Every year, there are about 700,000 Filipinos who graduate from college – how do you stand out and land a job in your dream company? While it’s true that companies look at the school where you graduated, it’s not always the priority. When conducting interviews on job hiring for fresh graduates, employers consider that fresh grads are yet to have experience. The moment you face the interviewer, what they’re really trying find out is if you have the essential skills needed for the position and if you meet the company’s standards.
If you are a fresh graduate and keen on landing a job in your dream company, here is a list of skills that employers look for based on my experience in hiring new graduates. It will help you gauge your skills and work on areas that need improvement.
1. Teamwork skills
No man is an island. Corporations are made up of teams involving people of different backgrounds working in harmony. Being a team player, with a passion for collaboration, must be one of your strengths.
2. Ability to work with minimal supervision
Do not expect your future supervisor to be beside you all the time. It is important that you can be held accountable for the tasks assigned to you and do it well even if no one is looking. Think about the time when you worked on your thesis and had limited time consulting with your adviser. That’s how it’s going to be when you get to the corporate world.
3. Excellent written and oral communication skills
Remember about standing out from the pile? Let your cover letter speak for your impeccable communication skills. That will make the headhunter notice your application. As soon as you land that interview, be sure to give it your best shot by speaking fluently in English. Of course, you have to speak with a lot of substance, too. Having good communication skills is a must for business. It also conveys the effort that you put in to express your ideas and thoughts professionally.
4. Good interpersonal skills
Aside from possessing good communication skills, it is also imperative that you know how to treat everyone with respect. Talk to the receptionist with the same courtesy that you would show to the company’s CEO.
5. Proficient with basic computer software programs
As basic computing was already part of the school curriculum, graduates are expected to be well-versed in Microsoft basics, namely Word, Excel and Powerpoint. In most corporate job listings, these are the computer programs cited that an applicant should know. You are bound to use these programs a lot in the course of your work life. How would your future employer know? You would be required to take either a practical exam or they would ask to look at your transcript of records (TOR).
6. Leadership skills
Did you hold a leadership position during college? Were you an officer for a school organization? Did you manage a team for school-related events? Employers choose fresh graduates who show a potential to be a team leader or manager in the future even if they’re only hiring for an entry-level position. Having leadership skills show that you are a self-starter and you can handle decision-making well. Make sure to include your leadership experiences in your resume and talk about it in your interview, especially if you were in charge of project or event that became successful.
7. Problem-solving skills
No one is spared from work-related issues regardless of the role that they play in the company. Are you up for the challenge? Rather than quitting at the first sign of trouble, you must be ready to face the consequences and act professionally to solve them. Perseverance goes a long way in the workplace and it builds your character, too.
8. Capable of exercising ethical judgement and integrity
As a follow up to #7, do you have what it takes to emerge from a difficult situation with your ethics and integrity intact? This is actually not a skill set but a very important asset of people who are not willing to compromise their values but still manage to come up with a viable solution to the issue at hand. Headhunters have a way of finding out if you possess these qualities through an interview or as part of a written exam.
9. Time management skills
First impressions are indeed lasting. You may only have one interview and it would be best to be punctual. Time is a very important resource in the corporate world. Your punctuality is an indication of your time management skills. It is also a reflection of how you would prioritize your tasks and accomplish them on time.
10. Innovative and creative
In the course of the interview, let the hiring manager know that you are innovative and creative. Be sure that you have researched about the company and the job that you are applying for. The company website, its social media accounts, as well as news and articles from other websites will enable you to come up with sensible and creative answers during the interview. Hiring managers are on the lookout for individuals who can bring something fresh to their organization and those who are able to think outside the box.
Having an honest assessment of your current skill set and capabilities and taking the path to self-improvement will certainly work to your advantage as you chase after your dream job. You may be fresh out of the university but the organization that you would like to be a part of would want to know how you can contribute to their growth.