Finding a job as a graduate can be tough, especially if you’ve gone straight from school into higher education. Your qualification can set you up for a lifetime of professional success, but at first it may be overlooked when you’re up against job applicants with hands-on experience.
How can you paint a fuller picture of your abilities to a hiring manager? By developing a bank of soft skills to use in your CV you’ll find a powerful way to boost your employability.
Soft skills are critical in the modern workplace and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that graduates should possess these skills, as they’re highly advantageous when it comes to employability. Highlighting soft skills in your CV is an ideal way to showcase the value you can bring to an organisation if you lack other relevant experience.
But what exactly is a soft skill?
These could also be referred to as ‘employability’ or ‘transferable’ skills. Compared to hard skills e.g. your academic qualifications, training, and professional achievements – soft skills are more adaptable abilities and traits that can be honed through all areas of life, and useful for whatever role you may be tasked with.
Let’s take a look at some examples, and the importance of highlighting your soft skills as a graduate or first-time jobseeker:
A team player is more valuable to a business than a hotshot employee who is more focused on fast-tracking their career. Good team workers recognise their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of their colleagues. That way they know the tasks and challenges they are best suited to tackle, and those that are better left to a teammate.
- Leadership and Initiative
These are essential qualities for anyone who wants to grow into a senior or managerial role within a company. It may seem obvious, but a strong work ethic is hugely important here – show the employer that you have the motivation and vision to pursue goals and inspire others to follow you. Perhaps you captained a school sports team, put on a local event, or ran a fundraising campaign.
- Problem Solving
Employers will look for employees with good problem-solving skills because this shows they are both a self-starter and a collaborative teammate; they are proactive in identifying a problem, analysing the root cause, and working with the whole team to solve it.
Learning how to communicate effectively in a workplace setting is vital, communicating between your manager and the rest of the team contributes to the overall success of the company.
Why do employers look for soft skills in applications?
- They indicate longevity
Many employers will look for signs that a candidate will stay with them long-term. Soft skills like problem solving, commitment and motivation prove you have a good base to thrive in any working environment.
- They help to measure teamwork
If you’re applying for a position as part of a team, the hiring manager may evaluate your application partly based on how well you can work within a group. Employers use soft skills to measure your teamwork and communication abilities.
- They help build and maintain relationships
Having a bank of soft skills not only supports the relationships within work but also determines success in working with clients and business partners.
- They help you gain confidence
For a new employee who is inexperienced, soft skills like good communication, teamwork and problem solving can help them settle into a workplace faster, thus, giving them more confidence to learn the skills they lack.
The importance of soft skills for a graduate are vital in helping you secure and transition smoothly into a new job. Soft skills help the employer differentiate between candidates who are qualified for a job and candidates who exceed expectations by putting effort into their work and professional relationships.
Tiger Recruitment is a leading recruitment agency in London, Dubai, Zurich, and New York City. We specialise in connecting jobseekers with employers of choice in business support, HR, finance, and private households.
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