Skills and competencies for graduates
Graduate recruiters look for specific job skills and competencies. These are what they have judged you need to do the job and work in their organisation. They might seem straightforward in job descriptions: communication, teamwork and problem solving are just a few. However this is the most common area of confusion for students and graduates when writing a CV or job application or attending an interview. It's when you might find yourself asking: ‘what does commercial awareness really mean?’ and ‘how can I show my time management skills on a CV?’ This section will help you understand the different competencies graduate employers expect, provide tips on how to develop them, and give examples of how they are assessed and how to demonstrate your abilities.
You need to show employers that you've mastered essential skills – such as numeracy, communicating clearly, organisation and drive – if you want to get a graduate job.
What do employers mean when they seek adaptability and flexibility in their graduate hires? And how do they assess these qualities during interviews and assessment days?
Graduates who demonstrate their analytical thinking during a job interview or assessment centre will stand out from other candidates.
Graduates with good commercial awareness are conscious of how economic and political trends can impact on their chosen industry and the employers they have applied to.
The effective exchange of information is essential in business. Good communication is two-way; graduate job hunters need to show they can listen as well as speak out.
Different graduate professions require creative thinking in different ways: find out how best to demonstrate your creativity throughout the recruitment process.
Customer satisfaction is vital for a business' success, so graduates need to give clients and customers the same care and attention they would give their boss.
Emotional intelligence can help a graduate become the best at what they do, be the best colleague possible and achieve career success.
Graduates with strong enterprise skills can spot an opportunity and use their initiative and a proactive approach to make the most of it.
If a graduate job involves project management, teamwork or working with clients, recruiters are likely to seek influencing skills. But what are influencing skills?
Leaders set vision; managers get things done; the best graduate hires can do both. Find out how to develop your leadership potential.
Can you make the best decision based on the information available? Find out why graduate recruiters value the ability to manage ambiguity.
As a graduate in your first job, you might not have anybody to manage… apart from your boss. Find out how to manage up and how it will help you succeed.
Problem-solving abilities are essential in virtually any graduate role you can think of. Discover how to develop your problem-solving skills and demonstrate them to eagle-eyed recruiters.
Teamwork is one of the fundamental skills employers look for and it's on the graduate recruiters' high priority list. Show you can collaborate, influence and compromise.
Knowing when and where to direct your efforts will help you succeed in your first graduate job.