Top Skills That Employers Want From Graduates

New Graduates Preparing for Work

New Graduates Preparing for Work

Job interviews are always nerve-wracking, though they can prove even more so when you are hoping to clinch your first full-time job. This time of year brings employers a fresh batch of bright, young graduates, newly out of university. Having just left higher education, it can be difficult to have faith in your short, qualification-based CV. Though, no matter what position you are applying for, or how much experience you have, there are a particular set of skills that employers in all industries are looking for. Here’s an outline of all the characteristics that will impress employers and recruiters when applying got your first graduate job.

Communication & Interpersonal Skills

A solid foundation for every promising candidate is a great set of communication and interpersonal skills. Not only do employers want to add a friendly, team player to their workforce, they will be looking for someone who can communicate effectively – both verbally and non-verbally – choosing the appropriate medium and correct tone for every situation. Fortunately, much of the recruitment process is a perfect opportunity for candidates to showcase their communication and interpersonal skills, so no matter how nervous you are, be sure to relax, smile and be confident for your first interview.

Critical Thinking

Assuming an analytical approach is an important asset in any position. Critical thinking goes beyond your ability to correctly understand the information presented to you, referring instead to the way you interpret it. Being able to analyse and evaluate the credibility of different sources is something that many graduates learn while at university, so don’t be shy of pinpointing the times your critical approach has bettered your work to your potential employer.


Creativity is a fantastic asset, both in and out of the workplace. However, there are many different ways of defining creativity; creative thinking goes far beyond artistic flair. Creative thinking is more about a candidate’s ability to troubleshoot and problem solve. Thinking outside the box to find solutions is invaluable to employers

Commercial Awareness

Know your sector. Not only will a well-rounded awareness of the business you aspire to be in indicate a passion for the industry. Before the interview, research your prospective employer make sure that you are fully aware of the organisation, its market, achievements, goals and how it competes. You should also be familiar with the trends and fluctuations that can impact your potential employer, consider also trends that they can capitalise on.

Eagerness to Learn

As a new graduate, employers can see from your CV that you have the ability to apply yourself, focus and learn. Nevertheless, your first grad job will present a very different method of learning than your time at university. Make clear in your interview that you are ready for a new challenge and excited to learn in a different environment, employers will welcome your passion and are always keen to have their employees progress with them.



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