Careers and Enterprise Blog

Top 10 Skills that’ll get you a job when you graduate!


Top 10 Skills that’ll get you a job when you graduate!

With our Life After University careers fair (LAUNCH) coming up on 11th March, we thought we should let you know the top skills you will need to impress employers!

So you may already know that LAUNCH – the main CCCU careers fair of the year will be happening on Wednesday 11th March 2020 in Augustine House. Whilst this event is for all students but particularly will help final year and postgraduate students think about life after university.

We in the Careers and Enterprise Team, are running this event to ensure all students have a chance to meet a wide variety of employers who have lots of job opportunities for you to apply to – as well as all students having the chance to get a free professional headshot as well as free pizza from Domino’s!


So what are the top 10 skills that graduate employers are looking for?

Just remember, you probably have plenty of these skills already – but the most important thing to remember is can you demonstrate how you have used these skills? Here are a few of the core skills that pretty much will be needed regardless of what job you want:

1. Commercial Awareness

Also known as business acumen, having this skill means you understand how the industry or specific company/organisation you would like to have a career in works.

2. Communication

Some may consider that communication skills just involve being able to express yourself well in writing (emails, reports etc) and verbally (in meetings etc). However, it is important to remember that listening is a huge communication skill to have. Being attentive, picking up key messages from others and explaining yourself in a clear and focused way is really beneficial to employers.

3. Teamwork

This is one of the more simple skills to develop and can only really grow when you give yourself the chance to work with a team. It is about being able to have positive “working relationships” with colleagues. It may not necessarily be about being everyone’s best friend, but rather encouraging your teammates and supporting them toward achieving common goals.

4. Negotiation and persuasion

This skill comes from understanding exactly what you want to achieve in a work setting, but achieving it with a great awareness of the needs of others. Being able to develop this skill centers around understanding where others are coming from, their motivations and objectives whilst expressing how your ideas could be of benefit and be something positive to consider.

5. Problem Solving

Being able to think logically and analysing problems that lead to positive solutions is a vital skill. In some instances, it may not always be possible to solve all problems, however, employers will always value suggestions towards approaching common problems in new ways.

6. Leadership

You may not have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills immediately in your career journey – however, you can already begin to show this by being a good example in the workplace. Leadership skills center around your positive approach to work, as well as your ability to understand and bring others on board with the needs and goals of the team.

7. Organisation

Now, this is a skill you will most certainly have after finishing your degree – since managing deadlines for assignments is a great example of this. Employers want to see that you can prioritise activities based on what is most important. This time management/organisation is really key, since being organised does not just mean having a very tidy desk or always carrying a diary with you everywhere.

8. Perseverance and motivation

This one is one of the hardest skills to demonstrate because it is very directly related to personal wellbeing. It is important to remember an employer has the responsibility to understand when work becomes too challenging for whatever reason it may be – however, your ability to focus on goals and be motivated to work through more challenging periods whilst remaining positive will always be a great asset to a company.

9. Ability to work under pressure

Again, a rather simple skill to demonstrate but harder to master. Some workplace scenarios may seem less like pressure to some than others simply because they have experienced similar situations before (e.g writing a report before a deadline is similar to handing in an assignment). However, confidence in this skill develops the more you experience pressure whilst maintaining the mindset that you are learning from the experience.

10. Confidence

Confidence is key – but the way you show it is even more important. It is possible to demonstrate confidence without necessarily becoming arrogant. It can come from a place of knowing your role well, having confidence in your colleagues and the company you are working for.

How can I get more help?

We can give general advice in many ways:

  1. Come see us at the Careers and Enterprise Hub in Augustine House. Our drop-in hours are between 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm on weekdays.
  2. Email us at
  3. Call us on 01227922775.
  4. Book onto more free helpful workshops to build your career skills here.
  5. Sign up to GradForce – for Third years only! Find out how GradForce can help you prepare for a graduate role in the local area (Kent and Medway).
The Careers and Enterprise Hub in Augustine House is open between 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm on weekdays. Come visit us!
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