#yousayTuesday – What is your most valued skill?

This week I asked what you thought your most valued and promising skill was. I thought this might be a good way to understand what candidates were thinking when they were applying for jobs and it would give a little bit of insight into your tactics during applications.

It is often a tricky question in interviews. The interview will round on the poor graduate and ask what they believe to be their strongest asset is or what would be their biggest contribution to the company. This can often leader to a stuttering, splurge of an answer, unreflective of a graduates talents or potential. Likewise, if a graduate is sure of themselves and they have a solid point to hammer home, they can really mount a case for why they are the right person for the job.

As ever our #yousayTuesday-ers were straight in with their responses. We had graduates coming back responding with a variety of weird and wacky answers, but the overriding themes I got from the responses could be narrowed down to one of these four categories: Research Skills, Organisation, Self-belief or Confidence.

When approaching interviews and applications it is important that graduates have a decent idea about how they would function in the role. Graduates would be advised to do this by the thinking of maybe two or three skills that are applicable to the role and that the employer is looking for. This will help graduates structure covering letters, CVs and help them organise answers to typical interview questions.

Looking at some of the recurring suggestions we received, things like Research skills can be extremely important in getting that graduate job. Any graduate that had to write essays or compile projects together while at university have evidence of research skills to one degree or another. But if they apply these when looking at the company or the job role, they will be able to strengthen and target their applications and interview answers. Employers are always bowled over by applicants that know the company inside out and can contribute something back.

Self-belief and confidence are vital for candidates applying to graduate jobs and arguably the most important. Job hunting and applying in the graduate job market can be extremely difficult. It is understandable that graduates might be doubtful about their own abilities after many rejections. However, having that self-belief in your own abilities and then the confidence to go on to sell yourself to companies and employers is vital for any success that could come your way. Underselling any part of your experience or skills would be fatal to your chances.

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By James Howell

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