Start Building the Skill-Set Employers are Looking For

For students, the future is paved with possibilities, but you will need academic prowess and certain skills to reach your full potential. A college degree and even a strong resume isn’t always enough to impress employers. You will need to demonstrate or prove that you can demonstrate the skills of a stellar employee. Things like strong leadership, self-discipline, good teamwork, excellent communication and organization, are all skills that employers look for and value. Plus, the stronger your skills, the stronger your performance. Here's how new graduates or those who will soon be graduating can demonstrate these skills to potential employers.

Demonstrating Strong Leadership

Truthfully, employers want their employees to succeed. And the most successful employees are those who are strong leaders. Not only do leaders make the best employees, they also help take pressure off management and are generally strong assets to a company. If you’re a leader, you will eventually be given more responsibility and progress faster in your role. To demonstrate your leadership skills, you can provide information about previous leadership roles, such as managing group projects at school, participating in student groups, like student government or even performing volunteer work.

Demonstrating Self-Discipline

Generally, employers want employees that are disciplined, self-starters. These types of workers are easy to manage (they self-manage) and are beneficial to an organization’s productivity and bottom line. Being self-disciplined and taking initiative are also important characteristics for leaders to possess. Self-disciplined people are more productive and it's easier to teach them new ideas and structures.

To show your self-management skills, provide an outline of how you managed your time and assignments at college or university. Specifically, explain how you balanced a work, school and social life, and give examples of major projects that required you to have strong self-management skills.

Demonstrating Teamwork

Most job roles require some form of teamwork or frequent collaboration with other departments. Whatever the case, eventually, you will need to demonstrate your ability to work with your co-workers. You will also need to prove that you can work well with others and take and give direction. To demonstrate these abilities before landing the job, emphasize your work on group projects, highlighting how you communicated, as well as how you handled group conflict and indecision. If you have past work experience, simply outline how you worked with others in those positions (especially internships).

Demonstrating Excellent Communication Skills

Good communication is tantamount to success in many areas of life, especially in your career. Wherever you work and whatever you do, you will need to know how to communicate with others. Most likely, you will have daily interactions with either your boss, colleagues or clients, and it’s essential to know how to explain concepts, relay messages, engage in concise, professional written correspondence, present structured, relevant arguments and deliver compelling presentations. Since college and university offer plenty of opportunities to exercise communication skills, you should be able to confidently demonstrate them to potential employers. Simply provide examples of presentations or essays you’ve completed in school.

Demonstrating Organization Skills

Organized employees are generally more productive and more likely to manage their time well. Moreover, good organization skills show that you take pride in and value your work. They also make it easier to categorize your work and sort finished and unfinished projects accordingly. Demonstrating these skills can be tricky, however. To show your future employer, explain how you organize your daily schedule and important tasks or projects.

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