In my last post I highlighted the need for students to understand the common traits and habits of successful people. In this post I want to review what professional skills employers are looking for from recent graduates. It’s no secret that today’s job market is extremely competitive even for the best and brightest of college graduates to land that dream job upon graduation. In order for college students to market themselves and better prepare for today’s challenging marketplace, they should consider engaging in one or internship programs. Doing so can help students develop and polish up the professional skills employers are looking for from recent graduates.
“...college graduates looking to crack the still-tight job market need to hone their verbal communication skills.”
This confirms a trend that has been consistent for the last several years. As Matthew Stewart pointed out in 2006,
“Next to analysis, communication skills must count among the most important for future masters of the universe.”
Additionally, college graduates also need to demonstrate a strong work ethic, teamwork skills, analytical skills, and initiative. Participating in an internship abroad experience can help students polish each of these professional skills and position students better as they enter today’s hyper-competitive job market. According to another NACE study,
"New graduates who took part in an internship program are more likely to have received a job offer than their peers who decided to forgo the experience."
It is important to remember that when students participate in an internship they need to talk to their supervisor, other colleagues and, if the position allows itself, clients. Learning to communicate with various constituents in an office setting is far different then communicating to peers electronically or on campus.
Regardless of major, all students should consider an internship, and if possible, an internship away from campus so they can work on developing other traits and habits of successful people. Whether students are majoring in engineering, nursing, psychology or anything in between, there are numerous opportunities for students to engage with professionals from around the world and, by so doing, they can help polish their professional skills.
Note: The ABCs of Marketing Yourself is now available as an e-book. Click here for more information.
"Discover Your Value (DYV)" is a 14-part blog series that helps individuals learn how to communicate their value to others with an emphasis on their international experience. Michael Edmondson, Ph.D., is the Director of Marketing and Recruitment for The Philadelphia Center. He and Peter Abramo, Ph.D., are the authors of The ABCs of Marketing Yourself: A Workbook for College Students, upon which this series of blog posts is based. You can follow Michael on Twitter at @ThinkActGrow.