What skills in graduates are we looking for?
Employers are looking for a wide range of skills, but for most employers, there are necessary key characteristics candidates need to land the job. Our clients are eagerly looking for strong graduates, often with 2.1 in their degree or above, with strong A Level results as well. Moreover, although the qualifications needed will vary, a background in STEM is very beneficial, while some require a degree in a certain field. We have compiled a list of skills that our clients most commonly look for in graduates. Every job and career path is different, and through your university and work placements, you would have learnt new skills to transfer in the workplace. So what are the required skills?
Everyone puts it on their CV, but, that doesn't necessarily mean they're effective communicators. We can all communicate in one way or another, but what Employers are looking for is the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. The ability to communicate is intrinsic to every job role, especially with the confidence to talk to people at all levels within a company structure. More often than not, graduates are turned away from opportunities due to poor or ineffective communication skills. Communication can be both written and verbal and involves the ability to articulate your point of view. Regardless whether you're working as an IT support technician, developer or consultant the requirements are the same, an ability to communicate effectively.
Confidence can come in many forms, and doesn't necessarily mean being loud or boisterous. You can have confidence in how you work or your abilities, where you want to go within the company and the way you communicate to people. Confidence is key to success, as it makes you come across as knowledgeable, learned and trustworthy. It wouldn't be realistic to expect everyone to be confident talkers, but if they can talk confidently about themselves, their work or their plans, than that would go a long way in securing the job.
Collaboration is defined as the action of working with someone to produce something. The ability to work autonomously is important, as is the ability to work in a team. Very few jobs will require you to work in solitude and most if not all will want you to work with a team, group or department towards a bigger company goal. You can still work autonomously and with creativity within a team. At university many graduates would of had to work with a team and present their findings to a group or lecturer, so this is similar to that. Leverage the skills you acquired at university and apply them to the role.
Literacy and Numeracy
A recent report out has found some graduates are lacking basic literacy and numeracy skills, which has impacted them from getting graduate qualified roles and leaving them to settle for less. If you know you're not good at literacy or numeracy, try to take a course to bolster your knowledge and confidence in the subject. Building up your knowledge would go a long way in securing a better paying position. Many of our clients will do a competancy test in order to get to first interview stage, so make you you complete practise tests and are fully focused when doing them.
These are the core skills we have found employers are looking for, and graduates can be turned down due to the above, regardless of qualifications. It is in the best interest of job seekers to become confident in what they do, learn to communicate effectively and have the ability to work in a team (even if you prefer to work alone).