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The Top 8 Job Skills Graduate Recruiters Are Looking For

2nd December 2022 | by: James Baker
The Top 8 Job Skills Graduate Recruiters Are Looking For

As you might imagine, a graduate recruiter will behave very differently than a traditional recruiter during their talent search. 

They know you likely won't have much relevant job experience on your CV. After all, you spend most of your time studying, having fun, and attending lectures - which usually only leaves time for a part-time job. 

This lack of job experience means that graduate recruiters will assess your employability based on your transferable skills, extracurricular activities, and grades. 

While we can't make you study hard or get involved in a university society, our graduate recruiters can help you communicate the right job skills to stand out in a pile of CVs. 

So if you want to give yourself the best chance of securing a great job after graduation, keep reading as we explore the top 8 job skills graduate recruiters are looking for and how you can explain them on your CV. 

Let's get started!

Show off these 8 skills for graduate job success

While the job you're chasing after may need you to have specific skills for industry-related tasks, it's crucial that, as a graduate, you develop your "transferable skills". 

Transferable job skills make you a great worker, no matter what type of role or industry you'd like to pursue, because they're transferable from one job to the next. 

Below, you'll find the most popular skills that graduate recruiters want to see on your CV and how to demonstrate them on paper and in interviews.

Communication skills

You may be able to walk the walk, but can you talk the talk? Communication skills are incredibly important for any job, as you must clearly communicate your needs, ideas, progress, and issues with others to work effectively as a team. 

Instead of simply writing "great communication skills" on your CV, support this fact with some evidence. For example, you could explain how you had to communicate your ideas during presentations, write concise essays for your projects, or listen carefully during class debates.

Problem solving skills

There won't be any job in the world that doesn't come with problems to solve. Whether it's simply figuring out how to complete a specific task or overcoming a more complex issue, graduate recruiters love to see problem solvers on their shortlists.

Try to show how you overcame the obstacles you faced during university or even your personal life. Describe the ways you approached different problems and how you resolved them. Maybe it was a project gone awry or a communication breakdown, for instance.

Business skills

Graduate recruiters love talking to candidates that know how modern businesses work. Whether you're going into retail or science, every company you work for is a business with a mission, competitors, and goals. Showing you understand this can help your CV shine.

Whether you took a business class or not, show off your knowledge about the specific industry you'd like to break into. You can simply research online to learn about the industry, top players, business strategies, and customers.

Collaboration skills

Collaborating effectively means work projects run smoother, take less time, and are more profitable. That's why graduate recruiters always look for candidates who seem like great team players because, in almost every industry, you'll work as part of a team. 

So, how can you show that you're a great collaborator? Give examples of times you had to work well as a team in university to achieve a particular goal. Show your graduate recruiter that you know what it takes to create a great working relationship however you can. 

Organisation skills

In most careers, you'll need to manage your time effectively, stay on top of your tasks, and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. These essential skills come down to being an organised person. 

Make sure your graduate recruiter knows how skilled you are at working towards deadlines, managing multiple projects at once, keeping your calendar organised, and prioritising your tasks based on urgency. Luckily, you'll likely have done all of these things in university!

Leadership skills

Though you likely won't enter a leadership role straight after graduating, that doesn't make leadership skills any less essential for graduate recruiters. Leadership skills show that you know how to take charge, work off your initiative, and positively influence others.

The best way to show your leadership skills to a graduate recruiter is by talking about times you lead a project at university or for an extracurricular activity. Were you that theatre kid who designed and created all the set designs for uni plays? Let them know!

Innovation skills

One thing that employers love about graduates is that you enter their company with a fresh perspective and the most up-to-date knowledge learned in university, making you a great innovator. 

With such a fast-changing world, you must show off just how innovative you can be. Give examples of situations where you came up with a new way of doing something that made things better, or even explain how you like to think outside the box and get creative.

Adaptive skills

Graduate recruiters look for candidates who can be flexible and adapt quickly to changing situations in the workplace. This is because when you first enter the workforce after university, everything will be new to you, so you need to be ready to try new things. 

Demonstrate your adaptability by highlighting your eagerness to learn new skills. You can also describe a situation where you had to quickly react to a change in workload, types of work, or even people you worked with during university. 

Want more job tips? Talk to our graduate recruiters today!

We hope you're ready to start shining up your CV with these most sought-after graduate job skills. Still not sure how to frame your skills and experience the right way for the best shot at your dream job?

You don't have to navigate your career alone. Our expert recruitment consultants are here to nurture you from job applications right through to interviews and onboarding. 

At Buchanan Search, we help UK graduates, entry-level workers, and trainees navigate the next step in their professional journeys with helpful advice, attentive support, and ongoing access to the best job opportunities out there. 

Get in touch with us today to carve out your dream career path, step by step. 

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