With the jobs market remaining a merciless battlefield for the average student, it seems that high qualifications are not the only thing graduates are expected to possess after their matriculation.
Former students are now expected to have an extensive skill-set which demonstrates their ability to perform in a working environment in addition to high grades.
Whilst practical, hands-on experience has always been recognised as a key identifier for those looking to promote themselves ahead of the competition, a number of other personal skills are desired in the ideal candidate.
Top traits: what you need to succeed
Excellent communication and learning agility are naturally top of the list of desirable traits – as is the ability to work within a varied and diverse environment.
The importance of possessing interpersonal, as well as intrapersonal, skills has also emphasised, with all modern businesses relying on close communication and interaction in order to obtain success.
Common sense dictates that anyone seeking employment should prioritise these skills when promoting themselves – but is this asking too much of those who are fresh out of university?
For graduates, the need to demonstrate these skills is just another demand enforced on them by seemingly hard-to-please employers, but whilst such expectations may initially seem unrealistic, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Most of these abilities are commonplace within the graduate skill set, as almost all universities boast a multi-cultural atmosphere which encourages varied communication and develops strong interpersonal skills.
Engaging with new material rapidly and embracing a steep learning curve are also talents most students will have perfected during the course of their study, with exposure to new challenges a key component of most, if not all, course syllabuses.
Do you think employer expectations are disproportionate to the reality surrounding the graduate job market? How have you tried to supplement your academic qualifications when looking for a graduate job?