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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 June 18, 2015 by

Amazing Reasons to Become a Motivational Speaker

Trust me, you can do it! Man with a microphone is delivering a motivational speech

Trust me, you can do it! Man with a microphone is delivering a motivational speech. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Having a career as a motivational speaker can be incredibly rewarding. You can help others through tough situations, teach others, acquire financial stability, and even learn throughout the entire process. You can also inspire others to find passions similar to yourself, and breed a whole new generation of people with a hunger for learning. If you believe that you have a gift that could give others something positive in their life, then you may want to consider how beneficial a career as a motivational speaker could be. (more…)

Posted May 08, 2015 by

3 resumes mistakes recent graduates are still making

Maria Onzain photo

Maria Onzain

Looking for a job after years of experience is completely different than doing it for the first time. When you are starting out, you need to get more creative and have the right attitude to close the deal.

Getting your first job starts from writing a great resume. On top of emphasizing your education, internships or summer activities, there are many other things you can do to write a killer resume.

You can start by avoiding these 3 common mistakes that recent graduates are still making in their resumes: (more…)

Posted April 24, 2015 by

7 dream jobs for students who love socializing

Real estate agent with couple buying new house

Real estate agent with couple buying new house. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you like working with other people and find it easy to teach, empathize and persuade them, you’ll probably love a job that can make use of your people skills. Fortunately, there are lots of professional opportunities for those who simply love socializing – here are 7 dream jobs that will be perfect for you if you’re a people person. (more…)

Posted April 09, 2015 by

Jump Start Your Personal Brand with Graduation Announcements

Catherine Carol Lott photo

Catherine Carol Lott

As an upcoming or recent graduate, if you’re not already working on your personal brand, now is the time to get started. Why? Because your graduation announcement is the perfect time to broadcast your introduction into the workforce while carving out your professional niche. (more…)

Posted April 07, 2015 by

Top 4 Practices for Requesting LinkedIn Recommendations

Thumb up seal illustration design over a white background

Thumb up seal illustration design over a white background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

With LinkedIn currently being the most popular social networking site (second to Facebook), you’d want to make good use of that“300 million active users”. Since LinkedIn is increasingly being used for online recruitment, the “recommendations” feature is one that deserves considerable attention and care dealing with. Just because someone likes your idea of business, doesn’t make them a passable recommender.

According to LinkedIn, “Hiring managers and people searching for new customers and business partners prefer to work with people who come recommended by someone they know and trust.”

Someone “they know and trust” has to be someone you have worked with for a considerable amount of time and who can honestly pass a comment stating a few qualities he remembers about you. (more…)

Posted December 17, 2014 by

Improving Productivity through Employee Recognition

Laura O. Tolentino

Laura O. Tolentino

Success in the business world is measured by turning a profit: Your business is at its best when you demonstrate that income outweighs expenses on your balance sheet. When the fiscal year ends, you take a closer look at those numbers and attempt to figure out where improvements can be made to increase overall efficiency. Whether you streamline the logistics process, eliminate non-performing sectors or re-allocate resources, improving the smooth functioning of your company is the goal.

However, many project managers miss out on a critical opportunity when it comes to increased efficiencies. Instead of looking at personnel and its impact on productivity, they take aim at other company assets and processes. The truth is that employees are among the most valuable components of a business, and they need to be nurtured and developed in order to reach their highest potential. Improving productivity through employee recognition is one effective way to show them their worth, so take the right approach when showcasing individual achievement. (more…)

Posted December 09, 2014 by

Use Targeted Emails and Banners to Reach Grads, Students by School, Major, Diversity, and More

Business hand touch email marketing concept

Business hand touch email marketing concept. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

You’ve probably heard the quote that you know that half of your advertising is working but you don’t know which half.  At College Recruiter, we help ensure that all of your ads work by targeting them to the grads and students who you want to reach the most.

There’s nothing worse than spending money when you don’t need to – and that’s why using targeted banner ads and emails to reach specific types of candidates is a smart move.  Instead of a ‘shotgun approach’ to hit everyone out there, College Recruiter’s targeted banner and emails deliver your ads just to the exact candidates you need to fill your entry-level jobs and internships. (more…)

Posted December 08, 2014 by

Where Do Your Hires Come From?

Congratulations, you're hired! says manager to selected candidate

Congratulations, you’re hired! says manager to selected candidate. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

For the past decade, Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler of CareerXroads have surveyed thousands of employers about where their hires originated. This reliable study (you can get your copy here) consistently points to three top sources:

  1. Referrals;
  2. Employer career sites; and
  3. Job boards.

(more…)