2023 HBCU Careers Magazine

HBCU Careers Magazine

Top 4 Soft Skills You Need Post-Graduation By Elvis Santos

As a Career Services Professional over the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure working with some amazing students leading them towards career opportunities, resume building, and job searching. Every student has different needs and expectations. The job market has drastically changed post pandemic with remote and hybrid options, but either way you choose a career opportunity that offers those kinds of roles, having the right soft skills are critical ensuring you have what it takes to complete simple tasks. Soft skills are just as important, so employers are making the shift from looking at degrees, and years of experience and focusing on a skill-based hiring process. If you are a recent graduate from college or about to graduate, here are four soft skills employers are looking for in candidates.

1. Communication Skills Being able to convey and receive information is essential in a workplace, whether you’re communicating via email, in person with colleagues or presentations. As a recent graduate, being an effective communicator can show recruiters and employers your ability not only being a young professional, but also getting your message across verbally and via writing. Communication skills also allow us to build trust, respect, and have a space to share our ideas creatively and problem solving. 2. Flexibility A candidate who is able to have flexibility for a new role demonstrates their versatility, resilience, and adaptability to change. Employers are moving away from the typical Monday through Friday 9:00am-5:00pm schedule that many are so used to. Instead, employers seek candidates who are willing to respond to the changes in the workplace. The pandemic was a perfect example of employees having to adapt, making the transition from on-site to remote work, and I believe more Generation-Z candidates are more open to being flexible with scheduling and the workplace. It has become one of the most valued skills for candidates to have, so if you are looking for a great soft skill to have, flexibility should be at the top of your list. 3. Critical Thinking Skills Can you solve problems? Do you possess the ability to find solutions in the workplace? Having critical thinking skills allows you to be the employee in the room who can gather information, be resourceful, and has decision making qualities. If you are a student who has worked during college, chances are you had to develop critical thinking skills in finding what’s the best solution for customers. Critical thinking is having the ability to analyze the way in which you think and present your ideas. Employers are looking for problem-solvers, are you one of them? If so, make sure you can speak to that skillset with employers. 4. Technical Skills Every single employer is using a form of computer/laptop, communication messaging, or the ability to complete complex tasks with software such as Excel or Salesforce. It is critical as a recent graduate that you develop technical skills because to some degree, you will be using technology and/or software in the workplace and you must be technologically savvy. If you’re an accounting or finance recent graduate, you will most likely use excel i.e. pivot tables, v-lookups, and functions. Even if you’re not within those specific academic programs, you’re using technology. Be ready to talk about your technical skills with an employer, they are bound to ask during an interview.


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