Must Have Skill Sets

Supriya Nigam is a lead Content Writer & Digital Marketing Strategist at CareerBuilder India. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of digital marketing flows through in the expert HR Technology industry coverage she provides. Also, an avid Yoga practitioner.

When employers are deciding which new college graduates to hire, they want you to answer primarily following two questions –

  1. Can you make decisions and solve a problem?
  2. Can you work well on a team?
Must Have Skill Sets
Image source – bloomberg.com

The list of desired skill sets does not end here. The next most significant critical skill they look for – ability to communicate with people outside and inside an organization.

In past, employers focused on hiring candidates based on their technical skill sets followed by person skills. Now, a scenario has changed a bit as employers do give importance to technical knowledge in their new hires, but that is not nearly as significant as decision making, ability to plan and prioritize work, communication skills, and good teamwork.

A candidate, who exhibits a perfect combination of people skills and technical skills always preferred by employers, as compared to those who are exceptional in either of one skill sets only.

What key skills you are missing from employer’s perspective?

Graduate degrees and college majors apparently matter to employers. Also, there are a few core skill sets that employers prefer to have in their new hire of 2016. They want candidates to be a problem solver, decisive and work well on teams.

Let’s take a quick sneak peak of 7 skills employers say they seek in their new hires

  1. Capability to work in team structure
  2. Ability to acquire and process information efficiently
  3. Ability to solve problems and make decisions
  4. Technical knowledge related to the job
  5. Proficiency to communicate verbally with people outside and inside an organization
  6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
  7. Ability to influence others
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Good news for Grads – Regardless what subjects you studied in school, whether – French, art, anthropology, engineering or political science, you will have to learn these seven essential skills, mentioned above to become a part of big brands (Microsoft, Seagate Technology, and IBM, etc.).

The trick is to demonstrate your prospective recruiters these skill sets through your cover letter, resume, and interview.

How should you do it?

Think about the class projects where you have been a leader or a team member and jobs where you had to prioritize and plan. Describe those skills efficiently in your cover letter, resume and in your job interview.

For instance, if you worked as a counselor at summer camp. Or, if you worked in a library where you handled requests from 30 students at the circulation desk on a daily basis can involve decision making, planning, and teamwork. Ensure, you spell out these responsibilities specifically but in a concise manner.

Gradually, both recruiters and employees are stepping into the new work world. Now, change is a part of our work life and to accomplish business goals successfully recruitment methodologies has to be changed. Thus, employers expanded their “new hire recruitment criteria”. At present, companies want candidates to learn generic skills across academic disciplines and in jobs where they are working with others.

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A word of advice to Graduates of 2016

You are a part of a humongous talent pool that keeps growing every year. If you have mastery in both soft skills and hard skills, then also it is essential you communicate clearly those skill sets to your prospective recruiters.

Take some time, look around and analyze the 7 essential skills employers want in 2016 graduates and accordingly enhance your key skill sets to get on top of the recruiter’s list.

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