5 Essential Skills Every Fresh Graduate Should Have to Get a Job
After graduation, the fancy roll of paper that adds to your qualifications shouldn’t be the only thing you leave school with. During the entirety of your university life, you should have hopefully picked up some skills that can be applied to your new working life, giving you an added advantage and value over the rest of fresh graduates who most definitely have the same fancy paper roll.
We’ll share with you some secrets on what skills to hone & sharpen that will not only land you a job but also guide you in the workplace and life!
1. Think Smart and Hard
Let’s face reality, Malaysia’s education system relies heavily on students to do everything by the book and never question the teacher. This system works well up to even our undergraduate studies but when it comes to real-life situations that need a sharp-witted mind, this is where the majority of fresh graduates will fail.
Being a critical thinker doesn’t mean being negative or pointing wrong things out, it means you can evaluate and analyse a problem fully informed and on both sides until coming up with a well thought out solution.
An employee with high thinking skills is definitely more valued over an employee who is a genius among the books but once placed on the street,… well, let’s say, they’re going to survive.
2. Time to suit up mentally
Now with more companies approaching a relaxed and casual approach to how work should be (ball pits in Google offices anyone?), it does not mean you should continue the laidback student life you were once living. Your lecturers might have been lenient but your employers? Not so much.
It’s not just about dressing professionally even though that definitely helps but it’s your attitude that really matters. So start showing up to work on time and always meet your deadlines & commitments. If you do struggle, in the beginning, be honest with your superiors or HR, they want their employees to be able to do their best too.
Another important professionalism tip to note is NEVER gossip or complain about your bosses, superiors or co-workers to anyone else working in your company. Word will eventually circulate around and you don’t want to be seen as the office’s backbiter.
3. Improve on written and oral communication
Print journalism might be dead but it just moved into a newer medium. Written words still live on, this article is proof of this. Work on articulating your words well whether on paper or through your mouth. A powerful and confident writer or speaker will definitely wow any future employers and clients.
How to go on about this? As usual, practice makes perfect. So read more as that will improve not only writing skills but also reading comprehension (perfect for when you need to skim through boring work documents). Record yourself before a big pitch or presentation to improve on any speaking quirks you might have like speaking too fast or moving your hands too much. Speak up more during meetings.
4. Group Work is Good Work
This might seem dreadful for any introverts out here but working on a project with co-workers is inevitable in any work environment. And yes this also applies to the stereotypical loner computer guy (who probably has a whole team now thanks to technological advancements in every business).
You probably already experienced it in your undergraduate or postgraduate studies, you probably had bad experiences with an MIA or deadweight groupmate but keep on chugging on those collaborative skills, no one likes an employee who is selfish. Learn to compromise with other employees and your employers will definitely value you more.
5. Technical Skills
In this digital age, even if your choice of career has absolutely zero relation to technology, we’re pretty sure there will come a time where you have to execute specific software for your job. Could be something as simple as Word or Excel or something that might have not even crossed your paths like photo editing or video editing.
You might go “But there are professionals for that!” but trust us, knowing additional technical skills will definitely give you a leg up the career ladder. It could also supplement as additional income for you too! There’s always freelance jobs for graphic designers.