Employers put a lot of focus on soft skills, and as a graduate looking for a job after university, these can help you stand out – especially if you have had limited on-the-job experience. Soft skills are often transferrable from job to job and they will be useful throughout your career, so it’s important to start acquiring them as soon as possible.
If you haven’t managed to complete an internship, one of the best ways to get that all-important work experience and a great chance to develop your soft skills, then you should look at what you’ve been studying. Many courses don’t only focus on helping you get a deep understanding of the subject, you’ll also get to grips with some handy soft skills as well.
Here are five soft skills you can practice during your degree.
Wherever you work, there’s a strong chance that you’ll have to get along with a variety of people. That’s one of the reasons that teamwork appears so often on job specifications for graduate roles. You need to be able to take other people’s opinions into account and make sure that you consider the people around you when making a decision.
Teamwork is also a big part of university life. You might have to complete a group project or work on a presentation as part of a team. Those who’ve taken part in group activities such as societies and sports teams will also be adept in collaboration.
You might have been nervous the first time that you had to stand in front of your class and present, but doing this will enable you to get more familiar with skills you’ll be using during your job search, most importantly in your interview.
The same things apply to both situations. You to need speak confidently and clearly, dress smartly and answer some important questions. Presentation skills are useful once you’re working as you’ll often have to contribute to meetings and be comfortable talking to clients and those in more senior positions to you.
You’ll be prioritising tasks on a daily basis in your job, but it’s possible to start improving these skills by applying a few simple tips to university life. You’ll have deadlines to meet and exams to prepare for, as well as many students juggling part-time jobs.
Manage your time by creating a to-do list, prioritising your studies over your job and social life and setting goals and time limits so that you use your time effectively. Being able to organise your time could help you get excellent results at University as well as at work.
For those who are hoping to gain employment on a fast-paced graduate scheme, it’s important to be flexible. To keep a business moving forwards, there will be positive changes, and possibly ones that you introduce yourself once you’re managing a team
If you’ve moved away from home to go to university, that’s already a good sign that you’re not afraid of change. Those who spend a term abroad will also have had a chance to become adaptable. Think about occasions where you’ve taken on new challenges of your own accord, perhaps an extra module on your course or volunteering for charity.
Although you’ll get excellent training, you’ll also be required to think for yourself and respond to challenges. As you study for your degree, you will have to do plenty of this. From deciding what point you’ll argue in an essay to working out your budget for a term, you will have made a lot of decisions by the time you graduate.
Employers have put problem solving skills in their top 10 for new graduates. You’ll be using them on a day to day basis to find solutions that suit the team and the business.
You will have developed plenty of soft skills during your degree, but one of the best ways to try them out is to take part in an internship programme like the one we offer at Enterprise.