The following ‘hints and tips’ may be of interest to any graduate looking to apply for their first job post-university.
We’ve all seen the maxim: no job because no experience; no experience because no job.
But whoever created that maxim clearly didn’t think about transferable skills.
Transferable skills are the abilities and competencies that accompany you with every career transition. You developed a great range throughout university that are highly sought-after by employers.
Here are the most desirable transferable skills you have gained throughout your degree that can help you throughout the job application process.
Writing and Communication
As emojis, Snapchat and Instagram stories become a preferred way of speaking, 44% of hiring managers feel that a solid writing ability is lacking in many new recruits.
However, as a recent graduate, you have writing and communication skills in abundance.
Not only have you spent the last few years refining your language to hit that 2,000-word word count, you’re familiar with spelling and grammar basics and can write both formally and colloquially, too.
Employers don’t want the next Shakespeare; they want someone who can write efficiently, clearly and concisely via reports or emails, for example. Therefore, highlight your writing proficiency on your CV to show you’re a master of communication.
All employers expect their staff to be team players, regardless of whether they prefer to work independently or not. And this applies to all roles and industries.
Throughout your studies, you will have worked in a team, perhaps in a seminar task or in a society, for example.
Group tasks also develop a range of other skills such as active listening, collaboration and cooperation, commitment, negotiation and a positive attitude, which all employers seek in new hires.
When listing teamwork as a skill on your CV, make sure you explain how you obtained skills and precisely and concisely as possible, rather than what your team did collectively.
The majority of professionals will present at some point throughout their career.
While it’s more common in client-facing sectors, such as sales, it’s also an increasingly common part of the interview process when you reach management level.
Even if you didn’t give a full-blown presentation during your degree, you will have exercised your communication skills by speaking up in lectures, seminars and workshops.
When discussing your presentation skills in the job application process, don’t limit yourself to being able to communicate effectively and channel nervous energy into confidence and enthusiasm. Remember that there was plenty of planning, preparation and organisation involved too. Present yourself as a well-rounded candidate.
The ability to manage your time and workload effectively is imperative in the workplace. You will have your own tasks to take care of, but you will also be part of wider projects, sometimes spanning various departments and plenty of people.
And you don’t want to be the one that drops the ball.
As a graduate, you’re no stranger to the concept of project management after the tight ship you ran to meet coursework and exam deadlines. Explain to employers how you’re organised your resources and prioritised your time to achieve the best results possible. Also, delve into the obstacles and issues you faced and how you overcame them to prove that you’re a problem solver too.
Research and Critical Thinking
Like any course, the purpose of a degree is to understand and explore the subject matter in more detail. As a result, you’re a pro in the art of research and critical thinking – which are in-demand assets amongst the workplace.
The process involves thinking about abstract concepts and sources, evaluating them and then forming conclusions and making decisions. As a result, critical thinkers can present coherent reasoning around projects and proposals.
While you may have been a critical thinker when writing essays, professionals do the same every day, such as when planning a marketing campaign.
Therefore, draw on your critical thinking skills in your job applications and interviews, discussing how you evaluated, reasoned and made decisions throughout your studies and can bring this skill to the workplace.