Start getting experience
By getting experience before you graduate, you can break the cycle of "I need experience to get a job, but I need a job to get experience!”
"Soft skills," "employability skills," and "transferable skills" are skills that can be generalized from one setting to another, and are acquired through experiences in work, learning and leisure - this is why the Career Centre encourages you to get experience before you graduate!
Transferable skills are highly valued by employers in all work settings because they are relatively difficult to teach.
Transferable skills include:
- Fundamental skills: Skills needed as a basis for further development
- Personal management skills: Personal skills, attitudes and behaviors that drive one’s potential for growth
- Teamwork skills: Skills and attributes needed to contribute productively
Unlike transferable skills, “specialized skills” are the technical or discipline-specific skills you gain through education, practice or training (e.g. coding, language, use of specific programs, graphic design). These are skills that can be easier for an employee to be trained into or learn on-the-job, but they can also become obsolete or out-of-date over time. This is why it's important to also engage in ongoing professional development activities throughout your career.
What employers want
The CACEE Campus Recruitment and Benchmark Survey (2012) identified and ranked the top skills employers are looking for in potential candidates:
- Teamwork skills (works well with others)
- Problem-solving skills
- Communication skills (verbal)
- Analytical skills
- Strong work ethic
These are all transferable skills that can be gained from a number of experiences.
Tips for getting experience