Some of you who’re reading this may still be in school or college while the rest of you may have just completed your final semester. For the ones who’ve scaled the frontier of graduation, another challenge beckons. You’ve got to land a job! Now the first step to finding a job is to ace your interview during your placements. You’re not going to get placed by just turning up. You’ve got to have the requisite skills to impress potential employers who will be looking at a million candidates this placement season. If you chose your dream course, then you would have already picked up on the requisite skills necessary to get placed in that stream. However, employers these days seek candidates with an edge. What is this edge you ask? Apart from academic qualifications, certain skills give you an edge as far as placements are concerned. Today, I shall give you an insight into what are these must-have skills this placement season because you don’t want to be at the receiving end of this:
We talk to each other all the time. It’s almost as involuntary as walking. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re all good communicators. Developing communication skills takes work. And we cannot possibly stress the importance of having good communication skills during placements. Communication skills refer to verbal skills, writing skills, presentation skills, and the ability to convey thoughts, opinions, suggestions, questions, and answers in an appropriate and professional manner. You could develop these skills through some practice. For starters, you can identify which components of communication you’re deficient in and then, work on them.
For eg; if you need help with your vocabulary, you ought to start reading quality books. Reading classics may help you improve your diction. With regard to verbal skills, try thinking about all the questions that your potential interviewer may ask and how you could answer them. Remember, communication includes listening skills too. Podcasts can help you sharpen your listening skills. Keep in mind that developing any skill is a process and it takes time.
An ability and willingness to learn
Working in a professional environment poses completely different challenges from the university. Hence, a lot of learning is required. Staying committed to the process of ‘lifelong learning’ can help you get hired during placement. This is evident in the fact that employers often pose questions like;
- Do continued learning and development inspire you?
- What is it that you have learned recently?
- What do you want to learn in the future?
So, it doesn’t kill to take certain classes. Regardless of whether it’s cooking, Tai Chi or physics, having a few courses and extra skills on your resume will go a long way in showing your employer that you’re open to learning. Mastering difficult courses outside your chosen stream show that you possess the ability to learn and understand difficult concepts. So the next time you’re free, get on Coursera and Edx.
Being in a work environment requires you to work in a team to accomplish a certain task. Most employers believe that the difference between academia and the industry is the culture of teamwork that pervades a work environment. So, they tend to look for candidates with an edge over the ‘ivory towers’ of academics. Hence, the ability to work in a team increases one’s chances to get hired. Come interview time one’s got to be prepared for;
- Have you worked in a successful team-based environment?
- How have you contributed to the team’s success?
- What have you learned about teams in the workplace?
You could prepare for it by acquiring as much knowledge as possible with regard to team-work. Becoming a team player also involves developing interpersonal skills. You could do this by reading self-help books, taking online courses etc. Regardless of whether you get the job or not, developing team skills really help you in becoming a well-rounded person.
Every team needs a team-leader and employers are always in search of such an individual. Guess what? That individual could very well be you! Potential employers, during placement look for leadership qualities in a candidate. Leadership qualities are not something you’re born with rather it is something you learn along the way. Hence, there’s no reason to say that you can’t become a leader in the future. Try and be more assertive in your everyday life to cultivate leadership skills that will serve you well in life!
This is one of the most important attributes to have with regard to landing you a job. Now confidence can take many forms in a workplace. It can come down to making persuasive presentations whenever necessary; it could be having leadership skills etc. If you’re aware of your strengths and weakness, then confidence comes easily to you. However, if for some reason you’re low on self-esteem, then you’ve got to fake it till you make it! So, presenting a confident exterior can go a long way in getting you that dream job. Apart from this, you ought to work on your confidence in the long run.
Being in a work environment entails a variety of challenges that need to be met with in different kinds of ways. Hence, prospective candidates during placement need to be dynamic and should be able to adapt to changing situations. So, adaptability is an attribute that employers look for in a candidate. Hence, you ought to convince your employers that you can perform effectively in the face of constant change.
Promotable people are an asset to an organization. So, Promotability is an essential attribute to have while sitting for placements. Potential employers could test your Promotability by asking you for your short-term and long-term expectations. Your answer to this question shows the interviewer that you’ve got career goals. So, think about where you would like to be 10- 20 years from now in your career and then see how that fits into the job position you’ve applied for.
So, we’ve seen that potential employers look for a number of attributes in prospective employees. It is important that you work on these skills in order to land that dream job! So, tell all your Facebook friends that you ‘Started working at…’ this summer!
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