Depending upon the industry you wish to join, there are a few job-specific skills that you must possess in order to just land an interview, which may include prior work experience or a relevant qualification. Leaving job-specific skills aside, today’s graduates must be equipped with certain general skills to keep up the pace with the challenges related to contemporary workplace and globalisation. Take a look at this blog to understand some of these key general skills.
General skills every college graduate must be equipped with
Communication: written and oral communication skills are a must for any job. Even though students write and speak a lot in college, employers still face a hard time in finding employees who can properly express themselves orally and ‘on paper’. Depending on the industry you work in, you will have to interact with your superiors and peers and may even have to interact with clients and vendors. In order to perform any of the above activities, you must be able to share information and ideas in a precise manner. In addition, employers also value people with these skills as it helps them understand and acknowledge different perspectives.
Critical thinking: the capability to think through complex situations and problems is a must for graduates who are looking to join the professional world. Employees must possess critical thinking skills as it allows them to look at the bigger picture, instead of just solving the small problem at hand. While studying, students should use every opportunity they get to hone this skill, instead of just trying to get through their studies in order to start their professional career.
Teamwork: due to the ever-expanding global world, employees have to work effectively as a team, even with the people they do not get along with. Companies across most industries work with other companies worldwide, thus employees have to put aside any preconceived notions they might possess about other cultures, religions and ethnicities and work with their counterparts. Being able to complete the task at hand in a team consisting of different personalities shows employers that you can be trusted, thus helping you move up the corporate ladder. Graduates build teamwork skills while studying because they usually have to work in groups for specific assignment and projects.
Problem-solving: assessing a particular problem and finding a good solution for it is a skill that every graduate needs, as it helps them make smart decisions, which also applies to their professional lives. Employees who are equipped with problem-solving skills help their companies save time, which ultimately helps save money. Hence, employers are always on the lookout for graduates who can successfully analyse problems and provide solutions for them. Graduates will get a lot of opportunities to improve this skill as they will be asked to work on it while studying, for example finding solutions to problems in mock case studies.
Commercial acumen: graduates also need to possess commercial acumen that will help them in finding new business opportunities for their organisations. In order to do this, graduates must have a complete idea about the business operations of their organisations, its goals and how they can help in achieving these goals.
Research: this is a skill most graduates will develop while studying, as whatever they will be studying will definitely involve a research element. Working on these research skills will add weight to graduates’ profiles because anyone possessing research skills will always have a plan B in mind for any situation and will have solutions lined up for any prospective issues.
Receptiveness: it is important to take initiatives when you are working, but it is even more important to be receptive to any feedback you receive. Employers value candidates who are open to receiving and implementing feedback. For example, if you are appearing for a lucrative job interview that has a number of candidates and you are asked about a time you made a mistake, you could respond by saying how you received feedback on the mistake made, how you responded and how you implemented the feedback in your future work. Giving such answers to the interviewer will show that you are good at being receptive, which may just help you in landing the job.
Work ethic: organisations are always interested in hiring employees who possess an excellent work ethic. Employers always value moral qualities like sense of responsibility, honesty and discipline and possessing them can kick-start your career. You can develop a strong ethic in college by doing your best in academics and extracurricular activities, which will help you throughout your professional career.
Studying any of the programs offered by the Toronto School of Management (TSoM) will help you develop and hone the aforementioned skills, in addition to leadership skills. In addition, the institute will also assist you in formulating a search strategy that will help you land your dream job.