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Important Workplace Skills Every College Grad Should Have

Cecile Peterkin -- When it comes to career planning, these crucial must-haves help college grads demonstrate to recruiters that they can be a valuable member of the workforce.

College graduates who are about to jump in the job market have so much preparation to do in relation to career planning and job search. They need to pay attention to how they are going to show potential employers that they have what it takes to be successful. So what skills are college grads supposed to have to make them a valuable member of the workforce?

Communication skills

In the workplace, text messages are not considered a formal means of communicating with colleagues. Employers are looking for workers who have the ability to create written reports that are well-organized and with no grammar or spelling mistakes. Written communication is as essential as oral communication in the workplace.


There are certain jobs that require workers to have technical skills, specifically the knowledge of programming languages. If you don’t have computer programming skills, it is vital that you at least know how to use the computer. Nontechnical jobs still need workers who have a basic understanding of how computers are used.


In recent years, it has become a trend for companies to cut out layers of management. This means that leadership skills are now more important at every level of organization. Having good leadership skills will surely give you an edge over other candidates.


Companies put so much value on being a team player. This means that you need to be able to get along with other people at work. You should have no problems working with a team, or being told what to do when it is necessary.


You may think that being independent is the total opposite of being a team player. Well, you’ve got to be flexible in order to survive in a competitive workplace. While it is important that you know how to work with other people, it is also necessary that you know how to be productive on your own.


Every organization has its own culture and values. What you read in books may not be the situation in an actual organization or workplace. Thus, you have to be able to adapt to whatever the workplace gives you. As mentioned earlier, you will have to be flexible enough to thrive in a place where change may be constant.

Skills development

As you graduate from college, don’t think that you should stop learning and acquiring knowledge and skills. In fact, this point in your life is when you should begin nurturing your skills. Show employers that you are more than willing to learn new things and develop skills you still don’t have.

When it comes to career planning, there are several things you should and shouldn’t do, which can either help or hurt your career. Thus, it is important that you plan every move you are going to make, as this is the only way you can be assured of a bright and successful career.

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Center, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.

© 2015 Cecile Peterkin

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