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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 13, 2016 by

Balancing academics and work as a college student

Photo of Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor, guest writer

Students go off to college, but it’s not the rosy life they see in the movies. There are bills to pay, tuition to afford, books to buy, and honestly, balancing finances at a young age is hard. Studying in college and concentrating on getting good grades is tough enough without throwing in a job into the mix. But the money has to flow in to either support the family or to support getting an education. Whatever the reason, here are a few tips to help college students juggle their working and studying lives.

1. Find a job with flexible hours: Let’s face it; students are in college now. There will be coursework and assignments with tight deadlines, and studying should always be a priority. An education will serve as the building blocks for the future so students shouldn’t push it in the backburner. They should find jobs where they can easily accommodate their studies, too, so neither one suffers. These jobs could be within the college campus, as those kinds of jobs understand the balance between work and study, and they can help college students manage their homework.

2. Manage time wisely: With so much on the line, it is wise to have a good time management schedule. College students should know where they spend their time. Many successful people plan nearly each moment of their day to get the most out of their 24 hours. Many times we end up wasting time and not realizing it when we could be putting it to good use. Use lunch breaks to catch up on math homework, or grab a few hours of work during a long lunch break in college. Those few hours can add up during the week. Students need to keep checking in to see if they’re on track per their schedules to know they’re not overcommitting themselves or falling short of their goals. If students know they function better in the mornings, they should get evening jobs so they can do coursework or assignments when they’re fresh and vice versa.

3. Have family support: This goes without saying; without a support system, college students will find it very hard to adjust both lives alone. Students should inform their managers at work, friends, or family to support them in this decision, and help them both personally and professionally. This kind of support will help students infinitely when they feel the pressure is too much, or they need help with managing homework.

4. Know what they want: College students should choose jobs wisely if they can. Students should think about how what they do now could benefit them in the future. Remember, everything can be added to their portfolios. If working in a store, think of inventory – managing time and stock. All of this could and should be interpreted as work experience, and this could boost entry into the working world by gaining experience, references, professional growth, and of course, the money.

5. Be creative in getting homework done: By having a job, college students are effectively cutting down on their study hours. Students must be smart about juggling their time, and try listening to lectures while working. They should also keep their managers in the loop so they get that support system. This way, students can learn, revise, and perhaps even do homework during work hours, which don’t require much brain activity like sorting mail, etc.

6. Take a mental break: It is important to have some time out from studies. Always having studies/ homework on the mind will stress students out, especially if they know they can’t do it during work hours. Allow a study free zone while at work. Know there is nothing students can do about it, so they should give themselves permission to relax. Many times we block ourselves, and take on more stress over things we cannot control. Those moments students are not thinking about studies could benefit them in the long run. This way, they can approach their assignments with a fresh mind.

Smiling college students holding hands at graduation courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

7. Stay focused on the end goal: The end goal should be graduating. Many times, once students start working, they find it hard to stay focused on education. It becomes easy to forget about studies and think about short term benefits, such as getting paid. This spending power lets many people forget about graduating. College students must find ways to motivate themselves. Keep pictures of graduates at their ceremonies or photos of people who managed to reach the pinnacle of their careers to have an aim and a goal to reach.

8. Research on future courses: Students should find courses relevant to them and their future interests. Don’t choose a random course because friends are taking it, or because somebody else has a strong opinion about it. Students need to discover what they are passionate about and what they see themselves doing in the future. Doing some research on courses will help them achieve their future goals.

9. Be smart financially: Money can flow through college students’ fingers like water if they’re not careful. Keep track on spending and where the money has to be allocated. If there are bills to pay, keep that money aside, or pay off debts before doing anything else. This helps students become more financially independent. This not involves their weekly paycheck, but also their tuition. Most colleges have hefty fees so be sure to enroll in a program where there are future benefits. Don’t get a job and go into debt due to careless spending, as this will cause a downward spiral.

10. Be passionate: Happiness can only come from within. College students should be passionate about the courses they will be taking; passion will get them through tough times. If students truly do something they love, they will excel in it. Be happy at the workplace. Find a job that is mentally stimulating or has a good work team. This makes a huge difference in students’ mental health and happiness, and when they’re young and balancing their work and study lives, this is very important.

The balance for managing studies and work can be a fine line, and one that should be carefully monitored so college students don’t end up suffering by their decision to work. This has become a recent trend, as many young students have bills to pay, and this enables them to gain work experience while also getting homework help and inspiration from their coworkers or family.

Need more tips for college students, check out College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Anthony Taylor is a writer, student and editor on student’s writing website. He loves reading, writing motivational stories and spending the time with his family. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+ for more interesting stories.

Posted February 10, 2016 by

5 tips for hiring interns

Every company or organization that regularly hires numerous interns, with or without a college recruiting program, wants to know the best practices for hiring interns. Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter, offers his top 5 tips for hiring interns in this 5-minute video.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

1. Write compelling job posting ads.

Remember that job postings ads are not job descriptions. Understandably, job descriptions are often lengthy, detailing minutiae involved in daily tasks of the position, including “other duties as assigned.” However, job posting ads for internships should be succinct and convey your corporate identity and define your industry.

“Job posting ads are sales documents,” says Rothberg.

2. Approach internship training with enthusiasm.

“Internships are entry-level positions; by definition, that means [candidates] don’t have experience,” Rothberg reminds employers.

Employers, then, must provide interns with training. Rothberg explains the benefits of hiring interns, in spite of the need to train them.

3. Offer interns meaningful, realistic experiences.

Meaningful work doesn’t necessarily mean “interesting.” Many employers mistakenly believe they must entertain interns for a few months. Instead, employers should provide interns with a realistic view of their companies. This increases the likelihood that employers will retain interns hired full-time upon graduation.

4. Provide feedback.

The more feedback internship managers can provide to interns, the better.

“One of our clients encourages its managers to provide interns with at least one piece of tangible feedback every single day,” notes Rothberg.

Providing quality feedback doesn’t require writing formal reports, and the more interaction you have with your interns, the more feedback you will naturally provide.

5. Consider the internship relationship “temp to perm.”

Rothberg discourages recruiters from viewing interns as cheap hires or temporary labor; if employers and interns view the relationship as temp to perm, both will invest more in the experience.

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 October 18, 2015 by

Salary Data and Occupational Outcomes for International Business Majors

67.5% of recent graduates in this major are employed full-time. These are the top occupations for recent graduates in International Business:
Occupation First Year Avg. Salary Pct of International Business grads in this occ
Human Resources Specialists  $39,500 12.3%
Managers, All Other  $42,400 5.4%
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers  $28,200 3.8%
Accountants and Auditors  $37,900 3.4%
Customer Service Representatives  $23,200 3.2%
Note: Values in the right hand column do not total to 100% as we do not include occupations of less than 1%. Data courtesy of Educate to Career.
Posted October 18, 2015 by

Salary Data and Occupational Outcomes for Finance Majors

75.6% of recent graduates in this major are employed full-time. These are the top occupations for recent graduates in Finance:
Occupation First Year Avg. Salary Pct of Finance grads in this occ
Accountants and Auditors  $44,800 15.5%
Financial Managers  $51,100 6.6%
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents  $65,500 6.3%
Personal Financial Advisors  $42,200 5.3%
Computer Systems Analysts  $52,000 3.4%
Managers, All Other  $47,400 2.8%
Customer Service Representatives  $32,100 2.8%
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products  $46,900 2.4%
Financial Analysts  $77,900 2.3%
Emergency Management Directors  $52,600 1.7%
Insurance Sales Agents  $25,200 1.7%
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants  $29,200 1.5%
Retail Salespersons  $49,000 1.5%
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks  $33,800 1.4%
Credit Analysts  $35,800 1.4%
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers  $40,600 1.3%
First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers  $43,500 1.2%
Insurance Underwriters  $40,300 1.1%
Financial Clerks, All Other  $22,900 1.0%
Financial Specialists, All Other  $51,300 1.0%
Note: Values in the right hand column do not total to 100% as we do not include occupations of less than 1%. Data courtesy of Educate to Career.
Posted October 18, 2015 by

Salary Data and Occupational Outcomes for Economics (Business / Managerial) Majors

67.3% of recent graduates in this major are employed full-time. These are the top occupations for recent graduates in Economics (Business/Managerial):
Occupation First Year Avg. Salary Pct of Economics (Business/Managerial) grads in this occ
Accountants and Auditors  $52,900 10.5%
Computer Systems Analysts  $49,600 4.0%
Managers, All Other  $52,500 3.8%
Customer Service Representatives  $34,300 3.7%
Emergency Management Directors  $52,500 3.6%
Personal Financial Advisors  $54,400 3.4%
Financial Analysts  $111,800 3.1%
Paralegals and Legal Assistants  $27,800 3.0%
Financial Managers  $37,900 2.7%
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents  $70,800 2.6%
Retail Salespersons  $33,900 2.2%
Marketing Managers  $33,900 1.6%
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers  $35,000 1.6%
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other  $39,400 1.6%
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants  $23,300 1.3%
Human Resources Specialists  $49,800 1.3%
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists  $56,500 1.3%
Office Clerks, General  $31,600 1.3%
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products  $38,000 1.1%
Credit Analysts  $44,800 1.1%
Receptionists and Information Clerks  $23,400 1.1%
Economists  $44,200 1.1%
Insurance Sales Agents  $34,000 1.0%
Note: Values in the right hand column do not total to 100% as we do not include occupations of less than 1%. Data courtesy of Educate to Career.
Posted October 12, 2015 by

Salary Data and Occupational Outcomes for Business Administration / Management

70.6% of recent graduates in this major are employed full-time. These are the top occupations for recent graduates in Business Administration / Management:
Occupation First Year Avg. Salary Percentage of Business Administration / Management grads in this occupational field
Accountants and Auditors  $41,900 6.6%
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers  $35,900 5.2%
Retail Salespersons  $31,400 4.3%
Customer Service Representatives  $31,100 3.5%
Managers, All Other  $42,000 2.7%
Human Resources Specialists  $35,300 2.7%
Financial Managers  $31,500 2.6%
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products  $38,400 2.6%
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants  $24,700 2.6%
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other  $45,800 2.0%
Marketing Managers  $44,800 1.9%
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists  $39,800 1.6%
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents  $48,300 1.6%
Tellers  $23,700 1.5%
Office Clerks, General  $25,600 1.5%
Emergency Management Directors  $46,100 1.3%
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks  $31,000 1.3%
Personal Financial Advisors  $46,200 1.2%
First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers  $42,500 1.2%
Cashiers  $24,300 1.2%
Receptionists and Information Clerks  $19,500 1.1%
Food Service Managers  $33,300 1.1%

Note: Values in the right hand column do not total to 100% as we do not include occupations of less than 1%. Data courtesy of Educate to Career.

Posted October 11, 2015 by

Salary Data and Occupational Outcomes for Accounting Majors

69.4% of recent graduates in this major are employed full-time. These are the top occupations for recent graduates in Accounting:
Occupation First Year Avg. Salary Percentage of Accounting grads in this occupational field
Accountants and Auditors  $41,600 54.2%
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks  $33,000 2.9%
Financial Managers  $43,400 1.7%
Managers, All Other  $47,500 1.6%
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers  $32,900 1.6%
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants  $24,000 1.4%
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers  $30,800 1.3%
Emergency Management Directors  $43,700 1.2%
Credit Counselors  $38,000 1.1%
Tellers  $16,500 1.1%
Tax Preparers  $37,000 1.1%

Note: Values in the right hand column do not total to 100% as we do not include occupations of less than 1%. Data courtesy of Educate to Career.
Posted August 10, 2015 by

Leadership Techniques for the Technology-driven Business World

Business, technology, internet and networking concept - businessman pressing button on virtual screens

Business, technology, internet and networking concept – businessman pressing button on virtual screens. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Whether you’re supervising a project team from the comfort of home or working closely with an overseas office, new virtual collaboration tools have rendered the traditional management environment obsolete, allowing teams to coordinate from anywhere in the world. However, as the limitations previously imposed by geography quickly dwindle, a new host of challenges has arisen for today’s business leaders.

Even the iconic image of team members gathered for a meeting around a conference room table has become a thing of the past. Instead, digital meeting services like join.me enable users to work together on a single project from wherever they happen to be, bringing the office to them. Establishing clear priorities and expectations can be difficult, for some organizations, without the benefit of face-to-face, in-person interaction, not to mention brainstorming and other creative tasks. (more…)

Posted August 03, 2015 by

Understand the Career Prospects after Completing an Executive MBA

Catherina Thomas

Catherina Thomas

There is no doubt that the much coveted Masters degree in Business Administration, that is, the MBA is a degree which can completely change your life, granting you access to higher rungs of the ladder, and a whole new administrative expertise to spearhead projects with. There are various different MBA courses available, one of which is the Executive MBA degree.

It is a graduate level degree, with the distinguishing factor being that one needs 3-5 years professional experience to apply for the course, and also that he would not need to quit his day job to accommodate the course into his schedule. It is a highly specialized course, targeted at managers and administrators who wish to enrich their careers. You could learn more about PGDM and other courses too, but an EMBA is one of the best options to give a boost to your career.

Career Prospects after the Executive MBA (more…)