Research suggests that employers want graduates who not only add value but who can cope with change and who are able to help to positively transform their organization in the face of continuous and rapid change. Employers want graduates who can anticipate change and effectively communicate innovations to colleagues as well as clients and customers. According to the research, 6 areas of graduate attributes emerge as of major importance to employers.
Highlighted below are these six attributes;
1. Ability to work in a modern organization
2. Core/transferable skills
Employers expect graduates to exhibit a wide range of attributes in addition to the acquisition of a body of knowledge. The research suggests a set of generic or core skills and attributes including;
- willingness to learn
- team work
- communication skills
- problem solving
- analytic ability
- logical argument
- ability to summarize key issues
Likewise a range of personal attributes including;
- flexibility and adaptability
3. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are regarded as very important by graduate recruiters, but one where there is a gap between expectations and performance. According to some employers, majority of graduate lack the ability to communicate and interact well with others; some graduates think arrogance or rudeness equates self-confidence. There is a fine line drawn between arrogance and self confidence and it is the latter that recruiters look for during the selection process. listed below are some interpersonal skills that employers often lookout for;
The right level of self-confidence in the workplace can open doors and help you to gain recognition. It can also demonstrate how you approach various situations and deal with them both positively and effectively.
b. Work Ethic
Having a strong work ethic is viewed favorably by many recruiters. Work ethics can be split into;
- Professionalism: This incorporates everything from how you present yourself through to your appearance and how you treat others.
- Respect: All workplaces require you to work under pressure at some time or another, and exercising grace under stress will earn you more recognition. No matter how short the deadline or how heated things may get, always retain your diplomacy and poise.
- Dependability: Employers need to know they have employees they can count on. If you are always on time, well prepared and deliver work when you say you will, this demonstrates your work ethic and commitment to the business.
c. Relationship Management
Building effective relationships is one thing but managing them is something entirely different. This is an important skill in many roles, from junior posts through to management.
d. Receptiveness to Feedback
Being open to feedback can help you develop both personally and professionally. Therefore, view all feedback as a chance to learn and never react defensively. This can take some practice, especially if the feedback is negative, but always take a deep breath and focus on how you can improve.
e. Positive Attitude
Showing positivity, even in difficult situations, is important. Therefore, be positive from the moment you fill out the application form or write a covering letter through to the interview, your first day at work and beyond.
Employers place a great deal of importance on graduates’ communication skills both oral and written. Communication skills, including listening, are important to employers because it is necessary for graduates in industry to communicate ideas and concepts efficiently and effectively to colleagues and customers.
5. Enthusiasm for learning and willingness to learn
Tertiary education is frequently seen as developing students’ knowledge. However, learning, they say is a continous process. Therefore, employers often seek graduates who have the enthusism and willingness to learn.
Some employees have stated that the subject of the degree may be of little or no consequence. Even for employers who value specialist knowledge it is still relatively unimportant because it has a short shelf life.
Employers consider that understanding of core principles, technical ability, potential and willingness to learn and continually updating knowledge are more important than a stock of knowledge. The y realise that problem solving is a very imprtant attribute which graduates lack due to lack of real world application.
6. Knowledge and intellectual ability
Employers have over the years stated their dissattisfaction with the innovation of graduates, in part due to the insensitivity of graduates to the implications of innovation.
Certainly, employers will like to get graduates who lateral thinking abilities, are flexible and intellectually adaptable. They expect graduates to exhibit a range of intellectual abilities. They want graduates who are inquisitive, innovative, logical, critical, creative, able to think laterally and conceptualize issues rapidly.
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