Preparing for the job market and harnessing relevant skills is an evolving process, especially in the dynamic technological landscape. In addition to the integration of career-readiness skills formed in the classroom, college students can begin to prepare themselves for employment by developing and growing their skills in these four key areas:
Learning how to gather insights from others and deepen connections in a team setting is the primary skill employers are seeking in recent graduates. Being an active listener and knowing how to draw on the range of expertise and perspectives of team members will position you as a leader.
Your Next Step: Join a Student Professional Organization at the Fox School of Business. Once a member of the organization, take it one step further and apply for a leadership role within the organization.
“Having some type of leadership experience on your resume is a great way to help separate yourself from the crowd,” says Jared Yoder, recruitment specialist for Clark Associates. “By nature, leaders are people that take initiative, motivate those around them, and act as problem solvers.
“Employers realize this and as a result are constantly searching for candidates that have significant leadership potential,” Yoder adds. “Strong leadership is the backbone of great companies, but oftentimes good leaders can be hard to come by.”
Thinking outside the box and showcasing how you can come up with creative solutions to problems is another highly coveted skill. In a rapidly changing business landscape, employers are seeking candidates who can adapt and who can demonstrate how they have found new ways or new tools that will solve a problem.
Your Next Step: Highlight your creative thinking on your resume by drawing on class projects or experiences in an internship or job as examples. Be prepared with specific examples during an interview.
Being able to effectively communicate what you need for your role or from your team is paramount—especially in today’s hybrid work environment. Whether you are talking on Zoom or typing messages in Microsoft Teams, excellent communication across all platforms is key.
“If you want to succeed, you need to be able to communicate with multiple audiences—clients, co-workers, bosses, direct reports, mentors, suppliers, partners, etc.,” says Jimmy P. Miller, director of the Business Communication Center at the Fox School. “The people who will get promoted tomorrow are the ones who recognize this and hone these skills now.”
Your Next Step: Connect with the Fox School’s Business Communication Center for writing and presentation coaching throughout your Fox career. Its tutors aim to help you improve not just your grades, but also your skills in tailoring your messages to specific audiences.
You can also enroll in one of the many LinkedIn communication courses in TU Portal. They are free! Many recruiters are working in the digital space using online hiring tools. Thus, the interview process is your time to showcase your communication skills–from your written resume and cover letter to email correspondence with recruiters to an in-person or Zoom interview. All of these methods allow you to demonstrate your communication skills, so start practicing interview answers and proofreading your resume.
“BDO values candidates who have more to offer beyond the expected qualifications; we appreciate individuals who bring diversity of thought, unwavering motivation and an eagerness to tackle new challenges,” according to Sarah Turcotte, National Campus Recruiting Leader for BDO, for the following topic: the importance of Leadership experience.
“Candidates possessing leadership skills such as problem-solving, strong communication and the ability to work well with others, will make an immediate impact and also contribute to a culture of collaboration and teamwork.”
Technical skills and data are often driving company growth, so it’s no surprise that employers are seeking candidates with these skills. Understanding and analyzing data and using quantitative tools such as surveys and statistical modeling are essential.
Your Next Step: Include examples on your resume of work you have done such as managing budgets or analyzing survey data. Try to quantify the impact of your efforts whenever possible, even if the work was not necessarily quantitative in nature.
Enroll in a Fox School course that integrates artificial intelligence (AI) – for example: MIS3580 – Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the Workplace and FIN 2527. Digital Disruption in Financial Services.
Investigate one of the many free LinkedIn learning courses to strengthen these areas. You can access these courses in TU Portal under TU Applications on the left side column.
“Employers are seeking graduates equipped not only with in-demand technical skills such as data analysis and software proficiency, but also with the ability and desire to develop those skills in response to the rapid pace of technological advancement,” says Pam Lyman, executive director of the Fox Center for Student Professional Development.
“A couple of years ago, nobody had heard of ChatGPT. What will emerge two years from now? Fox and CSPD stay up-to-date on the latest advancements to ensure that our graduates are competitive and prepared for the job market.”