There’s no arguing that every employer’s exact wants for their new staff are different, that’s why you should always read the requirements of a job carefully and tailor your CV and cover letter to suit these. However, after 5 years of recruiting graduates, we’ve seen some similar trends in what employers really look for in a graduate or intern.
1. Strong communication skills
Excellent written and oral skills are important for pretty much any job you’ll ever do. It’s essential that you’re able to express your thoughts and ideas in both writing and verbally. You only get 2 pages to show yourself off to an employer so there is no room for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors on your CV. Don’t forget the importance of strong listening skills to!
2. Self-management and organisation
Can you organise your own workload, prioritise tasks and meet deadlines? If not, it’s about time you learned how to do so and put in some practical processes to help you stay focused and get the job done.
3. Problem-solving skills
Employers love people who can find the answer. Individuals who don’t just say it can’t be done but look for a way to do it are like gold dust. Employers want someone who can use their creativity, experience, reasoning and research skills to solve problems, both little and large.
4. Teamwork and interpersonal skills
There are few jobs out there where you’ll never have to work with someone in one way or another so it’s important for future employers to know that you are both content and confident to work in a group environment and can deal with other individuals in a professional and personable way.
This is key for any individual going into a business with less than 20 employees. Small businesses and startups are always looking for individuals that are flexible and willing to take on new tasks that might not be entirely in line with their current job spec. In theory anyone can be flexible, what it really comes down to is showing a willingness, motivation and passion to be so!
You can be the candidate employers want. If you’re lacking skills in any of these areas then don’t just say ‘I’m not very good at it’. Take the time to learn, improve and grow in these areas. And make sure your next CV reflects your new skills and attributes!