5 work-ready attributes employers love to see in recent graduates

In an increasingly competitive job market, graduates must work twice as hard to find meaningful employment. Academic excellence is not the be-all and end-all of a prospective hire’s employability rating; employers want well-rounded candidates whose skills extend to activities outside of the classroom environment. According to The Times Higher Education (THE), getting an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree is important, but a candidate’s personal skills and natural instincts are just as significant when it comes to getting hired.

Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters explains that the best candidates usually have the right combination of sought-after knowledge, skills and attributes. “The best candidate usually gets the job as they have self-analysed, done their career research and met the employer’s needs,” he says. “These truisms apply equally to undergraduates and postgraduates.”

It’s a statement that many recruitment specialists agree with, including Sam Miskin, talent acquisition manager at Hearst Magazines, who adds that work experience, commitment and having the right skills and attitude are also important factors considered by employers.

While it is true the job market is expected to improve in 2017, a CNBC report warns that graduates of 2016 will need to compete with graduates from previous years who are currently unemployed, or working low-wage jobs unrelated to their chosen field. Therefore, for graduates to ace interviews and snag their dream careers, it’s important that they combine both academic and personal skills with the right work experience to ensure they snag that ultimate position.

At Regent’s University London, students are encouraged to pursue work experience opportunities, attend guest speaker lectures, and participate in networking events throughout their degree programme to help them get one step closer to their career aspirations.

“When our graduates leave, they are able to perform confidently anywhere in the world. They go on to build successful international careers in a range of industries, as well as becoming entrepreneurs, starting their own companies, or returning to ensure the continuing success of family businesses,” says Professor Aldwyn Cooper, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive at Regent’s University London.

Job hunting can be difficult, but equipped with the following skills, you’ll find yourself one up above the rest. Here are 5 work-ready attributes employers love to see:

1. International perspective

Studying in a diverse and multicultural environment allows students to develop a global network of friends and create a list of contacts upon graduation. And with Regent’s, you’ll truly get to experience this, as the institution represents students from over 140 nationalities, creating a cosmopolitan environment of rich diversity. At Regent’s internationalism is a way of life and programmes are international in both scope and relevance with many students spending a period of study abroad.  Languages is also an integral part of a Regent’s education, with students being encouraged to take classes in any of nine economically important languages to prepare them enter the world of work and operate globally.

2. Industry/Relevant experience

Employers are constantly looking for the right fit for their company, and this is something staff at Regent’s understand. The institution is industry-focused and has access to the latest thinking and developments in the field through contact with visiting experts and industry networking events. MA Luxury Brand Management regularly hosts luxury seminars to give students access to the latest insights and developments in the industry. High profile speakers in 2016 have included Helen David, Harrods Fashion Director, Matthew Zorpas from The Gentleman Blogger and Valerie Kaminov, CEO of Miller Harris Perfumes to name a few.

The university also regularly organises seminars and debates with students welcome to participate and share their thoughts on the impact of global events. Additionally, students can seek guidance and advice from the university’s career advisors, who provide help with applications and cover letters, or offer welcome moral support. For some, work placements are an integrated part of the programme, which are always highly-valued by employers.

3. Strong communication skills

Effective communication skills are among the most cited industry requirements, according to a Bloomberg report. The ability to speak to your lecturers and peers is a skill that you will master with Regents’ world-class programmes. You will have the opportunity to work on live briefs, presentations and real-world cases to balance academic knowledge with practical hands-on learning.

4. Leadership potential

As Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, says, “Leadership belongs to those who take it”. Leadership is one of the key traits that recruitment managers look for in graduates, so take charge of a school project or volunteer to lead a new team as part of your extracurricular activities. If your interest lies in leadership and management, the university offers a BA (Hons) Global Management degree where you can learn about proactive decision-making among other skills, to become a future business leader.

At postgraduate level, Regent’s offers an MA Management which takes a holistic approach to management and leadership theory with a strong focus on developing your personal as well as professional attributes.

5. ‘Go-getter’ attitude

Besides getting good grades, it’s important to get some extra-curriculars under your belt to ensure your CV is well-rounded. Employers don’t just look at qualifications and work experience to make a sound decision; they’ll want to know if you’re proactive, so show you are just that by joining the university’s campus-wide activities, clubs, societies, and social events.

The Student Union organises various networking events, or you could get involved in major social/cultural events that run throughout the year, including the Grand Autumn Party, the Regent’s Arts Festival, and more. But if that doesn’t float your boat, you can participate in the institution’s competitive sports teams, which include football, basketball and polo, just to name a few. There are also a range of other sports available, or you could even start your own unique club with the university’s help. It doesn’t stop there, once you graduate you will be able to join the Alumni Association better known as Regent’s clubs and become part of a network of more than 15,800 alumni in 158 countries.

With the support and guidance of a great university such as Regent’s University London, you’ll be able to achieve your dream career goals. Located in the heart of the UK capital, the institution accepts direct applications all year-round with intakes in January and September. To find out more or to order a prospectus, click here.

Follow Regent’s University London on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

All images courtesy of Regent’s University London

Liked this? Then you’ll love these…

Why more employers in Asia are seeking ethical business graduates

Why education is an essential ingredient for successful entrepreneurship