Every job will expect a college student or graduate to have a set of skills that are transferable to all jobs. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) identify eight competencies that demonstrate your ability to perform a job. These competencies include critical thinking/problem solving, oral/written communications, teamwork/collaboration, digital technology, leadership, professionalism/work ethic, career management, and global/intercultural fluency.
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
In some positions, especially with any form of management, you will be expected to think critically in order to solve problems for your organization. You can practice your ability using logic puzzles or games to improve your problem solving skills.
Good communication skills require an understanding of how to express yourself using verbal, written, and nonverbal communication. Verbal or oral communication includes speaking in a professional manner with a positive, engaging tone. Written communication includes writing emails and other documents in a professional format. Nonverbal communication includes using your body language and facial expressions to solidify what you are saying.
Teamwork is an important part of most organizations. Even when you have some autonomy in your work, you are still most likely a part of a team. You can develop your ability to work on teams by participating in clubs, sports teams, and group class projects.
The world has become very technologically-based. Typing on a computer is a major component in most jobs, even outside of the technology industry. You can work on developing your typing skills through the online platform typing.com and choose one of three levels of difficulty. It is also helpful to practice using common software such as Microsoft Office (Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint) and G Suite (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides).
Leadership means you are able to utilize others’ abilities and motivate them to reach some common goal. You can gain experience as a leader by running for an officer position in a club or applying to jobs that put you in a position of authority, such as a Resident Assistant or Orientation Leader.
One part of demonstrating your ability to do well in a job is by carrying yourself in a professional manner. You can demonstrate your work ethic by being accountable, punctual, and efficient. Learn more about professionalism here.
In society today it is crucial that you are able to self-advocate for your professional development. Pursue opportunities that allow you to grow professionally, such as attending workshops and conferences, which will bring you closer to your desired career goals.
Every job will require you to interact with people who have a different background than you, and it’s important to remain respectful towards those differences. The best way to gain global/intercultural fluency is by experiencing another culture outside of those that are familiar to you. You can experience another culture through GEL (Global Experiential Learning) trips or studying for a semester abroad. You can find out about current opportunities through the Center for International Programs (CIP).