So, you’ve earned your degree in construction services, information sciences, engineering, or any of the many majors available at universities and colleges across the country. Now, you’re prepared to take on the world with the skills you learned specific to your major. However, in today’s increasingly competitive job market, employers are expecting more. Can you lead? Can you express your ideas on paper or when talking to a group? How well do you get along with others? Often referred to as “soft skills,” these attributes are key complements to the “hard skills” you learned in college and will make you much more attractive to potential employers.
But What Exactly Are Employers Looking for in a Candidate?
Today, thanks to the extensive research conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, graduates do not have to guess what employers want from their new hires. According to the research, there are 8 Career Readiness Competencies that prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace. Employers seek out graduates with these valuable soft skills.
“Knowing that these are the skills employers seek is an incredible advantage to the job seeker,” explained Lisa Hibner, Director of the Baton Rouge Community College Career Center. “When beginning a job search, new graduates should be prepared to discuss their career readiness competencies. We encourage students to reflect on the classroom projects, internships, work experiences, or community and volunteer activities that have offered them opportunities to develop these career readiness skills.”
College graduates who have focused on developing these critical skills and are also able to articulate their competencies in these areas will have a much higher chance of landing a job.
Hibner advises new college graduates entering the workforce, instead of thinking about what you want from your employer; spend some time understanding what they want from you. Answer these “career readiness” questions before going on any interviews:
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:
Oral and Written Communications:
Teamwork and Collaboration:
Professionalism and Work Ethic:
Global and Intercultural Fluency:
For more information on the Career Readiness Skills, visit the NACE site, or stop by your college or university career center for additional support on preparing for your future career.
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