In a digitized workplace, what are the key personal skills employers want from international graduates?

The emerging landscape for graduates is working in a digital leaning world, in part due to the adoption of more online skills to support work continuing throughout the pandemic. This can however leave some skills gaps, particularly for groups such as students who may have relied heavily on online skills over the past few years. While international students need to be prepared for a digital workplace, employers are still looking for candidates who possess both digital and personal skills. Personal or soft skills are non-technical and relate to how you work, and work with people.

Soft skills are vital to employers as they demonstrate your initiative and will help decide if you align with the company’s goals. These can be harder to quantify but can be shown by specific examples of times you have used the skill and this is how you would share these for applications or during an interview. Today we’re going to look at some examples of soft skills, what they are and how you can work towards them?

Communication skills 

This is one of the skills that appears on required skills for most industries and includes:
Active listening. 

  • Verbal communication skills. 
  • Written communication skills. 
  • Nonverbal communication skills. 
  • Asking questions. 

As a student, you will have had experience writing and working with other students and tutors face-to-face. Even those whose course doesn’t include lots of writing will still have experience of correspondence via email which will have improved your written communications. University also gives you the opportunity to deliver presentations and engage in debates which strengthen your grasp of the subtleties needed to demonstrate your thoughts.

Critical thinking skills 

During your studies, you’ll face many problems that will require some thought, this includes:

  • Troubleshooting 
  • Research skills 
  • Logical thinking 

You may have used these when writing a difficult essay or from a time when you had to think outside the box to find a solution. Being a critical thinker is an asset to employers, it means you’re able to solve problems and use your own creative thinking to make an informed decision. This can be useful in several industries such as engineering, teaching and healthcare.

Interpersonal skills 

Interpersonal skills are often referred to as people skills, they show how you interact with those around you and can show employers that you would be compatible with their clients. This includes:

  • Teamwork 
  • Motivation 
  • Empathy 
  • Flexibility 

You may be part of a sports team, society at university or have a volunteering role. All of these can boost your ability to work well with people. Make the most of time spent in work experience by asking for feedback so you can see where your strengths and areas to improve lie. There are also a range of soft skills courses you can find online, don’t forget to add these to your LinkedIn profile too. If you’re looking for a graduate job, see GradLink’s global jobs page for internships and jobs alongside the latest advice and tips for international students.

By Jen Garmston Published: Mar 02,2022

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