What are employers looking for?
Employers are looking to recruit graduates with a broad range of experience, and the ability to demonstrate the wide range of skills that they have developed through academic study, work experience, volunteering and extra-curricular activities.
There is no definitive list of the skills that every employer will want you to possess, but the main employability skills that you should try to develop are:
1) Transferable skills, as they are generic and can be applied to a wide range of different jobs and industries:
How to improve your transferable skills?
You can develop new skills in a variety of ways, therefore you may consider:
Doing some voluntary work
Taking part in a hobby, committee or group
Doing some part-time work
Enrolling on a training course
All of these activities can help you develop new skills and experience, and they will boost your self-confidence and social life too. Remember that developing your skills will help you to find a job and to further your career.
2) Analytical Skills
Analytical skills include the ability to break arguments or theories into small parts, conceptualize ideas and devise conclusions with supporting arguments e.g. brainstorming, being observant, interpreting data into a theory.
How to improve your analytical skills?
When it comes to analytical thinking, it starts with attention to detail and observation. It is a critical component of visual thinking that gives you the ability to solve problems quickly and effectively. You have to be able to see hidden details and connections! There are so many games that can help you improve your analytical skills such as chess, puzzle or any kind of strategy and memory games.
All kind of professions, jobs and careers require some analytical mind and ability to think logically. However, some jobs are in a close relationship with analytical traits and thinking such as IT developers, Scientists, Business Analyst; Marketing Analyst etc.
3) Critical thinking
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally and understanding the logical connection between ideas. It includes observation, analysis, interpretation, reflection, evaluation, inference, explanation, problem solving, and decision making.
4) Numeracy skills
Numeracy skills are basic mathematical skills that include a range of abilities to understand and analyze numerical information and to make the right conclusions and decisions. They also include the ability to express ideas and situations using numerical or mathematical information. Mathematics plays a key role for a career in science, technology, finance, IT, banking, engineering – all professions related to analytical thinking.
Degree is not enough anymore
You can't rely on your degree alone. It will make you eligible to apply for certain jobs, and the subject of your degree may also be important to certain employers. However, it is likely that you will be competing for this job with a number of other graduates who are equally well-qualified academically.
If your degree has unlocked the door, you will need the right mix of skills, abilities and personal qualities in order to get the job you are aiming for.