How to market your key skills in the current climate27th September 2023
Graduates of 2023 are entering a highly challenging and uncertain job market, marked by heightened competition and a scarcity of job openings. As such, it’s crucial to equip yourself with the essential skills needed to navigate this challenging job landscape.
So, how can graduates effectively manoeuvre through the job market and effectively showcase their key skills to potential employers? We’ve put together some of the key capabilities you should be highlighting and some tips on how you can demonstrate them.
Resilience is a crucial trait in today’s constantly evolving job market, distinguished by its competitiveness and the mounting cost of living. This skill revolves around your ability to recover from setbacks and challenges. With the global pandemic receding into the past, the focus has shifted to the ongoing pressures of increased workloads and the relentless rise in living expenses.
In this dynamic job market, potential employers frequently inquire about your resilience. A common question you might encounter is, “How do you handle pressure?” Employers seek applicants who can navigate demanding situations with efficiency and composure. They may request specific instances where you’ve effectively managed pressure or stress, demonstrating how such challenges fuelled your productivity.
Interviewers are constantly seeking qualities that contribute to career success, and in 2023, adaptability stands out as a pivotal soft skill. Employers highly value candidates who can effortlessly adjust to the evolving demands of the business environment.
Adaptability is a challenging skill to showcase during interviews. You might consider discussing how you adapted to new situations and acquired fresh skills. For instance, you could talk about your university studies and how you navigated the transition to online learning. Additionally, you may share experiences from your work, describing how your role evolved, and how you adeptly managed these changes.
Initiative and Collaboration
Demonstrating initiative is a valuable trait, especially in the context of modern workplaces that often emphasise collaboration, whether in an office or a hybrid work environment. It’s crucial to showcase your ability to self-motivate and accomplish tasks autonomously, while also highlighting your capacity to work effectively within a team to achieve shared objectives.
As a university graduate, you can draw upon various instances where you proactively contributed to your studies. This could involve undertaking supplementary courses to enhance your knowledge, reaching out to alumni for research collaboration or addressing issues independently without direct instruction.
However, the scope of examples extends beyond your academic life and can encompass your experiences in part-time employment, internships, volunteer work and even personal life situations. In today’s work terrain, the ability to take initiative and collaborate harmoniously with others is highly prized by employers, irrespective of whether your work is primarily remote or in an office setting.
In 2023, digital communication remains a cornerstone for enhancing productivity within companies. They continue to heavily rely on digital platforms to facilitate collaboration and streamline workflows.
Effective communication, in this context, transcends mere verbal interaction; it also entails active listening. To exhibit strong communication skills, consider honing them in preparation for interviews. You can seek assistance from a friend or family member to conduct mock interviews, or practice before a mirror. Demonstrations of exceptional communication abilities are not confined to formal interviews alone, they also abound in various settings, including part-time employment, internships, and university experiences.
For instance, you might reflect on occasions when you had to address a group, present ideas or convey your knowledge. In today’s environment, the capacity to communicate effectively through digital means is invaluable, emphasising the importance of both verbal and non-verbal communication skills in the modern professional world.
Organisation is always on the top list of key skills for employers but you may be asked how to demonstrate this in slightly more detail due to the ongoing challenge of juggling the demands of education, professional and personal life. Organisations want to see you can be productive with your time. They want evidence that you can prioritise, be efficient and keep on top of your workload. Throughout your studies you will have managed your coursework and this can be used as a good example, but don’t stop there, discuss how you’ve managed this workload, did you use spreadsheets to manage your time? To do lists? How often would you update these? Did you have other commitments whilst completing this work? If so how did you manage all of these commitments at once? Answering these questions will help demonstrate you are a well organised individual, with the ability to prioritise and complete your work in a timely manner.
These are just some of the key skills which we feel are more of a priority for employers now and in the future. Remember to try to demonstrate your skills using varied examples. To help graduates navigate their job search in the current climate we have several advice articles available to read in the news and advice section of our website.
If you’d like to apply for one of our roles or need some extra support please get in touch with one of our consultants who will be happy to help.