We spoke to Joanna Hughes, Careers Consultant for the Alliance MBS Postgraduate Careers Service about how the skills students have gained through studying at home and completing group work remotely could be an advantageous addition to their existing skillset. Joanna explains how these skills could be positively harnessed for CVs, especially given working from home may well be the norm for the foreseeable future:
1. Effective communication skills: Employers are now more than ever looking for candidates with effective communication skills. Through virtual group working, you discover new ways of building relationships with colleagues and will develop new techniques in how to communicate clearly and effectively. COVID-19 has already and will continue to make working remotely the new norm, so through developing those skills during your MSc, you will gain practical experience and practise techniques on communicating effectively to colleagues and stakeholders.
2. Adaptability & Flexibility: Graduate recruiters are also looking for candidates who are able to thrive in ambiguity and uncertainty through adaptability. It’s the mind-set of making something out of nothing. So they will be looking for candidates who can solve challenges, use their initiative and drive projects forward. Flexibility is also extremely important, and will be ever more common in job specifications – employers will be looking at when you are presented with new information, how you can adapt and change to the relevant output. In an environment of constant change and a stream of new information, some of our perceptions will no longer be relevant and require us to update our thinking and approach.
3. Resilience: Another important element is persistence and the ability not to get discouraged when facing a setback or challenge, even if you fail at something, it’s important they can reflect and see what they have learnt from the experience. Through virtual working, there will be times where you feel challenged or hit setbacks, employers will be keen to know how you use these experiences to reflect, learn from them and move forward to meet your target.
4. Problem-solving: This is a skill that employers very frequently ask for, and following the current situation it will become more important. Graduate employers expect you to be able to evidence the ability to take a logical approach to solving a challenge. Whilst you work remotely, you will come across challenges that you would in the work place, it will be really important to demonstrate how you dealt with an issue and how you would apply this in the workplace.
5. Organisation: Employers will expect you to meet targets, complete projects and drive projects forward requiring you to be organised. Through remote working, you will put these skills to the test and learn techniques in how to manage projects, use your initiative, organise your time and keep projects on track and to receive results.
6. Creativity: Throughout this crisis, it has been clear the different ways companies have been innovative and creative to drive their businesses forward. Employers will be looking for candidates that can demonstrate this creatively, think outside the box and aren’t afraid of trying new things to create value for the company particularly in difficult times.