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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 July 30, 2015 by

The Millennial Makeover Part 6: How to Manage Effectively

senior and junior businessman discuss something during their meeting, office background

Senior and junior businessman discuss something during their meeting, office background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

When it comes to today’s workforce, there is no doubt that millennials are creating an atmosphere of change in the workplace.  So, who are millennials?  This group was born between 1980 and the year 2000, and reflect a generation with their own career goals, attitudes, and oh yes, their understanding of how to use technology.  For employers to take their companies to the next level, they will need to find ways to recruit and retain millennials, also known as Generation Y. (more…)

Posted July 10, 2015 by

Skills you need for a Career in Ecommerce Store

Blue e-commerce button on keyboard

Blue e-commerce button on keyboard. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

A successful career in ecommerce stores involves being able to effectively incorporate merchandising and digital marketing. The ecommerce industry has witnessed impressive growth over the years with numerous job opportunities available.

If you possess ecommerce skills, you can consider a fulfilling career in ecommerce. There is a high demand for dedicated and talented individuals in the retail sector. A number of essential ecommerce skills are worth having for anyone who is interested in joining the industry. (more…)

Posted July 03, 2015 by

The Millennial Makeover Part 2: What They Want in the Workplace

Young African American woman thinking, horizontal

Young woman thinking, horizontal. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

When it comes to today’s workforce, there is no doubt that millennials are creating an atmosphere of change in the workplace.  So, who are millennials?  This group was born between 1980 and the year 2000, and reflect a generation with their own career goals, attitudes, and oh yes, their understanding of how to use technology.  For employers to take their companies to the next level, they will need to find ways to recruit and retain millennials, also known as Generation Y. (more…)

Posted March 23, 2015 by

Opportunity for Graduates – What Jobs are in Demand, and Where

Image of happy young graduates throwing hats in the air

Image of happy young graduates throwing hats in the air. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The economy is always changing to meet demand and circumstances. Whether it’s newly developed technology or shifting demographics, more plentiful and diverse opportunities are becoming available for college graduates. Not every part of the US is kind to graduates of any discipline, of course. This article should be able to provide insight on where demand is highest for particular fields of study: (more…)

Posted October 07, 2014 by

Employers, Do You Want to Hire Millennials? How You Can Recruit Them

Some employers may have a desire to recruit Millennials but don’t know how to go about doing it.  In order to attract this tech-savvy generation, it is important for companies to know what they value, while focusing on their specific needs.  Here are some tips to help employers recruit the best candidates for hire. (more…)

Posted September 04, 2014 by

Don’t Take That Job Unless You Can BYOD

Businesswoman sending a text message on mobile phone

Businesswoman sending a text message on mobile phone. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Not that long ago, we selected which jobs we wanted to apply for based on the type of work we would be asked to do, the salary, and where the office was located. These days, it’s becoming increasingly common for applicants to prefer jobs based on the employer’s bring your own device, or BYOD policy. (more…)

Posted April 23, 2014 by

Serving the Student-Customer

Happy female student working on a laptop

Happy female student working on a laptop. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

A funny thing happened on the way to the student services office during the first week of classes. The long winding line of students had disappeared, replaced by small groups and individuals contentedly tapping away on their mobile devices.

Campuses today are serving a tech-savvy, always connected generation of students that is increasingly empowered to learn and communicate in a non-traditional way – on their own time using their own devices.  This culture of anytime, anywhere communication, with its accompanying expectation of a real-time response, is a challenge that higher education institutions across the country, including the The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, have met using an array of strategies. (more…)

Posted February 13, 2014 by

Focus on the Future: The Best Jobs for Millennials

Magnifying glass over classified section of newspaper, searching dream job

Magnifying glass over classified section of newspaper, searching dream job. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The New Year has arrived, and optimism is in the air. The economy continues to struggle somewhat, but things are picking up, and young people countrywide are either in the midst of their first working years or getting prepped to start them. In either case, these millennials are eagerly striving for the elusive “dream job,” the one that will pay the bills without breaking their spirits, and keep them excited to go to work in the morning.

So what is the objective, hands-down best job for a millennial to have? The short answer is that there simply isn’t one—rather, your dream job depends entirely on your personal perspective and priorities, and so may be completely different from someone else’s. With this in mind, consider looking for positions that meet one or more of the following criteria, depending on what you feel is most important. (more…)

Posted October 03, 2013 by

Looking to Find Jobs for Recent College Graduates at Startups, but Have Some Concerns? 6 Common Myths of these Businesses

For young professionals interested in pursuing jobs for recent college graduates at startups, be careful about believing everything you hear when it comes to these businesses.  The following post has six myths to be aware of during your job search.

Thinking of getting your MBA? Learn how to master the b-school application process at this free webinar onOctober 17. Sign up here! Startups have a certain mystique. Whether you love or hate the idea of startup life — the long hours, the foosball tables, the high-pressure hacking — it’s tough to understand startup culture until you’re

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