Top 10 Skills That Will Get You A Job After You Graduate

by ceojem in How to Find a Job 10/07/2017 0 comments

There are ‘key skills graduate employers look’ for in graduate candidates.  You need to give examples of these essential competencies in your job applications and during interviews to impress employers to get hired.

Most graduate employers put a lot of emphasis on finding candidates that have the right skills and competencies for their organisations depending on your career sector and profession. There could be very specific skills, knowledge and abilities required to do the job you are applying for. Here are the main employability skills that will make you effective at work and whatever job you do. These are also known as transferable skills because you develop them over time and take them with you as your career progresses.


Top ten skills that employers want

 Based on a number of surveys on the skills required for a job by graduates undertaken by Microsoft, Target Jobs, the BBC, Prospects, NACE and AGR and other organisations, here is our summary of the skills which were most often deemed important.

VERBAL COMMUNICATION 1 Able to express your ideas clearly and confidently in speech
TEAMWORK 2 Work confidently within a group
COMMERCIAL AWARENESS 3 Understand the commercial realities affecting the organisation.
ANALYSING & INVESTIGATING 4 Gather information systematically to establish facts & principles. Problem solving.
INITIATIVE/SELF MOTIVATION 5 Able to act on initiative, identify opportunities & proactive in putting forward ideas & solutions
DRIVE 6 Determination to get things done. Make things happen & constantly looking for better ways of doing things.
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION 7 Able to express yourself clearly in writing
PLANNING & ORGANISING 8 Able to plan activities & carry them through effectively
FLEXIBILITY 9 Adapt successfully to changing situations & environments
TIME MANAGEMENT 10 Manage time effectively, prioritising tasks and able to work to deadlines.

Other skills that were also seen as important

GLOBAL SKILLS Able to speak and understand other languages. Appreciation of other cultures. See
NEGOTIATING & PERSUADING Able to influence and convince others, to discuss and reach agreement.
Able to motivate and direct others
NUMERACY Multiply & divide accurately, calculate percentages, use statistics & a calculator, interpret graphs & tables.
COMPUTING SKILLS Word-processing, using databases, spreadsheets, the Internet & email, etc.
SELF AWARENESS Awareness of achievements, abilities, values & weaknesses & what you want out of life.
PERSONAL IMPACT/CONFIDENCE Presents a strong, professional, positive image to others which inspires confidence & commands respect.
LIFELONG LEARNING Continues to learn throughout life. Develops the competencies needed for current & future roles
STRESS TOLERANCE Maintains effective performance under pressure
INTEGRITY Adheres to standards & procedures, maintains confidentiality and questions inappropriate behaviour.
INDEPENDENCE Accepts responsibility for views & actions and able to work under their own direction & initiative.
DEVELOPING PROFESSIONALISM Pays care & attention to quality in all their work. Supports & empowers others.
ACTION PLANNING Able to decide what steps are needed to achieve particular goals and then implement these.
DECISION-MAKING Determines the best course of action. Evaluates options based on logic & fact & presents solutions
INTERPERSONAL SENSITIVITY Recognises & respects different perspectives. Open to the ideas & views of others
CREATIVITY Generates & applying new ideas & solutions

The most important skills to develop in employees to drive company growth over the next five years were (according to the Flux Report by Right Management):

  • Leadership skills 62%
  • Management skills 62%
  • Interpersonal skills 53%
  • Innovation and creativity 45%
  • Resilience 43%
  • Technical/specialist skills 40%
  • IT skills 40%
  • Sales/marketing skills 32%
  • Client management skills 24%
  • Other/none of the above 4%

Employer buzzwords and words of action

Here are certain words which are key to catching an employer’s interest. Use them in your CV and at interviews and see how impressed they are with your business-speak however, don’t go overboard or you’ll sound daft.

  • dynamic
  • team player
  • initiative
  • proactive
  • self-motivated

Also, you can talk in terms of actions that you achieve through your skills by using good, strong verbs in your applications and interviews:

  • managed
  • led
  • delivered
  • achieved
  • completed
  • coordinated
  • improved
  • reduced
  • delegated
  • negotiated
  • identified
  • planned
  • promoted
  • supported
  • trained
  • resolved
  • reported
  • organised
  • presented

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