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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.

Need more help with your job search? Head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

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+.

Posted February 12, 2016 by

Interview questions recruiters can ask job candidates

Every company has its own interview process designed to learn more about job candidates. How college students and recent graduates answer questions from an interviewer can make or break their chances of landing entry-level jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers can ask candidates a variety of interview questions during the hiring process. Dennis Theodorou, Executive Search Expert and Vice President of Operations at JMJ Phillip Executive Search, discusses his company’s interview process and offers questions recruiters may ask candidates in general.

Job applicant answering interview questions courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

“December and May are peak hiring times for the majority of employers, and that allows us to hire directly out of several of the top-ranked colleges. In a strong hiring year, well over 100 recent graduates are interviewed, and we’ll hire as many as 10. Some of the top qualities we’re searching for when hiring for any one of our workforce and recruiting companies are listed below.

We consider our first interview a fairly easy process; the first round interview focuses more on general knowledge, passions, goals in life, etc., and that allows the job candidate to be less anxious and communicate freely. The second interview, which some have dubbed “the beat down session,” is where we dive into behavioral economics and reasons why people do the things they do. What we’re seeking from college graduates at this point in the interview process is whether or not they will fit into our culture naturally.

Employers want to know if the job candidate can operate autonomously. As a college graduate, can you honestly work well within a team when needed? Are you motivated? Are you a hustler in your work ethics? Are you naturally curious and willing to learn something new every day? How well do you deal with adversity? Do you have the ability to develop customer service skills in order to deal with client? These are questions employers should ask to really understand who they’re hiring. For some of our positions, we look for signs and ask if they possess the business acumen and creativity to develop and contribute to profitable ideas. We may be hiring a college student, but one who has the skills and qualities of a professional ready to take on the workforce!”

Interested in learning more about interview questions, go to College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Mr. Dennis Theodorou has more than 15 years of operational excellence and executive experience across multiple industries including: executive search, supply chain, manufacturing, retail and hospitality. Mr. Theodorou graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management from the leading supply chain management college in the world: Michigan State University. He has continued his education through graduate-level course work at Harvard University. As a development agent for Subway, he managed and led an entire region of store locations including the management of self-owned stores, franchise development, real estate and area management. As a national expert in hiring, he has hired more than 700 employees over his entire career span and works hand-in-hand with companies to help on board top talent. Currently as Vice President of JMJ Phillip, he manages a portfolio of executive recruiting and employment service brands, spanning multiple locations and across nearly all verticals.

Posted May 15, 2015 by

Competitive Edge: How to Find the Degree to Fit Your Personality

Personality types word cloud on a vintage blackboard

Personality types word cloud on a vintage blackboard. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

As almost every successful person will try to tell you, finding the right career is all about matching what you plan to do to earn money with what you love and are truly passionate about. Obtaining a degree that matches your personality is the first step to a life-long career you don’t end up being bitter about later. Let’s take a look at how you can choose the best degree for your personality by matching some traits to some fields of study. (more…)

Posted December 08, 2014 by

5 Skills You Need To Imbibe As A Marketeer

Trisha Mukerjee

Trisha Mukerjee

After all the hard work and the painful struggle through your graduating years – all you can wish for is a perfect job. Alas, that is not how things work in the corporate world. Your GPA might land you a job, but it is your skill that proves your caliber and whether or not you are competent enough for that job.

The basic concept of marketing – the ability to sell goods and services to a Market. In other words, making one believe in buying something they do not need or want.

So even after getting a great degree like an MBA in Marketing, you might still fall short if you do not have the following skills. (more…)

Posted July 10, 2014 by

Why & How You Must Let Go Of Your Old Self and Become a Go-To-Guy At Workplace

A young businessman wearing shirt with "go" to motivate people

A young businessman wearing shirt with GO to motivate people. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Is it your dream to become an indispensable unit to your Hospital or any organization for that matter? Or, is it just the envy that you experience when you gaze your eyeballs at the one they call- The Go-To Guy…?

In either of the cases, don’t let that animosity get the best of you, because you could be that Go-To Guy too if only you try harder. Wonder, how? Well, it is fairly simple than you could ever imagine….

Ever wondered, what makes a Go-To Guy the most sought after person? Is it his aura exuding a unique charm that magnetizes others towards him? Or is it fairly something else? The answer to that is pretty simple: resourcefulness. Yes, it is his resourcefulness that makes everyone at the workplace, be it his doctor, nurses or other colleagues, instinctively seeks him when a complicated problem arises. (more…)

Posted June 23, 2014 by

10 Attitudes College Graduates Should Have to Increase Their Hopes of Landing Jobs

College graduates looking to land jobs should adopt any of these 10 attitudes found in the following post.

Employers are looking for people with not just technical skills, but those with the attitude your co-workers, customers and vendors respect. So choosing the right attitude makes a huge difference to their business, and your chances of getting hired there. Here are 10 value-adding attitudes, what they look like, how they help you and employers, and some questions to

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Posted June 20, 2014 by

Did You Find an Internship or Summer Job? Your Performance Can Affect a Future Job Search

Congratulations on your search to find an internship or summer job!  Now that you have found a position, you must prove yourself to your boss.  The following post explains that your performance could impact another job search in the future.

We are in the midst of summer. A lot of students are working. Many are in jobs that are not internships in their potential future field. Plain and simple, millions are working to sock away some money. So let’s say you have ‘a job.’ You don’t love it. Maybe you don’t even like it. It

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Posted April 29, 2014 by

About to Graduate and Begin Searching for Entry Level Jobs? Career Advice from Commencement Speeches

Before college graduates begin their searches for entry level jobs, they should consider some career advice from commencement speeches in the following post.

It’s almost May, and the class of 2014 soon will be donning their caps and gowns. Commencement speeches are a final rite of passage for graduating seniors anxiously awaiting the next step in their lives. The wisdom imparted in the speeches isn’t applicable to students, but instead to graduates, as young professionals. And sometimes the advice is so good, we

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Posted April 11, 2014 by

Top 5 Entry Level Jobs with the Best Salaries

College grads looking for entry level jobs with high pay might want to consider the top five positions, according to the following post.

Following, we would like to present you with a list we have compiled of the top 5 highest paid entry level jobs in the US. All of the following positions are suitable for someone who has obtained a Bachelor’s degree in the…

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