Top 10 skills all 2015 graduates must have

With more students graduating every year, firms are having a tough time recruiting. In fact, human resources departments are constantly updating their processes to filter candidates in a faster and more efficient manner and to work on attaining and retaining the most suitable employees.

As such, the traits they look for in employees seem to be changing with time, leaving fresh graduates or any job candidates constantly worried about making the cut.

So, to make life easier for all of us, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a Bethlehem, PA-based non-profit group that links college career placement offices with employers, ran surveys in August asking managers what the 10 most wanted skills were for 2015.

Here they are in order of importance:

1. Ability to work in a team structure

2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems

3. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization

4. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work

5. Ability to obtain and process information

6. Ability to analyze quantitative data

7. Technical knowledge related to the job

8. Proficiency with computer software programs

9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports

10. Ability to sell and influence others

One thing college graduates need to keep in mind is that presentation is everything. Job candidates can’t expect employers to magically figure out that they have those attributes.

Truth is almost anyone who has gone to college, had a group project, worked part-time, interned or even just volunteered, has most of the skills. It all comes down to how to exhibit them to the employers. All job applicants really have is a resume, a cover letter and an interview to do that, so they need to make sure to include specific projects and instances that exhibit the particular set of proficiencies and traits employers are looking for.

It’s important to include numbers to appear accurate and detailed. For instance, if one worked in a group project, he/she ought to state how many people there were in the group, how long it took to work on a particular project and what score he/she got.

The survey made clear that employers aren’t looking for students that belong to a particular major or academic discipline, but rather students with universal skills. The trick is to know how to demonstrate the skills, and that is the thin line that separates prospective candidates from signing that job contract.

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