5 Important Skills Recruiters Look For In University Graduates

Valeria Perticucci

6th of October 2020

I think we all know what it is like when applying for jobs as a university graduate, let alone during a pandemic. Many entry-level jobs have so many requirements, including years of experience that cannot be met by a new graduate who has spent their entire life in education thus far. How are you supposed to stand out from the crowd? Kibo helps you figure out what skills you have aside from your academics and assists you in applying those to a job application in order to help land you the job that you are destined for. Make sure to put these skills on your CV and in your cover letter, highlighting how you can demonstrate these transferable skills and you'll be sure to have some interest.

1. Emotional Intelligence

In a similar way in which IQ is assessed, EQ (emotional quotient) is scaled on an individual's ability to understand their own emotions as well as handling interpersonal relationships. Amidst an increasingly technological society, a survey by MichaelPage found that half of employers rated this attribute more highly than work experience (which was 45%), or even having a degree (only 22%). Very few job-seekers mention 'self-awareness', 'empathy', or 'listening' skills in their CV which are all associated with a high EQ. Being able to work and understand colleagues, regardless of how large your desired company may be, is a valuable skill that can be applied across fields and industries. If you can work in a team and understand how to manage others, then be sure to show these skills in your CV!

Photo by tengyart

2. Adaptability and flexibility

Both these qualities can be valued in different areas of work; time management, resilience, undertaking different projects simultaneously, putting yourself into new and unfamiliar situations. Having to deal with unforeseen circumstances comes up in almost every professional role across industries and is definitely a quality that is attractive in a graduate. Being able to allocate your time across different areas or trying different things comes with this. If you have worked alongside your studies then you definitely know how to multitask, or if you have been on an exchange then you have had to deal with a whole new culture and proves just how adaptable you can be! This is exactly the kind of thing recruiters are looking for because such skills are incredibly transferable.


3. Initiative and pro-activeness

Employers want to hire someone who takes the first step in getting started on work and asks many questions. Being motivated and resilient in the workplace means that you are able to manage your own time well, and are able to complete tasks on time and at (or above) the expected standard. Being keen to learn and being open to constructive criticism is something that a graduate can offer, particularly having managed lots of time at university and having completed an array of assignments. Furthermore, being able to self-navigate in ambiguous environments, especially now that many companies work a significant amount of time virtually, means that someone who can pick things up quickly, understands how the company works, and what is expected of them, is very desirable.

Photo by @steve3p_0

4. Creativity; especially in problem solving

The ability to have an original approach to problem-solving is another attribute that recruiters value highly. Having an entrepreneurial mindset with innovative ways of looking at problems is key in contributing to a company's overall innovation. In the current digital world, this could not be more important. Companies like to hire graduates to come up with ideas because they are able to see things through a fresh, new lens. Being curious and having a great imagination is also part of this, so having the ability to find a new way around a problem that others may not think of is something that should not be left off of your CV! You can even demonstrate this through your application itself by creating an original piece to stand out from the crowd.

Photo by @timmossholder

5. Technical skills such as coding or data analytics

In an ever-increasingly technological world, skills within tech are becoming all the more important. Luckily, regardless of your studies, if you are interested and motivated to learn new skills, they are incredibly accessible. Through programs such as Google's Digital Unlocked, Hubspot, Skillshare, or Udemy, you can take courses for free, or at a very low price and learn new desirable skills within weeks. Learning a computer language or how to perform data analyses doesn't require a degree - you can be taught by highly qualified teachers for free instead! Not only is the outcome a great addition to your skillset, but this demonstrates your ability to self-teach and to be self-motivated. The Kibo app even suggests the right Udemy courses based on your skillset and interests!

Photo by @skillscouter

So what's the takeaway?

Creating a CV that reflects your best attributes is the first step to landing your dream job. In this tough time it is ever the more imperative to stand out, so take a look at these skills to see where you lie and make yourself visible and original to recruiters. Learn a new coding language if you want to add to your resume, highlight your ability to work with and understand people, or create a video CV if you want to apply for that job at YouTube! Either way, there is no standard way to create a job application, so show them how original you are and stick out of the crowd and you'll be on your way to the job you really, actually want.

If you need some more help figuring out what your skills and strengths are, and perhaps what job you're going to love, check out more about Kibo by visiting our Instagram or website.

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