Graduates Life Skills Are Essential

Graduates Life Skills Are Essential

Interview Checklist

How graduates can use university life to demonstrate the skills employers seek

When seeking a graduate job, it goes without saying that most of your time in recent years has been spent studying rather than accumulating work experience. When you apply for a job, or you attend an interview, you will need to demonstrate to the company not only that you are highly educated, but also that you possess the required skills for the role.

If you have work experience – vacation work, evening and weekend roles during term time, work placements during the course of your studies or post-graduation work experience, then you can talk about how you have demonstrated the necessary attributes in the workplace.

Otherwise, you will need to draw on your academic studies and your university extra-curricular activities to try and persuade the company to hire you. Some of the ways you may be able to demonstrate skills that can be transferred to the workplace include:

  • Organisation – a university education is fantastic in this respect, as you probably had a range of coursework deadlines, both long-term and short-term, so talk about how you organised your time to ensure all deadlines were met. Away from your studies, talk about any student events you helped to organise
  • Leadership – any leadership of project teams during your course, or key positions held in student societies or sports teams
  • Written communication – significant pieces of written work you completed during your course, plus any experience writing for student publications
  • Oral communication – any presentations you delivered in tutorials or at any other time during your course, or any experience on a student radio station
  • Customer service – any experience as some form of student representative, such as a block or corridor rep. In your hall of residence
  • Research – how you went about gathering information for your coursework
  • Analysis – any items of coursework that required you to gather, process and evaluate large amounts of data
  • Teamwork – experiences from sports teams, university societies or group projects during your course where you were trying to reach a common goal
  • Motivation – explain any weaknesses identified during your studies, such as subject areas you struggled with, and how you overcame these
  • Innovation – any ways you improved the way a student society operated

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