The feeling you get when you complete your degree and get your certificate is indescribable. As a new graduate, your certificate holds all the memories of long hours in the library, demanding lectures, loud classmates and strict lecturers. Your certificate is the bridge between your academic years and a regular paycheck. It is usually a very nice feeling that makes a lot of us giddy in the middle. However, to the world, it says that we are ready for the job-hunting challenge.
Applying for your first job might seem quite overwhelming. Here you are, preparing your CV and adding all your academic qualifications hoping that the employers will be impressed by your course title, academic awards and grades. There are specific vital skills required in most, if not every, job role that is not taught in schools. These skills are called soft skills. Learning these soft skills (and adding them to your CV) can jumpstart your career journey faster than your technical skills.
We have taken the time to cut the list down to just four as so many soft skills are required for a first comer.
Enthusiasm – some may call it passion, but it comes first on our list because it is a crucial requirement for many organisations. This trait is about bringing a can-do attitude to the job. Nobody wants to employ a sour grape into their organisation because this single trait has the potential of turning bad days into amazing days.
Negotiation and Persuasion: This trait will serve you well once you master it. Your salary, working hours and even the possibility of hiring hinges on your ability to negotiate and persuade the hiring manager that you are the right candidate for the job.
Leadership: Many people have different things to say about leadership, and most of them make it seem like it’s all about the position. According to leadership guru John Maxwell, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less”. This gives us a fairer picture and helps us understand that anybody can lead, even a rookie just out of school, as long as the person can influence others to get the job done.
Teamwork: We have always heard the expression “there is no ‘I’ in TEAM”, that is very true. Most organisations celebrate teamwork over heroism, and if they find a new member who is a self-starter but can also work as a team player when required, they would be keen to hire such a person.
Other soft skills traits like organisation, communication, confidence and critical thinking will also make you stand out in your interview. The good news is that all these skills can be learnt and developed by reading and practice.
While looking for that perfect organisation, make sure you add these key skills to your arsenal of good traits, then stamp them on your CV like a badge of honour because they can help you get your first foot through the door towards the career of your dream.