It’s the beginning of March, and for spring graduates, that means the countdown is on.
The good news? You’ve already given yourself a competitive edge in the job market by earning a college degree (and if you’re graduating from Bauer College, that degree means you’re part of an alumni network of nearly 60,000!).
The other news? Recruiters hire for more than just degrees. But developing soft skills that employers want isn’t impossible. Check out our list of skills you should develop (or improve) before graduation day.
Even if you won’t be holding a c-level position anytime soon, leadership skills are an asset to any role in the workplace. If you’ve held a student officer position or led teams as a volunteer during your time in college, be sure to list that experience on your résumé. It’ll show employers you’re able to take initiative and inspire change in others.
Your future job may not directly involve planning events, but employers value this skill because it demonstrates your ability to multitask and follow through on large-scale projects. If you don’t have any event planning experience, consider becoming an officer for a student organization. Planning bake sales, general meetings and mixers will demonstrate your attention to detail and commitment to follow through — all great skills to mention during future job interviews.
These days, it’s not enough to be fluent in Microsoft Word. Employers are looking for job candidates who are familiar with all of Microsoft Suite (which means you should pay attention in your MIS classes!). It’s a bonus if you have other technical skills to offer, such as coding or experience working in Adobe Creative Suite. If you have the extra time, consider signing up for an online course that will give you first-hand tech expertise to add to your résumé.
You might think years of cranking out essays in college have given you enough writing experience, but a survey from the American Association of Colleges and Universities reveled that only 27 percent of employers believe recent college grads have the written communication skills necessary for the workplace. The good news is, there are a lot of ways to improve your writing skills before you graduate. Visit your professors’ office hours to get advice on how you can become a better writer (even if you did get a good grade on that essay), or schedule an appointment at the UH Writing Center in CBB.
Interpersonal skills are about more than knowing how to talk to people. Employers are looking for candidates who can tailor their interactions to the person they’re speaking to, such as a client, partner or coworker. An easy way to brush up on your interpersonal skills? Take that retail job over the summer or on weekends throughout the semester. Not only will you earn yourself some extra spending cash, but you’ll also add valuable customer service experience to your résumé and learn how to work with a diverse range of colleagues.
Whether you’re a fan of public speaking or not, chances are you’re going to have to do it at some point in your career. That’s why employers are looking for candidates who already possess great presentation skills. Learning how to deliver an effective presentation is often part of your coursework at Bauer College, but if you don’t feel fully prepared to deliver a speech professionally, seek out resources such as Toastmasters to improve your public speaking abilities.
By Priscilla Aceves