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The Top Ten Skills Graduate Recruiters Want

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The top ten skills graduate recruiters want 1. Commercial Commercial awaren awareness ess (or (or business business acumen): acumen): 

 This is about knowing how a business or industry works and what makes makes a company tick. Showing that you have an understanding of what the organisation wants to achieve through its products and services, and how it competes in its marketplace. Generally speaking, employers will expect at least the following: •

An understanding of their business. amiliarity amiliarity with the end product, and a grasp of the activities of the organisation and the role applied for.

 !An understanding of the marketplace. "a#or competitors and how they di$er from each other. Communication: 

2.

 This covers verbal and written communication, communication, and listening. %t&s about being clear, concise and focused' being able to tailor your message for the audience and listening to the views of others. Communication skills examples

 (  (our our ability to communicate well will be one of the most noticeab noticeable le things about you during the application process. This is why getting it right is so important. or example: •

 (  (our our application needs to be well written, easy tto o understand and tailored to the recruiter in )uestion. "ake sure you proofread properly too' *"uphry+s law+ states that spelling or grammar mistakes mistakes will happen #ust when you are explaining how great you are at spelling and grammar.  !At interviews you should be condent, smile and make eye contact. Shake hands and remember names -there are techni)ues for this. /emember that a lot of communication is non0verbal 1 this is one of the reasons why most application process involves face0to0face interviews at some point or o r other. other.  !%f other tasks are involved, like presentations, presentations, or group activities, be aware that your communication skills may still be under assessment. Think about who your audience is and how you will be interacting with them. Ask relevant )uestions and give honest responses.

3. Teamw eamwor ork: k: (  (ou&ll ou&ll need to prove that you&re a team player but also have the ability to manage and delegate to others and take on responsibility. responsibility. %t&s about building positive working relationships that help everyone to achieve goals and business ob#ectives. Teamwork skills examples example s

2hen you+re explaining your teamwork skills on a graduate #ob application form or at interview, you will need to emphasise how your personal contribution allowed the team to reach its full potential. The best way to show o$ any skill is to explain how you used it to get results. 3owever, with teamwork you will have to show how you achieved a group result. %f your team managed to bring in a troublesome pro#ect ahead of schedule and under budget because of something you did, this would be an excellent example. Similarly, if

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you were able to outperform rival teams, or win a competition because of your actions, this would be a great example. How do  phrase it on a graduate C!" #o sa$: *% helped my team to beat competing groups by encouraging a group atmosphere and supporting colleagues.+ 2hat you need to do is explain why your team was successful, and how your own personal contributions positively a$ected that outcome %. &egotia &egotiation tion and persuas persuasion ion:: 

 This is about being able to put forward your way, but also being being able to understand where the other person is coming from so that you can both get what you want or need and feel positive about it.  (ou ou need to display an ability to take a logical and analytical '. roblem soling: ( approach to solving problems and resolving issues. %t&s also good to show that you can approach problems from di$erent angles. roblem soling examples

2hether you are putting together an application, or preparing for an interview, having examples of problem solving experience is a good idea. ( (ou ou will need to explain how you identied the problem, came up with a solution and implemented it. 7uantiable results are good, and obviously the more complex the situation, the more impressive a successful result is. %f you were forced to tackle the problem as part of a team, explain how your role was important in ensuring the positive solution, but also explain how your group worked together.. This could be an opportunity to promote your teamwork skills as well. together %f you+re set a problem as part of the graduate recruitment process, you could try using the %89A model, described by ;ransford and Stein in their book %deal 6roblem Solver. Solver. %t breaks down what you need to do to solve a problem into stages: !%dentify the issue !8ene the obstacles !9xamine your options !Act on an agreed course of action !ook at how it turns out, and whether any changes need to be made.  How do  phrase it on a *ob application" #o sa$: *% had to nd a solution to complex obstacle <. ;y carefully allocating resources resources  ( and using innovative ideas = % was able to to overcome it.+ 1 >se actua actuall examples. 9xplain the problem, say what your resources were were and what ideas you came up. ?onsider using the STA/ model. Think about the Situation you faced and the Task you had to complete, the Actions you took, and the /esults you achieved.

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+. ,eadership: (  (ou ou may not be a manager straight away, but graduates need to show potential to motivate teams and other colleagues that may work for them. %t&s about assigning and delegating tasks well, setting deadlines and leading by good example. The skills inoled here include:

 !delegation

 !talent management  !emotional intelligence  Team leadership lead ership skills examples  (  (ou ou need to prove that you have leadership skills, which can be complex. ( (ou ou will need an example of a time when your personal involvement has directly a$ected the way w ay a group of people have worked, and positively inuenced the outcome. Simply being the person in charge of a group of people is not enough, you need evidence that your presence had an impact.  3owever, you should make sure you answer the competency in )uestion. This is important because leadership is so similar to teamwork. or a teamwork competency you would use terms like *encouraged+ and *supported+. 3owever, for a leadership competency you should use more authoritative terms like *delegated+ and *directed+.  3ow do % phrase it on a #ob applicationB  #o sa$: *% was responsible for a team that was set a specic target. ;y giving certain team members particular roles and enabling them to reach their full potential we were able to achieve that target successfully.+ successfully.+ 1 9mphasising your role within the team is important. -. rganisation: This is about showing that you can prioritise, priori tise, work eCciently and productively, and manage your time well. %t&s also good to be able to show employers how you decide what is important to focus on and get done, and how you go about meeting deadlines.

 (  (ou ou will need to work to several di$erent deadlines, deadlines, as well as accommodating other work that you may receive. To To manage time e$ectively you need to be able to prioritise and make #udgements about what is urgent and what is important.  Time management examples

 Time management is tested throughout the recruitment process. or example, no0one is expecting you to get an application in within the rst twelve hours that a position is advertised. That would suggest that you haven+t taken the time to reect on and tailor your application. Dn the other hand, getting it in an hour before the deadline won+t do you any favours either. Similarly, if you+re invited to an interview or an assessment day, being there on time is an absolute must. (our (our application may not be re#ected out of hand if you are late, but it will be a denite mark against you unless you have mitigating circumstances. 6erhaps 6erha ps one of the most common ways for employers to test time management skills is with in0tray exercises. These are a test of your reaction times, but also your ability to hold your head under pressure and plan e$ectively. e$ectively. %t is important i mportant that you start these

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exercises exer cises by guring out what all the tasks are and when they are needed by. by. ;y putting together a list of priorities you will be able to demonstrate to assessors that even if you don+t nish all the tasks, you have an e$ective plan in place. Dther tasks which may test your time management skills include giving presentations and team exercises. %n team exercises there may be an appointed timekeeper, but if there isn&t you might win bonus points for volunteering. 6sychometric tests may also analyse this skill, forcing you to allocate time to answering )uestions or checking answers.  How do  phrase it on a *ob application"  #o sa$: *% was managing several di$erent pro#ects at the same time. % was working to di$erent deadlines so % had to divide my time and resources appropriately. % was able to get all of the pro#ects in on time and was immediately given more+ 1 An explanation of the complexity of the situation, along with your response, is what recruiters are looking for here. /. erseerance and motiation: 9mployers want people to have a bit of get0up0and0 get0up0 and0 go. 2orking life presents many challenges and you need to show employers that you&re the kind of person who will nd a way through, even when the going gets tough... and stay cheerful0ish. 0. bilit$ to work under pressure: This is about keeping calm in a crisis and not

becoming too overwhelmed or stressed. 1. Condence: %n the workplace you need to strike the balance of being condent in yourself but not arrogant, but also have condence in your colleagues and the company you work for. 4mplo$er bu55words and words o6 action

 There are certain certain words which are key key to catching an employer&s interest. interest. "ention them in your ?F and at interviews and see how impressed they are with your business0speak -but don&t go overboard or you&ll sound daft. • •

initiative dynamic



team player



proactive



self0motivated

 (  (ou ou can also talk in terms of actions actions that you achieve through your skills by using using good, strong verbs in applications and interviews:



led achieved



completed



co0ordinated



delegated



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delivered



identied



presented



promoted



reported



resolved



organised

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