Unfortunately, as every graduate before you has experienced, up next is the inevitable job search. Where do you even begin?! You’re panicking because you really don’t want to move back home with your soap-watching, karaoke-singing parents.
You’re being released into the wild along with thousands of other shark-shaped graduates and you have two options: sink or swim.
But how can you stand out from the crowd? One way is to sell yourself on the skills that you didn’t realise you picked up at university. “How do I list them on my CV if I don’t know what they are?” I hear you cry. Don’t worry. We’re a kind bunch here at AllAboutCareers.com so we’ll give you a few pointers.
Time management isn’t about turning up for a 9am lecture at 8.59am, impressive as that feat may seem. Your time management skills have developed from having numerous coursework deadlines and an absurd number of exams to revise for at the same time and being able to divide up your work load in a logical manner.
Having done this for three (or more!) years shows employers that you can cope with heavy workloads, multi-task and prioritise tasks.
Research, Analysis & Communication
Your degree has also involved bloomin’ loads of academic work. You’ve definitely lost count of the total number of words you’ve had to write for essays, seminar notes, presentations and exams. However, you’ve written essays and dissertations by doing copious amounts and research and made a strong argument by analysing your research.
Presenting this information in a written or spoken format shows you have decent communication skills. Employers would absolutely love to employ somebody who can research and analyse information and then present that information in a digestible format. So yeah, you should put it on your CV.
Budgeting & Money Management
Whether it’s by cycling to university or making sure you don’t take your card out on a night out because you would like to eat at some point this month, believe it or not, your budgeting and money management skills have come on leaps and bounds at university. Whilst it’s unlikely that your first job will see you managing a company’s budget, the ability to manage your own dollar reveals a level of competence and logical thinking.
Let us finish! We’re not saying that your first job will be as an office cleaner and tea-maker. We’re just saying that having kept your student digs (relatively) clean and tidy shows employers that you’re concerned about your appearance and won’t turn up to work looking like Scruff McScruffy.
It also reveals that you have a good level of general organisational skills and like to keep on top of things. So when it comes to things like replying to emails and keeping your work neatly organised in folders, you can be trusted on.
To quickly recap, you are definitely allowed to list the following skills on your CV, as you gained them from your time at university:
- Time management
- Ability to multi-task and prioritise workloads
- Research and analysis skills
- Ability to present information in written and spoken forms
- Ability to think logically
- A level of general competencies
- Strong organisational skills.
And Finally… Small Talk
It’s up to you whether you put your “ability to make small talk” on your CV (we won’t endorse nor condone it), but believe it or not, all those house parties where you had to chat with people you don’t know, all those awkward seminars and all those friends you made from initially starting the conversation with, “So… what course are you doing?” has armed you with some crazy small talking skills.
That means that when you land an interview (having showcased the skills above in your CV and cover letter), making small chit-chat with your interviewer will show that you’re personable and able to fit into a team socially, as well as professionally.