Are you a "team player who can solve problems, organize your work, and communicate effectively"? Then you have the skills and abilities that employers value in their new hires, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) most recent employer survey. NACE announced the result of its Job Outlook 2014 survey of college recruiting members wherein employers rated the importance of candidate skills/qualities as follows:
1. Ability to work in a team structure
2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
3. Ability to plan organize, and prioritize work
4. Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
5. Ability to obtain and process information
6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
7. Technical knowledge related to the job
8. Proficiency with computer software programs
9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports
10. Ability to sell or influence others
Now that you know the soft skills that employers value, take the opportunity to make these skills part of your brand. Review the list, consider where you have demonstrated each of these skills and keep track of them. For example, where did you show your ability to work in a team structure? Think about the times you played a collaborative role: Were you part of a committee that planned a charity fund raiser? Did you work with like minded students to start a new campus organization? Did you work with other tutors to develop activities for an after school literacy program? Then be sure to include evidence of these team work skills in your resume. Additionally, by matching your experience to these valued skills, you'll be prepared to answer behavioral questions about teamwork and other skills in a job interview.
On the other hand, if there is little evidence of these highly rated skills in your personal experience, it's time to look for opportunities to further develop your team work, problem solving, organizational and communication skills. Get started now!