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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 22, 2016 by

Recruiting and training HVACR technicians

An HVAC technician searching for a refrigerant leak on an evaporator coil courtesy of Shutterstock.com

David Spates/Shutterstock.com

Attracting HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) technicians and instructors has been challenging for recruiters and hiring managers. There is an opportunity to get college students and recent graduates interested in HVACR jobs if their recruitment and training efforts are strong.

The next generation of Americans, Generation Z students, are about to enter the workforce, and many Gen Z students are unaware of the opportunities available in the HVACR career field.

The oldest of Gen Z students are to complete high school. Some will enter the military or the workforce, and most will attend a one, two, or four-year college or university. The oldest of Gen Z was about 10 years old at the height of the Great Recession and spent most of their formative years witnessing and, in many cases, suffering from the financial turmoil. As compared to their Gen X parents at the same age, Gen Z’ers are far more likely to favor career paths with low student loan debt, opportunities for advancement within their organizations, work/life balance, and a good, stable, living wage.

Trades such as HVACR provide all of those benefits, but few young adults are aware of that fact. More than anything else, the industry needs better marketing of its career opportunities. It should make a concerted effort to deliver presentations in the nation’s high schools, just as the military and some other professions do.

“One option for HVACR industry leaders is to live stream informational presentations on YouTube to build a massive and therefore search engine friendly repository of these presentations and have the presentations delivered by recent graduates of those schools. Graduates can share their stories including their challenges. Authenticity and peer-to-peer communication matters greatly to young adults. A message that everything is great or a great message delivered by a Baby Boomer will not resonate,” notes College Recruiter’s President and Founder, Steven Rothberg.

Another way to recruit HVACR technicians and instructors is to have the employers work with educators on developing strategies to qualified students. They can also collaborate on encouraging these students to enroll in training programs, which will create a workforce in waiting. In order to train more technicians and instructors, one option is establishing financial support through local and regional employers in the career field to create training programs.

College students and recent grads can be potential candidates for jobs as HVACR technicians and instructors. However, there must be a more proactive approach when it comes to recruiting and training.

At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent graduate deserves a great career, and we are committed to creating a quality candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and graduates to great careers. Let College Recruiter assist you in the recruiting process. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook for more information about the best practices in college recruiting.

Posted December 04, 2014 by

What is The Certificate IV in Training and Assessment?

Businessman conducting business training, people sitting in a row, listening

Businessman conducting business training, people sitting in a row, listening. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Organizations are faced with the unique challenges of filling job openings with qualified, well-trained candidates. In order to prepare the workforce with the requisite skills, trainers must be equipped with the right knowledge and expertise to assess and train students. Certificate IV in Training and Assessment gives educators the tools and skills necessary to evaluate candidates. This course has proven to be very popular among people trying to learn more about training and assessment. (more…)

Posted August 04, 2014 by

College Student, Want to Maximize Your MBA Program to Help Your Search for Jobs? What You Can Do

While an MBA can help a college student in his or her search for jobs, it is important that he or she gets the most out of the chosen program.  Learn how a college student can maximize a MBA program to prepare them for the future in the following post.

MBA programs are all designed with the same goal in mind — to turn out well educated, ready-to-lead MBAs. But not all MBA students are created equal, as evidenced by that mid-career professional looking to launch into the next phase, the young college grad planning to enter the workforce with that all-important master’s in hand,

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