Education

Skills that Increase Post-Grad Job Prospects

One of the most common anxieties of recent graduates or soon-to-be graduates is the stresses of the job market ahead of them.

No matter what field a graduate majored in, finding a job can be intimidating and incredibly challenging, especially with the amount of competition in the modern market.


In the face of this competition and anxiety, it’s always helpful to think of some skills that will increase the hireable traits in young adults fresh to the job market. Here are a few universal skills you can make sure the graduates in your life possess to be prepared for the world of opportunity ahead of them!

 

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Motivation


Though most people have already had to learn some tips and tricks with motivation well before graduating university, it doesn’t lose a drop of importance during the job hunt.

Making sure graduates are informed on all of the secrets of motivation before joining the workforce is important, not only for the job hunting, but for the careers ahead of them.

You may not be able to undo a lifetime of unproductive habits or loose-ends in a graduate, but there are a few ways you can promote the importance of motivation before they walk into their first major job interview:


  • Set small and measurable goals

    Whether your roll in a graduate’s life is as faculty or staff, it is important to stress smaller goals, even as parts of bigger projects or assignments. Upon graduation, this can easily be applied to work tasks or staying organized with the application process. These smaller and more manageable goals can spike motivation since tasks will seem far less daunting and complicated.

  • Promote positivity

    By helping graduates view their lives and tasks in a positive light (emphasizing opportunity, focusing on strengths and things going right, etc.), it can make it a lot easier to maintain motivation and want to keep pushing through the stressful parts of hunting down jobs.

  • Remind them of the big picture

    With stress and anxiety, it can be easy to lose sight of the main reasons that graduates went to school and the dreams they have been pursuing. Healthy reminders of their potential and goals can keep them on track when everything else feels overwhelming and tedious.



Job hunting and keeping up with a full-time job are both exhausting tasks, and it can be easy to procrastinate and avoid actually tackling the work.

Making sure to tackle the root of motivation can make it a lot easier to overcome these instances of fatigue and doubt.

 



Interview Etiquette


Preparing students for the interviews ahead of them is one of the most important things you can do, regardless of the skill level and merit of the individual.

An interview can really make or break a person’s chances at getting a job. Even with the most impressive resumes, a botched interview can easily leave a bad taste in the employer’s mouth and tip the skills against their favor.

One of the first things that graduates should be aware of is interview attire. To be on the safe side it’s important to remain conservative, neat and professional, because there is no way to know how biased the employer may be regarding this.

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In addition to proper presentation, it’s important to bring several fresh, updated copies of their resume, to research the company and employer beforehand and to prepare appropriate and thoughtful questions before the interview.

In addition to providing these tips, you could also provide mock interviews for graduates so that they can be familiar with the process before it’s real.

 


Freelance Skills


Whether a student has strengths with writing, graphic design or technology, there is likely a world of freelance opportunity for them.

Freelance is an excellent way to make substantial amounts of extra money when individuals are between jobs, working part-time or simply need some supplemental income.

The best part of freelance work is that its flexible and can be molded to any schedule since it is done remotely. It can be done while working other jobs or in the middle of the application and interview process.

There are plenty of online resources to help freelancers get started if they are in need of a platform to find clients. Some major ones include:

  • Upwork

  • TaskRabbit

  • Fiverr

  • Freelancer

  • Toptal

 

David Dodge, CEO of Codakid, firmly believes in the importance of freelance skills in today’s market:

 

“Not only is it easier than ever to freelance because of the Internet, freelancing has always been a great way to get through the tough parts of searching for employment. We live in an age were there are a lot more online and remote positions available and full-time jobs have intense competition, so strengthening some marketable freelance skills is vital, particularly for young adults new to the workforce.”

 

Freelance skills can be anything from office work to manual labor, including tasks like copywriting, logo design, website creation, furniture building, grocery shopping, dog walking and much more.

It can be tricky to be your own boss and manage yourself, but new graduates could make a great deal of use out of picking up a few marketable skills and learning how to get freelance work that way.

 


Coding


Though it may only seem useful in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), coding is actually an immensely useful skill for any graduate.

Coding is a skill that can easily open doors in the job field, particularly in tech industries. It is estimated that around one million jobs in the U.S. tech industry will be available in 2020, making coding a more profitable skill than ever.

There are a variety of coding languages to learn and it can be hard to figure out where to start, but there are plenty of online sources for all age groups, many of which are free.

Even if a graduate didn’t study a STEM subject, coding is applicable in virtually every field nowadays with the presence of technology, including education, business, law, medicine, farming and many more.

In addition to the job opportunities, coding also promotes many skills that are attractive to prospective employees in all industries.

Creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, communication, discipline and computational skills are just a few of the many ways that coding can improve an individual’s characteristics.

If nothing else, coding skills make a great talking point in interviews when interests and hobbies are discussed. Plus, it’s a great deal of fun!

 



In Summary


There are infinite ways to prepare graduates for life after college, but it’s good to have a few starting points.

Making sure students and graduates are prepared with motivational skills, interview etiquette, freelance abilities and knowledge of coding is a great place to start.

No matter what field a graduate is entering, these skills will stick with them and prove useful now and in the distant future in about every area of their life.

 



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Katherine Lutz

Katherine (Tori) Lutz is a freelance writer and copywriter from Miami, Florida. Her past accomplishments include a collection of poetry entitled Letters to Lilith, several leaderships in the Tallahassee literary community, and recognition as a spoken word poet on a regional level.

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