As a new graduate looking for your first time job, your level or depth of technical skill is still shallow thus it cannot be the killer punch to land you a job during the interview.
Most organizations that run graduate recruitment programs instead look out for general competencies and behaviors/traits that are essential for successful working and continuous learning on the job.
These are the key universal employability skills – when you got them, then you will be effective at work irrespective of the type of job or industry.
In order to secure a job with the organization of choice, a new graduate must demonstrate the following transferable, behavioral or rather soft skills to the prospective employer
1. Commercial awareness (or business acumen)
You must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the business or the working of the industry the business is in and what makes a company tick.
It is important to show that you have an understanding of what the organisation needs to achieve through its products or service lines, and how it competes in the marketplace.
The entrepreneur in you must come to life
Your ability to communicate both verbally and written should be great. You must also demonstrate that you are a good listener.
It’s about being clear, concise and focused; being able to tailor your message for the right audience and listening to the views of others as well.
Remember at the workplace you will either be sending or receiving messages to your colleagues or clients.
You must show that you can create, understand, decode and execute those messages appropriately
Rarely will you ever work alone in the workplace. You’ll need to prove that you’re a team player with the ability to manage and delegate to others and take on responsibility.
You must develop and show the skill that will help you build positive working relationships that help everyone to achieve personal and business objectives.
4. Negotiation and persuasion
The ability to communicate and positively influence others to the success of the business is crucial.
As a new graduate, not only must you show that you have the ability to set out what you want to achieve and how, but also that you are able to understand where the other person is coming from so that you can both get what you want or need and feel positive about it.
You must demonstrate that you can achieve a win-win business situation with relevant stakeholders.
5. Problem solving
Basically business is about solving problems for profit.
You need to display an ability of taking a logical and analytical approach to solving problems.
To woo the interviewer, you must bring to the fore your creative side by showing you can approach the very problem from different angles and with different perspectives.
Today’s businesses demand leadership across all grades of employees. It is no longer the preserve of the managers.
You must demonstrate the ability to lead yourself and others and to influence others positively to a common positive cause.
You need to show you can take on responsibilities, make good business decisions in times of crisis, delegate tasks well, operate within deadlines, reach out to stakeholders and set a good example to both your peers and seniors.
Knowing what should be done when and why is the key to being efficient and productive. You should show a good level of expertise in prioritizing work.
It’s also good to be able to show employers how you decide what is important to focus on and get it done, and how you go about meeting deadlines.
8. Perseverance and motivation
Any employer would be glad to meet a job candidate who in the face of all business and life challenges will still get onto their feet and get stuff done beside motivating their teams or colleagues to keep going.
You need to demonstrate that you are that person who will be found productive and trying to lift others morale even in the eye of the storm.
9. Ability to work under pressure
As a fresh graduate, it is important to know that the other name of business is “preassure”.
Handling work pressures effectively is a great skill needed by great organizations. Preassure will always come from your seniors, peers, clients etc and can sometime make you lose track and focus.
Show that you can maintain your calm in a crisis and handle stressful moments well.
Great organizations look for graduates who are confident in themselves and can make decisions.
They want individuals who can in a short period of time, assess all risk factors and business needs and decide what ought to be done and when it should be done.
You also need to show that you have confidence in your colleagues and the company you intend to work for.
Be careful not to cross the line that borders confidence and arrogance.