Forbes recently put out a list entitled “The 10 Skills Employers Most Want in 20-Something Employees,” (to read the list, click this link https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/10/11/the-10-skills-employers-most-want-in-20-something-employees/#400bfef86330).
It is so important as we graduate and step into our professional lives that we equip ourselves with the skills necessary to crush our interviews and charm our potential employers.
As we go through the list, I will share why I feel each skill is incredibly important.
Ability to work in a team
If you say you like group projects, you’re lying. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a group of people who do not share the same drive as you. There is a meme that floats around social media that says “I want the people I did group projects with to bury me, so they can let me down one last time.” Unfortunately, graduating college does not mean saying sayonara to group projects. If anything, the groups you were put in during school are preparing you for the people you will have to work with in your job. The ability to rise above other people’s incompetence is something that is ESSENTIAL to doing well in your career.Ability to make decisions and solve problems
Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
Speaking from experience, there is nothing quite as stressful as getting to your desk in the morning and seeing stacks of paper, dozens of unread emails, and multiple voicemails. By prioritizing work and keeping things separate and organized, you are ensuring your ability to work efficiently. Also, no one wants to be in the sticky situation where your boss asks where a certain file is and you have to tear through the junk on your desk to find it.
Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
Being a communication major, it seems only right that I tell you communication is key. To be an efficient worker you need to be able to communicate professionally and effectively to ALL people. Whether it be the CEO of a fortune 500 company, or a man selling hot dogs on the street.
Ability to obtain and process information
Public Relations is a lot like journalism in the sense that it is your job to find news and decide what is news. It is essential to find out important pieces of news about your company or about big things happening in your surrounding community and market them to the general public. In the same way, if there is a crisis that you have to deal with, it is a must that you are able to find and analyze all of the data to make your client look their very best.
Ability to analyze quantitative data
To be completely honest with you, I chose communications as a major because I never wanted to take a math or science class again. Little did I know that choosing a Bachelors in SCIENCE would mean that I would never be done crunching the numbers. As much as I hate working with numbers, being able to understand quantitative data is not only important for your career but for the rest of your life.
Technical knowledge related to the job
This one is just obvious.
Proficiency with computer software programs
If you are going into a field like graphic design, you obviously need to be skilled on programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc, and if you are going to be a filmmaker, it’s definitely important to be a pro at iMovie and Garage Band, but for the average Joe’s of the world, a basic knowledge of Microsoft programs and other built in computer software can never hurt. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with those programs now will save you a lot of time in the future.
Ability to create and/or edit written reports
Being able to write well is a no brainer for someone hoping to be seen as a professional. In a normal day in any given job it is necessary to send emails or other written correspondence, whether it be blog posts, newsletters, or press releases.
Ability to sell and influence others
This is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult skills to master. How can you try to persuade someone to do something effectively enough without sounding like a sleazy salesman? If you can master the fine line between being too pushy and not pushy enough, you are sure to excel at this skill.