If you are a recent graduate, now is the time to work on refining certain skills to help your transition to the workplace.This summer, a new group of ambitious college graduates will hit the job market. Along with their energy and enthusiasm also comes inexperience. Here are the top communication skills that employers want to see from new grads. Listen, listen, listenWhen you are just starting out, you should listen more than you talk. Really hear what the other person is saying, instead of formulating your response. Ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings. The person speaking to you should be the most important person. Don’t multitask. This means that if you are speaking to someone on the phone, do not respond to an email, or send a text at the same time. Be clear and concise Maybe every once in a while, on occasion it could be said that a college student filled a 20-page paper will a few filler words to meet a minimum word count. In the business setting, however, time is money. Getting to the point in a presentation or meeting is a premium communication skill. Work on clearly articulating your point in a concise and direct manner.Project management skills In college, a big project rarely lasted longer than a semester, and usually were much shorter. But in the workplace, you are often expected to juggle multiple projects that can last six months, a year or longer. Set several milestone goals, check in on progress regularly, get feedback, and use the resources of others around you. Practice the art of meetings Meetings in an office are also different than the group meetings or the dorms at college. To respect others’ time, always send out an agenda before the meeting, giving participants enough time to prepare. At the start of the meeting, establish the ground rules for communicating, and any other expectations. Finally, send meeting minutes to those who participated or who will be affected by what was discussed. Organizations know that it will take time for new graduates to get acclimated to their new work environment. That’s also a two-way street. Spend time getting up to speed in your communication practices, and the transition will be smoother for everyone.
Is Your Resume Ready?
Top Communication Skills Employers Seek From College Grads
24 March 2021
Transferable Skills to Highlight on Your Resume
28 October 2020
The economy has shifted at a rapid pace, with some sectors losing workers while others can’t add talent fast enough to keep up with demand.For workers who find themselves searching for jobs, making the leap is possible. Here are transferable skills to highlight on your resume and consider when searching and applying for new roles in fast-growing fields like logistics or customer service.Critical thinkingAs organizations make pivots and fast-paced changes in response to the global workforce environment, workers can take concepts learned in their previous roles, and apply them to new opportunities. In their new roles, workers need critical thinking to take their knowledge and apply it to the interconnectedness of the workplace environment. When there isn’t a road map, the ability to think on your feet and also consider long-term implications is essential and in demand. Coordination and collaborationProject management skills will always be in demand, including the need to coordinate and collaborate among multiple people, skill sets, and teams. In any workplace, you’re often expected to juggle multiple projects at once, often over a long-term timetable. Employers will always need people who can set goals, check-in on progress regularly, get feedback, and use the resources of others around you. Time managementEvery workplace has the same amount of this limited resource: Time. People who can manage time and workload effectively will be valuable wherever they go. Managing workload effectively means understanding your own abilities and timeline, and also that of others around you. Those who know how to respect others’ time will always send out an agenda before a meeting, set timelines for projects, and create check-in targets to adjust if necessary. Active listening and communicationMore than half (56%) of employers say communication skills, written and verbal, are their most valued human strengths followed by collaboration and problem-solving, according to a ManpowerGroup global survey. That’s why developing these skills are important for any workplace, and they’ll only become more necessary during change. Finally, above all learnability is needed over the long term to adapt to an ever-changing economy. Learnability is the desire and ability to continually learn and grow throughout careers. Of all transferable skills, learnability is the foundation –– and will help keep you in demand for the future.
5 Tricks to Creating a Treat-worthy Resume (with Examples!)
28 October 2020
Far too often, recruiters have received applications that have made them turn white in fright. Spelling errors, over-the-top “creative” layouts, mini autobiographies, illegible fonts (comic sans, anyone?) – these are just some of the examples that have made recruiters drop everything and run. With Halloween coming up, here’re some tips on how to make your resume a treat to read and help it land in the callback pile. 1. Keep It ConciseA recruiter often has to go through over a hundred applications for a role and the worst thing that you could do is to send in a resume that has over 20 pages detailing your life’s achievements from the time you were born. Be more discerning on the information that you want to include in your resume and be concise. A good way to do so is to list down any relevant work and education history that you have from the past 5 to 10 years as well as skills that are relevant to the job or industry that you are applying for.2. Use the Right FormattingAs most companies today are using an application tracking system (also known as ATS) to filter through applications during the initial recruitment stage, your resume is very likely to be screened by a resume bot first. To ensure that your resume is ATS-friendly, here’re some things to note:Use the right file format. Unless the system mentions you can upload PDF documents, the safest option is to use Word document saved as .doc or .docx. Stick to simple bullet pointsUse an ATS-friendly and easy to read font such as Times New Roman, Arial, and Verdana. Avoid using fonts such as Comic Sans and Jokerman. Use simple bullet points to list down your work history. Avoid using tables and columns as the information might not be detectable by the ATS.3. Look for Keywords in Job AdsBesides using the right format, it is important to tailor your resume to the job in order to get past the resume bot. A good way to start is to look at the job advertisement and determine what the skills required are and include the keywords in your resume. Besides listing down the relevant technical skills, highlight any transferable skills you have as well. However, simply including all the keywords in your resume will not work – the system is smarter than you think. Decide on the keywords that are relevant to you and incorporate them within your work experience. 4. Include Sections in Your ResumeRecruiters usually spend a few seconds to look through each application. To help recruiters easily navigate your resume and draw their attention to key information, include headings and sub-headings such as ‘Work Experience’, ‘Skills’ and ‘Education’.5. Quantify Your Work AchievementsQuantifying your work achievements is a great way to show, and not tell, the hiring manager why you’re the right candidate for the job. Besides adding legitimacy to your capabilities, doing so can help the person sifting through the applications to have a clearer understanding of the scale and impact of your accomplishments. This can be done even if your job does not directly work with numbers. Use digits to represent the numbers instead of words to make it easier to read. Here’re some examples of how you can quantify your accomplishments:Increased company’s market share by 10% within a year of launching the product in the marketImproved Google Business Reviews rating from 3.8 stars to 4.2 stars after implementing a new customer service program.Taught a class of over 30 students and increased average exam scores by at least 15 points.Wrote 5 blog articles a week which has over 100 shares per article.Use these tips to create a great resume that will be a treat to read not just during Halloween, but for any time of the year. For more resume tips, click here.
Addressing Layoffs on Your Resume
24 May 2019
A layoff can create gaps on your resume, however, there are a few things you can do to address the layoff, so that prospective companies do not penalize you for any gaps in employment. During the period of transition when you are looking for a job after a layoff, it is the perfect opportunity to update your skills and to use your time off in productive ways. Consider doing some of the following activities.Be open to other employment options such as part-time work, working on projects, temporary assignments, or consulting in areas where you have experience and expertise. Volunteering for an organization where you can gain new skills and experience is another option. If you decide to volunteer, don’t forget to add the new information in the Experience section of your resume. This is especially helpful if you are looking to switch careers. Additionally, look for organizations that offer internships for adults.Related to the point above, during your time off, consider investing in your career by going back to school and taking classes to update your skills. This will demonstrate to prospective employers that lifelong learning is important to you, and that you are someone who capitalizes on opportunities. Include your professional development activities on your resume.Use a functional resume to direct the hiring manager’s attention to the results you delivered in the past, your industry-related strengths, achievements and