offered by colleges to high school students.

Shortening freshman year

For high school students, the most prominent and motivating factor of enrolling into vocational programs is that they enable students to shorten their freshman year in college. Since the college years are in a traditional four-year degree program, quarters and semesters usually involve credits earned. Students can considerably shorten their freshman year and earn enough college credits during high school. This might add up enough to cut freshman year in half for some.

Winning college credits

It is a fact that high schools do not offer this option. However, there are many vocational and technical colleges that provide entry-level classes to students studying in high schools who have established a good capacity and ability for college education. Usually, this is ascertained through a counselor or mentor who guides students, even though there are some schools that allow high school students to enroll for classes.

Since college level classes are taken by high school students, they are given the chance by vocational and technical programs to start their college education. Usually, students can attend classes at night, after the end of their regular high school duration. The credits won by these programs can be put toward first-year generals at a conventional education center.

Getting used to college years

The environment of a vocational and technical college program is one between high school and college. This approach makes an undeniably perfect learning environment for high school students to become familiar with a different learning experience.

Typically, students want the stress-free and informal learning environment, and they can experience it by enrolling into a vocational program. It is a common fact that high school is usually infamous for being filled with ‘cliques,’ but the college life is more relaxed, as it involves more social aspect and social interaction.

Creating a perfect college application

The college application process for admission is another one of the motivating factors for taking a vocational and technical program during high school. Students want admissions to highly desirable and top-ranking universities, but getting in a college or university is fierce competition. Thus, students will have to do everything to make their college applications the best.

Specialty career programs

The subject matter in specialty courses is one more reason to consider vocational programs during high school. If we talk about the United Kingdom, there are many high schools dropping numerous elective programs and the budget cuts are the main reason behind it. There are many cases in which the first subjects and programs to be dropped are physical activities like shop, band, and physical education.

For students with interests in any of these programs, their only option available is taking them at a vocational college. They can find an extensive array of these vocational programs at most vocational and technical colleges. Plus, the bonus is students will get in-depth and hands on vocational classes they can’t find in high school.

Considering educational opportunities for your future? Visit the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

John Kelly is a professional and proactive article writer, as well as an education counselor. He also provides UK writing help to customers for enhancing their skills and knowledge. He also writes articles for the benefit of students.

Posted May 27, 2016 by

Onboarding should focus on new hire experience

Job, new, time photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

When creating onboarding programs, employers should consider the interests of their new hires. This means focusing on what makes new hires comfortable and engaged with the onboarding process. Companies can take steps to create a smooth transition into the workplace for new employees. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany, shares ways employers can build effective onboarding programs for new hires.

“A strong onboarding program is created with the new hire experience in mind. Many employers fail to make the first few days for employees exciting or fun. Bring people on and get them excited immediately.

Onboarding starts before new employees ever step foot in the office. So provide them with plenty of information about the company, who they’ll be meeting in the first few days, and what to expect from the entire process of getting oriented with their workspace, team, and tasks. Create an agenda before hiring employees.

Make employees feel comfortable with a clean, new space to work and introduce them to their colleagues. Encourage the staff to build casual relationships with new hires by taking them out to lunch; it establishes trust and respect. Essentially, employers are assigning mentors, employees the hires feel comfortable reaching out to.

Training should cover all of the protocols and procedures, but it needs to be engaging and can even be fun. Make it interactive; create games like scavenger hunts or other competitions to break the ice while also being informative. Technology is great for onboarding because it provides a convenient, easily accessible resource for new hires to find basic information including the dress code, benefits details, and the like, and to see how they fit within the company as a whole.

Be clear about company expectations and invest in training new hires over several weeks. This makes it easier to offer feedback, and go over the first performance evaluation. Consistent feedback and constructive critiques will help them improve on concerns as they arise, resulting in better evaluations and improving the company’s quality of hire.”

Need advice for creating an onboarding program? Get onboard our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Posted May 26, 2016 by

5 common onboarding mistakes employers make

Businesswoman dissatisfied with subordinate's behavior photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

The onboarding process should be a positive and productive experience for new employees. Employers who succeed during this process benefit in the short-term and long-term with satisfied employees who can help achieve company goals. However, if onboarding is done incorrectly, new hires won’t likely be effective for companies. Wesley Higbee, President of Full City Tech Co., shares five common onboarding mistakes made by employers.

1. Treating everybody the same. It’s important to have a process or checklist. Just don’t try to standardize it. Tailor what you do to the candidates you’re hiring. If new hires have accolades in sales, don’t put them through a sales training program.

2. Waiting periods for benefits. There’s nothing to gain by withholding vacation days, health care, etc. Waiting periods connote cheapskate and/or creates mistrust. If you don’t trust new employees enough to give them benefits on day one, why are you hiring them?

3. Not training new employees. Just throwing them to the wolves and of course, firing them when they don’t perform up to your expectations. The same expectations you never made clear.

4. Not including new hires in the process of assessing what they want/need to learn. Force feeding training and then throwing employees to the wolves.

5. Not learning from new hires. Assuming learning is a one-way road. There are plenty of candidates you might hire that have more to teach you, than you have to teach them.”

Looking for help with your onboarding process? Check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Wesley Higbee, President of Full City Tech Co.

Wesley Higbee, President of Full City Tech Co.

Wes Higbee helps organizations make the leap from today to tomorrow. Wes’s career has been a journey. He started out in software development helping organizations tackle business opportunities. In working closely with customers as a consultant, he realized there are many needs beyond the software itself that nobody was taking care of. Those are the needs he addresses today, whether or not technology is involved.

Along the journey, Wes has had a passion for sharing knowledge. He’s been a speaker at countless local groups, community organizations, webinars, and conferences. He speaks professionally to help organizations improve.

Posted May 23, 2016 by

5 tips to manage a stress-free online job search

Women laptop photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Today, most job searches are conducted online. Although some parts of the country will still focus on more personable job searches, the majority of young Americans will be searching for their first entry-level jobs on computers. Online job searches are both convenient and troublesome. Recent graduates no longer have to go to an employment agency’s office or endlessly drop in on various professionals in order to gain employment in a company; rather they can conduct all of their employment research from the comfort of their own homes. On the other hand, potential entry-level employees can be difficult to distinguish from one another because their résumés tend to look similar. On paper, new grads can appear to be one and the same, but in person their different skills, interests, and personalities can shine through. For many employers, the right personality is just as valuable as qualifications on paper. So how can recent grads manage their online job search without becoming entirely overwhelmed?

1) Focus the job search

New grads who have obtained broad degrees such as in business or communications will be able to apply to a diverse range of jobs. However, applying to several different jobs in several different subfields can become stressful very quickly. Job seekers are encouraged to focus their searches on a particular job title (and similar positions) during their online searches. They should start with a subfield they feel passionate about because their excitement for the position (or lack thereof) will shine through and give them a better chance of achieving interviews.

2) Supplement with in-person contacts and connections

Although online job searches are convenient, they are not always successful if conducted without the help of in-person contacts. Former professors and alumni connections are an essential part of a first time job search, and they can provide introductions and tips that can be extremely valuable. An online resume can easily go from the middle of the pile to the top with an introduction or recommendation coming from someone already within the company.

3) Pick a time of day to call it quits

At some point, job seekers have to call it quits, at least for that day. In many cases, recent grads are searching for a job late in the evening after coming home from their part-time college jobs. Job seekers don’t do a great job of proofreading or checking for important details late at night and often send out applications they later wish they could have taken a second look at. The late hours of the evening also come with varying degrees of mental fatigue that result from a full day’s work. Even if job seekers are a few minutes away from finishing an important application, they’re encouraged to proofread the next morning with fresh eyes.

4) Go the extra mile

Because most current applicants don’t reach out in person or on the phone, those who do will get more attention. If there is a number for an HR Manager or department head, applicants should give them a call and introduce themselves or ask any pertinent questions regarding the position. Instead of following up with just an email, follow up with a personable phone call. Applicants who are giving an interview are encouraged to send a handwritten thank-you note that will make them stand out from the crowd.

5) Put a little piece of your personality in each cover letter

Because the hiring manager only learns about applicants from a couple pieces of paper, it’s important their personalities shine through. Most applicants write one cover letter and gear it towards each position. However, an applicant’s skills and passion tend to become apparent when each cover letter is written from scratch. Additionally, it’s important that job seekers write their cover letters at a time of day when they have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. It’s also a great idea to ask another person to proofread a cover letter and make sure that it’s personable, professional, and easy to read.

For more help with your online job search, make you way to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, a guest writer for College Recruiter, is a private tutor with TutorNerds LLC. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine, and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK.

Posted May 21, 2016 by

What kind of degrees can be pursued online?

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Photo by StockUnlimited.com

The availability of online colleges has increased drastically even just over the last 10 years, and with that change, the degree offerings have also become more widespread. Today, students can find almost any degree level or major offered through an online institution. With a little effort and commitment, they can find a career path that works for them and take them where they want to go. So, consider all of the possibilities offered today when it comes to online degrees.

Certification levels

Previously, the certification levels provided through online colleges were limited, but today, students can find degrees at any level to meet their needs. Here’s an overview of certifications and degrees available at most colleges and universities.

•Certification: Many professional fields require ongoing certification to keep a license up-to-date. Fortunately, there are many certification program options, including those in medicine, education, counseling, and even business.

•Associate Degree: Two-year associate degree programs are a good choice for many career options, and online institutions typically offer a wide variety of programs at this level.

•Bachelor’s Degree: These four-year degrees are among the most popular online degree programs. Most online schools offer the widest variety of bachelor’s degree programs.

•Master’s Degree: These options used to be much less common, but students can now find online programs to obtain an MBA, MS, M.Ed., or MA.

•Doctoral Degree: This level of degree is still the rarest to be found on the internet; however, even doctorate degrees are increasingly offered online today. There are a variety of options ranging from business to education and even theology.

Majors

Many students believe they’ll be limited in their major choice if they choose to opt for an online program, but that simply isn’t the case. Online colleges offer a wide range of major options, including those in humanities, fine arts, business, finance, technology, science, health, medicine, education, and even law and criminal justice.

Specialized degrees

Today’s online colleges are even equipped to offer a wide range of specialized degree programs, such as a board certified behavior analyst program that can teach students to see the big picture. These degrees require specific preparation and advanced techniques that make them perfect candidates for an individualized online program. To pursue endorsement through a program like the behavior analyst certification, students are often required to complete specific prerequisites prior to applying for the program to ensure their success.

There are more online degree options available today than ever before. Online colleges offer programs at all different certification levels, as well as degree programs in various subjects. The possibilities are unlimited.

Are you thinking about going back to school? Find college majors with top entry-level jobs and go to our blog. Also, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Rachelle Wilber, guest writer

Rachelle Wilber, guest writer

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700

Posted May 20, 2016 by

Onboarding challenges for hiring managers

Thinking man photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Onboarding is a process that introduces new employees to their new workplace and helps them adjust to company culture. While onboarding is a normal part of the hiring process for some companies, it does not come without its challenges for hiring managers. If these challenges are not met well and properly faced, new hires won’t be in the best position to succeed. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany, discusses some of the challenges hiring managers face during the onboarding process.

“Hiring managers face several challenges during the onboarding process, all of which can be very costly if they aren’t solved. They often fail to effectively define roles of new hires, leaving them in the dark. This missing information is a major stressor in the workplace and should be addressed immediately. Ensuring job descriptions are clear and accurate, and giving new employees that vision is vital to avoiding this issue on day one.

New hires want to know specific expectations. When details are vague, they don’t know what it takes to succeed. Hiring managers need to provide training materials that clearly define what makes strong employees. This also helps employers measure the quality of hire to determine how well the talent acquisition team is recruiting.

Another major challenge is clearly communicating company values. Many employees, both new and tenured, lack a clear understanding of their company’s vision. This goes back to setting expectations and clearly defining what success looks like. New hires should know how they can thrive in their entry-level jobs, and they should also know their roles in achieving large scale organizational goals.

Introducing new talent to a company is not easy. It’s a balancing act of providing enough information without overwhelming new employees. The role of hiring managers involves finding that sweet spot and communicating information in an effective, personable way. They also need to focus on introducing new hires to the team and integrating them into the company culture to ensure a strong fit.”

Want to learn more about onboarding? Visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Posted May 16, 2016 by

Improving your writing and getting career prospects

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Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You may be able to walk the talk, but can you write it?

It’s no big secret that writing skills factor in greatly when it comes to getting and keeping a job, especially in such a competitive market. In a study conducted by Grammarly, out of 100 native English speakers’ LinkedIn profiles, those with fewer grammatical errors had more promotions and held higher positions in their respective companies.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder writing is a crucial communication tool for those in the workforce. In order to be fully able to convey your ideas, you need to articulate them clearly to other people. Writing often serves as the medium we relate ideas with, whether sending and responding to an email or updating our resumes for future employers.

Despite this overwhelming piece of evidence, not everyone pays attention to improving their writing. Do you want to remain stagnant in your job, or do you want to grow and get career prospects? Here are a few tips on how to become a better writer in the workforce:

1. Be a wide reader

You are what you read. There are numerous benefits linked to reading, and among the most notable would be improved writing skills.

In order to be great, you need to take inspiration from those who already are. Train your brain to tune into good writing practices by reading extensively. Others’ writing styles can certainly influence your own if you read them enough. Take time to sit back with a book, a well-written blog entry, or even browse through the news at least once a day. Aside from being able to unwind after or before the stressful day ahead, you’ll also be able to acquire new knowledge.

This tip is especially helpful if you’re in the creative industry, where creative and powerful writing is the main tool of the trade, but it can also be beneficial for simple business writing. Noting some common trends in your favorite writers like style, grammar, and tone go a long way in helping to develop your own voice. You also learn new things in the process, which you can incorporate in the other areas of your life.

2. Read your work backwards

It sounds silly at first, but it’s effective in weeding out any grammatical errors you’ve missed in your last work email. Give it a shot, and it could save you from an embarrassing typo.

Our minds are programmed to autocorrect any minor errors they encounter. Remember those online tests that ask you to spot the “the” in a sentence? You may have been one of the majority who filtered out the extra “the”, in which case this second tip can come in handy to avoid any similar grammatical slip-ups.

Start from the last word of your composition up to the first word you’ve written. Since you’re no longer operating in the context of the content, your focus stays on the form of the text. If you’re already aware of what errors you’re on the lookout for, you’ll be able to spot any repetitive words, misplaced punctuation, and faulty spacing. Note this only works on a structural level, and not if you’re looking for something else like content relevance and fact-checking.

3. Turn spell check on

This doesn’t necessarily improve your skill, but it’s an easy fix if you’re in a hurry to compose an error-free report you’ll be delivering to your bosses the next day. Ruby Hardman, an editor from ResumesPlanet shared: “We can’t always be on top of our writing game, and having technology on our side helps in taking some of the load off our shoulders.”

Turn spell check on so you can automatically spot mistakes without having to painstakingly go through your work word per word. Don’t take this to mean you can let your guard down. In fact, this should give you time to focus on other aspects of your writing. If you’re writing up a resume, take the time to organize the details of it. If you’re writing a speech for a presentation, use it to focus on your tone and fine-tuning your content to the audience you’re presenting to.

Just remember that spell check isn’t perfect, either. There will be some errors it will miss and some idioms it may misinterpret. In that case, always have a dictionary ready to counter-check the results. Sometimes you’ll still have to do the heavy lifting in refining your work, but it will all pay off with a thriving career, and improved communication between yourself and other people.

Get on it write away!

Writing is an often overlooked skill that plays a huge, though subtle, role in leveraging your career. In his article on Harvard Business Review, iFixit’s Kyle Wiens openly declared he wasn’t too keen on hiring people with poor grammar, precisely because they don’t make good employees. According to Wiens, these job seekers lack the critical thinking and orientation to detail that efficient workers and leaders possess.

In order to project the right image to your employer, make sure to be on top of your writing game immediately. Read the right things to absorb some of their influence, proofread your work extensively, and if you’re in a rush, spell check is always a safe option. Just make sure to scan and countercheck for any missed marks.

So what are you waiting for? Become a better writer, and increase your chances of moving up in your industry today.

For more tips to improve your job search and build a career, head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue is an editor and blogger from Pennsylvania. She is a traveler and a collector of some sort – coins, comic books, and stories. You can connect with her via Twitter.

Posted May 14, 2016 by

10 reasons how becoming a personal assistant can benefit your career

 

With the standard paths to fame and fortune well-trodden, it is important to be on the lookout for new ways to make a buck and your mark. One surprising way to do so is to become a personal assistant.

Here are 10 reasons why.

1. Personal assistants learn how the best in the business do what they do

How many of us start off doing something and then six months or a year down the line say to ourselves, “I wish I’d known about that when I started out.” Well, had you been a personal assistant, you would have probably known, as you can look on over the shoulders of the best in the business. You can’t put a value on that.

2. The pay is surprisingly good

That’s not to say the pay is bad; it isn’t. A mid-range PA can make about $60,000 a year. Are you even better? Well, then it can go up to between $80,000-120,000. Now, you won’t be buying any yachts for that money, but you won’t be going hungry either.

3. You get to say, “You know who I work for?”

And besides, you’re going to get quite a few of the perks of being rich without being rich anyway, provided you know how to name drop. Want to have dinner in a Michele star restaurant but don’t have reservations? Come right this way, sir. Want to buy that new Chanel bag? I just happen to have one behind the counter. The benefits can be truly tremendous.

4. Personal assistants go to interesting and exciting places

For example, if your boss travels, often you’ll get to go along. And that can take you to some pretty amazing places (and have you staying at some nice hotels). Don’t like to travel? Select a boss who stays in one place! You get to choose who you’ll work for.

Also read: 5 reasons why recent college grads should consider work and travel jobs

5. You can qualify with any educational background

Now in many different occupations, you can’t get in the door without the right degree. Quite often, job seekers absolutely need a college education. That does not necessarily have to be the case in PAing, however. Just as long as you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you can get far.

Search for entry-level personal assistant jobs now!

6. You can use it to jump start your career into another line of work

You can even use being a personal assistant to pass some of the lower rungs of the career ladder, as you demonstrate what you’re capable of to somebody who can actually make the hiring decisions.

7. Personal assistants rub shoulders with the movers and shakers

Even if your boss doesn’t hire you, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to impress people. After all, you’re going to be meeting other important people and taking their calls. If you know how to impress people, you’ll be able to leverage that into a better position somewhere down the line.

Also read Networking: A Definitive Guide for Students and Grads to Succeed in the Job Search

8. Your days will vary immensely

Also, your days as a personal assistant will rarely be boring. You’ll get a huge amount of different activities thrown on your plate and be left to tackle them as best you can. Of course, you’ll have to adjust your day to fit the schedule of your boss, but if you can live with that, the world is your oyster.

9. You’re a gatekeeper

There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that people have to get past you to speak to your boss. The smart ones will know that and make certain to go out of their way and be nice to you. And the others? Oh I’m sorry, I don’t know how we just got disconnected for the third time in a row! There must be something wrong with the telephone system!

10. You get to learn from other people’s mistakes

Most importantly, a personal assistant gets to see what other people do wrong in high power situations and make certain you don’t do the same. That can be incredibly valuable down the line when you’re trying to do your own thing – or when you sell the book rights, of course.

Now being a PA isn’t for everybody. You’ve got to tolerate negative attitudes from others when they’re having their bad days, and some of us weren’t made to get coffee. For those of us willing to take a humility pill and play second fiddle for a few years, however, it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn and get a glimpse in a different world.

Ready to find a personal assistant job today? Search on College Recruiter!

Looking for more information to boost your job search? Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Luisa Brenton, guest writer

Luisa Brenton, guest writer

Luisa Brenton is a lifestyle blogger. You can find more of her posts at TrustMyPaper. She was born in Italy, graduated from The St. Louis School of Milan, and went to Chicago to pursue higher education at the Chicago’s Public Research University. Luisa is interested in modern literature. She is fond of journalism as well.

Posted May 13, 2016 by

Basing your job search on company growth

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g-stockstudio/Shutterstock.com

College students preparing to enter the workforce must consider jobs based on information that extends beyond the description of available positions, including company growth. By considering the characteristics of prospective employers, job seekers can make decisions that can improve their chances of having long, successful careers.

For many college graduates, getting involved with a growing enterprise represents an opportunity to share the benefits of company growth. Employers that currently experience growth and expect it to continue in the future often promote employees from within to fill vacant positions. The move controls recruiting and hiring costs, and gives employees opportunities for professional growth.

Company growth ranks as one of the most important factors in the job search. Although the stability of mature companies that have stopped growing might seem attractive, they could limit career development for new college graduates. Younger companies might bring a degree of uncertainty and increased responsibilities to the table, but they also bring an opportunity for new employees to quickly grow in their profession.

Expanding product lines

Companies that signal growth through the expanded product lines give prospective employees reasons to believe they can grow with the enterprise. Nike, an established company, once experienced periods of growth as the company extended its brand from shoes to clothing, accessories, and electronics. College graduates who see a company expanding in a similar way can expect to gain valuable experience in business and brand development during an extensive career with the same employer. After gaining work experience with such a firm, employees can market their skills and experience to other companies that want to grow.

Growth through acquisition

Growing companies may choose to buy other firms as a pathway to growth. Professionals working for businesses expanding this way can find themselves at the top of the overarching corporate structure. Such a situation exposes employees to diverse business models and organizational structures, as they assimilate new firms into the company. Good performance in positions of high responsibility gives workers a path to higher pay and promotions.

Blue Coat, a growing player in the cloud security market, provided a good example of growth through acquisition when the firm bought Elastica, a startup provider of software that can detect the inappropriate use of cloud-based applications. The company adds innovative technology to the acquiring firm, as well as the responsibility to create synergy with the combined company. Qualified job candidates might consider working for such a company because the business could continue to fuel its growth by buying other companies.

Market expansion

Companies with existing products that seek to grow by entering new markets need well-educated job candidates to fill positions within the growing organization. Graduates who choose to join a firm with a demonstrated pattern of market expansion can expect to have a long-term pathway to career development, as they learn how to deal with markets regionally, nationally, and globally markets. As their employer grows, workers can expect to assume new responsibilities that increase their value to the firm and possible future employers. Although many companies such as Netflix have entered different countries to pursue growth, smaller companies might grow by expanding into different regions of the same country. For example, Express Employment Professionals began as a small staffing firm in Oklahoma and has since grown by expanding into hundreds of markets around the USA.

A study referenced by Forbes.com showed companies that promote employees from within outperform those that fill positions with external hires. College graduates willing to join a business during its early stages might at first accept a lower wage, but the increased chances of promotion within the firm can compensate for any initial loss.

If you’re looking for more job search tips, visit the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Cameron Johnson, guest writer

Cameron Johnson, guest writer

Cameron Johnson is a BYU Alumni and business consultant. Since graduating from college in 2013, he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international marketing conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.

Posted May 12, 2016 by

10 soft skills employers expect of recent graduates

Background concept wordcloud illustration of soft skills glowing light courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Kheng Guan Toh/Shutterstock.com

Are you ready to find your dream job as soon as you graduate? Then, it’s high time to draw a detailed plan with soft skills required for the workplace. This will help you stand out from other candidates and be a perfect fit for the position of your choice.

To successfully accomplish the task, college graduates can analyze requirements for current vacancy announcements, make use of LinkedIn or Branded.me profiles of people with a great experience, and study analytical articles on the labor market to always stay updated.

It’s not a secret, though, that plenty of online sources post about top soft skills potential employers want in their candidates’ CVs or resumes. So, why not focus on them to make your preparation for obtaining a good entry-level job a bit easier? Here’s what is highly demanded by most of the recruiters:

1 – Lifelong learners

Recent grads can hardly boast of knowing everything about the work they will perform daily. It’s quite natural when something is learned along the way. Sometimes employers prefer young, enthusiastic graduates over highly experienced professionals, since the former tend to learn and absorb new information more eagerly and are ready to develop a learning habit. The latter instead are quite often more stubborn and unlikely to reach a compromise, which can hinder team effectiveness. Additionally, lifelong learners are supposed to know how to obtain and process information to solve the problems they haven’t faced before.

2 – Team players

Teamwork is not only about collective responsibility for every team player’s actions. It’s also about communicating your message to others and achieving that goal with the help of knowledge and each employee’s efforts. Effective team performance depends much on the correct management and delegation of tasks. In contrast to past expectations for team players, modern employers are looking for those who will be proactive and suggest creative solutions. Initiative is strongly encouraged.

3 – Effective time managers and schedulers

Chaos brings no positive effect. To show high productivity and performance, it’s crucial to hone time management and prioritization skills. These two skills rank high on most employers’ lists of soft skills. For that, managers and schedulers need to negotiate deadlines and schedule tasks appropriately. Should tasks be equally urgent, they’d better discuss which one to take first together with their reporters. When using electronic or paper planners, think of short breaks that need to be made between tasks, divide time-consuming tasks into several subtasks, and leave about 10 or 15% of time for coping with emergencies and contingencies. Set reminders well in advance, and review to-do lists daily.

4 – Good listeners and masters of convincing people

Being a good listener doesn’t mean you should keep silent while somebody else is expressing his or her thoughts, so that you can further move on to your statements. The point is to really listen and hear other team players and choose the best solutions working together. Another important thing is to know how to make everyone understand what you mean. In other words, you should learn to use simple and concise statements, speaking with confidence to all people in the company regardless of their seniority.

Problem solver words on business cards courtesy of Shutterstock.com

iQoncept/Shutterstock.com

5 – Problem solvers

At the top of most top list of soft skills is “problem solving skills.” The first step to successful problem solving is to clearly understand what the problem is and what caused it. The next step is to carefully consider interests of others and list all suitable solutions. The final step is to evaluate suggested options by listing their advantages and disadvantages, and then choose the one that has the most pluses. To be an efficient problem solver, you need to get rid of fear. By focusing more on tackling the problem, you will be able to do it with ease.

6 – Company fan

Being a company fan means to be knowledgeable about your employer’s industry. Understanding what key benefits the company gives to its customers or clients, how the process of decision-making is organized, what main competitors the company has, etc. are among the things job seekers should learn before a job interview.

7 – Data analyzer

If you work with people with analytical mindsets, you are a lucky person. This allows you to quickly gather, assess, and analyze new information, selecting only the things you will need at work. This soft skill is highly required for making future plans or prognoses, and creating recommendations for others to follow. This skill is also helpful when you need to analyze your successes or failures, which is very important for your progress.

8 – Tech-savvy person

This means not only knowing how to create, delete, or remove presentations or surf the Internet proficiently. Being tech-savvy means knowing what tools and programs are used by the specialist you want to become. For example, if you want to become a web designer, you will need to master such programs as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Indesign.

9 – Critical thinker

If you have a chance to join a series of workshops on how to become a good critical thinker, jump at the chance! These practical lessons will teach you how to criticize somebody else wisely by finding a strong argument and how to accept criticism of your work. Being a critical thinker is essential for improving your communication skills and professional growth too. Critical thinking ranks high on the list of soft skills regardless of your job title or position.

10 – Curious mind

Being curious means to never be afraid of asking questions. Though, it doesn’t mean you should behave like a chattering box, annoying other employees with your never-ending questions. You should ask questions when you don’t know the answers so your work won’t be done slowly. You must use proper discernment to ask questions of the right person (your manager or mentors) at the right time (one on one and in quiet settings, and preferably not during the last five minutes of meetings).

A few final tips

Taking an active part in extra-curricular activities and voluntary projects can also help job seekers develop a set of useful skills for their future jobs. By establishing friendly relationships with people, you increase your chances of getting what you need. Who knows, maybe some of your peers or instructors will recommend you as a highly promising hire one day.

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Nancy Lin, guest writer

Nancy Lin, guest writer

Nancy Lin is a student of Rockhurst University and enthusiastic freelance writer who enthuses about rock music, writing, and classic English literature. Feel free to contact her at Twitter or Google+.