Graduation date is looming. You’re armed with knowledge from your degree, which theoretically should allow you to successfully transition into your working life and begin your career. However, as much as we want this to be the case, it is rarely that simple. Your shining Bio might be landing you job interviews, but getting beyond this stage hinges on whether you can successfully demonstrate some of the key attributes that employers are looking for in graduates.
While the technical skills you need will, of course, depend on the positions you apply for, here are some of the skills that you can begin to hone in order to impress graduate recruiters and help you land your dream job.
1. Commercial Awareness
Be well-informed about the industry that you’re planning to enter, whether it’s through subscribing to industry-specific blogs or attending events. It’ll be pretty obvious if you start this with only a week to go before your interview, so make it a habit early! If you have a friend interested in a similar area, share information with them – this is a helpful way of not only remembering key facts but also of actually engaging in discussion with someone.
2. Office and Email Etiquette
The way you respond to phone calls or emails can signal to recruiters what your office etiquette is likely to be. Remain professional and try to avoid common email faux pas, like forgetting attachments or missing your subject line. You can breathe a sigh of relief that your application was submitted without errors, but don’t forget to spell check your emails too!
Don’t forget that when going to an interview, your primary goal is to prove that you can do the job. The fact that you made it to the next stage suggests you have the appropriate skills for the role, but showing confidence in yourself and your experiences will, in turn, allow your potential employer to feel confident in choosing to hire you.
4. Proactive and Problem-Solver
One of the ways to impress an interviewer and show how engaged you are with a company is to do some research into potential opportunities for them and make informed suggestions. It is common for interviewers to present you with a challenge the company is facing, so come armed with ideas and solutions.
5. Leadership Skills
Leadership skills can be shown in various ways. Whether it’s being captain of a sports team or leading a charitable project, this will demonstrate your ability to work with others, to take initiative, and to be a decision-maker. If your application involves an assessment centre, show leadership skills through being confident in your own ideas and direction but also by listening to others’ contributions.
6. Sensible Social Media Presence
Although having a sensible social media presence is not a skill per se, in our digital age this is too important a point to leave out. As with most things, the Internet is where recruiters will look if they want to find additional information about you. You don’t need to hide your personality, but inappropriate photos are probably better left to disappear on Snapchat than to live publically on your social media profiles.
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