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5 skills employers seek in new grads

Last updated on: May 14, 2014 15:26 IST

5 skills employers seek in new grads

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Krishna Kumar

Irrespective of the industry you’ll be working for, every employer expects you to have a few basic skills. Find out why they matter so much.

You may have the best training and the tag of passing out from the best university or b-school in your CV. But is that all the employer seeks in you?

Your technical talent alone won't necessarily get you the job of your dreams.

An employer certainly expects more than just technical skills in a candidate.

In one of the articles published in Forbes titled 'The 10 skills that will get you hired', Rich Milgram, CEO of Career Network, Beyond.com had stated that "learning a technology is the easy part. Having the mindset to apply it, the logic to process it, being thorough and detail-oriented while doing so, these are the critical skills."

In a series of surveys conducted by the University of Kent, UK, a set of soft skills has been listed out which is crucial for a candidate to work on to get hired.

I personally feel the below mentioned skills are the most crucial skills which every employer seek. Read on and find out why they are not hard to cultivate.

1. Interpersonal Communication Skills

In any environment, strong interpersonal skills work as a major benefit.

These are life skills which we use in our day-to-day life to communicate and interact with other people.

How you deal with people decides your success at the professional and personal level.

People with strong interpersonal skills are expected to be capable of working in a team.

This skill is essential so that you are able to communicate effectively with fellow employees and stakeholders.

The author is the CEO and founder Simplilearn.com, a global leader in professional certifications training.

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Image: Every employer seeks a candidate who has good interpersonal skills.
Photographs: Rohit Gautam/Careers360

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2. Initiative and self-direction

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Initiative and self-direction are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other.

Initiative, as defined in the Oxford dictionary is "the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others."

In simple terms, it is the responsibility taken by you, without being told or asked to do so.

With knowledge comes confidence and with confidence comes the capability to take initiative, and take up tasks.

Every employer wants to hire a candidate who will complete the task given to him/her with minimum dependency.

No employer, wants to hire candidates who needs to be hand-held at every step.

The more you read the more knowledge you will have with regards to your own field of work.

Each of you is capable of taking initiative and be self-directed.

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Image: The ability to initiate action and deliver with minimum dependency is important.
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Oxford

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3. Planning, organisation and ablity to prioritise work

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Once hired, you will be working on multiple projects and may face deadlines that clash against the other.

Hence, the skill of planning, organising your work and prioritising is very crucial.

In most of the interviews, you may encounter questions like "how do you manage time?"

The purpose behind the question is to see and judge how good you are in coping up with deadlines without getting hassled.

To develop this skill, you need to start your day at work by making a list of work you have in hand.

You must be able to understand the importance of each of the job, while at the same time add newer jobs you get as the day proceeds. 

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Image: Your hiring manager would like to know whether you can juggle multiple deadlines.
Photographs: Reuters
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4. Flexibility and adaptability

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When I say it is good to maintain a 'to-do list' I don't mean you should be rigid.

One of the skills employers look for in their employees is the ability to adapt.

You must be able to adapt successfully to changing work environments and situations, keep calm during the 'change' phase and think quickly as and when the change occurs.

This is an acquired skill; not all are blessed with the behaviour of being flexible and adaptable.

With time and experience you can adopt this skill.

Your ability to organise and plan things will guide you to ace the art of adaptability.

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Image: You must be able to adapt your behaviour to handle crucial situations at work.
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
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5. Team player

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This is one quality which every employer stresses upon these days.

Keeping aside your personal likes and dislikes, you need to be a team player.

No organisation can suffer because there is lack of team players in the organisation.

No job can be completed alone; even if you are hired as an individual contributor role, you still have to work with the supporting teams to get your work done. Hence, being a team player is important.

A sports team would be the best example here.

The performance and co-ordination between all players is important to win a match.

While working in a team, the most important thing you need to do is understand each other's best qualities.

Use your strengths to benefit the team and encourage others to do so as well.


Image: You must value your co-workers' skills and abilities and function as a team.
Photographs: Courtesy Yourstory.com
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