Every recent graduate is looking to gain an edge in the job market. There are many elements which can help you stand out such as learning a second language or doing an internship. These will stand out on a CV, but they can also be major undertakings. There are other ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd and be an attractive proposition for employers. Having key transferable skills is a simple but effective way of future proofing your employability.
In our gradireland FYI series of videos we ask recent graduates, who are currently on a graduate programme, about what skills are most important to have and based on the most popular answers across the different roles, we have compiled a list of the top transferable skills you will need to have.
- Excel Skills
No matter what line of work you’re in, you will more than likely be working with Excel to varying degrees. Excel is a powerful tool when used to it’s full potential, but even having the basics is an essential for many employers. The most popular use of Excel is for presenting data in a clear format. It’s important that you know how to layout information on excel as well as how to use the “formulas” tab. These are essentials which employers expect you to have, but once you master the basics you will be able to develop your knowledge of Excel throughout your career and put it to good use.
- Time management
This skill is often cited by employers, as well as those currently undertaking a graduate programme. No matter where you work you will be handling various tasks with varying degrees of importance at the same time. Having a set of rules that you can use to put your tasks in order is vital. Time sensitivity and the importance of each individual task must be considered. Ask yourself how long does each task take to complete and which ones need to be completed first? Then ask yourself which task is the most important and then order them as such. Once you have ordered the tasks based on the above criteria deal with them one at a time. If you try and tackle two-three tasks at a time you can become confused and each task is only getting a proportion of your attention. Making sure you can submit all projects and essays in college on time and complete them to a high standard will hold you in good stead for the future.
- Written and verbal communication
Communication is a skill which is valuable in work and life, as identified by employers surveyed in the gradireland graduate salary and recruitment trends survey. 46% of employers identified communication as a skill which graduates were lacking. People often think having good communication skills refers to how to speak to others in the office and how to articulate ideas to managers but it’s much more than that. Written communication is essential. You will compose thousands of e-mails during your working life and with each one you are representing the company you work for. As you move jobs and change career it’s important to have good communication as each company will have a different tone and will use language differently. A law firm will want both internal and external e-mails to be precise and formal where a start-up company may have a lighter tone. Good communication will be useful no matter what career path you embark on.
Last January LinkedIn published the skills companies most need in 2019. Some of the skills mentioned are very specific and only apply to certain lines of work, but if you can master the three skills mentioned above, you will be able to apply them to any job you may have in the future.
For other ways to boost your application and to stand out from the crowd, click here.