5 Top Skills You Need To Bag Your First Graduate Job

Published on: 5 Apr 2018

skills to bag a grad job

Graduating from university is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life but it can also be one of the most stressful. It’s one thing handing in your dissertation and throwing that cap in the air, but it’s quite another when it comes to securing your first ‘real life’ job. Many graduates leave university having studied for an extended period, but often have little to no direction when it comes to their career. A degree can be all-consuming and it’s easy to see why so many people lose sight of the end goal. With just a couple of months to go until you’re finished, what skills are going to help you when searching for graduate jobs



Communication skills

This sounds like something you probably think you have, but having good ‘craic’ on a night out and having the ability to communicate at all levels in business are two very different skill-sets. It’s easy to get caught up in the bubble that is the student life, but life in business is generally a bit more refined (if it's not it definitely should be!) Not only does this cover verbal and listening skills but it also accounts for your standard of written communication. It’s important to be concise in what you’re saying. Look out for using ‘like’ ‘so’ and ‘erm’ too much during formal conversation and interviews. 



Students aren’t generally famed for their organisation skills. For many, university can be a bit of a messy time in life, in more ways than one. Organisation in the world of work is all about prioritisation and demonstrating efficiency in managing your time well. Employers want to know that you can be trusted to meet deadlines on time and they want to see that you are able to juggle different tasks and time thin order to achieve this. 



You probably won’t land the first job you go for and you’d be foolish to think that this would be the case. Searching for a job isn't easy, it can be a full-time job. Even at graduate level, there’s going to be competition. It’s so important that you don’t give up if you fall at the first hurdle. Recruitment is a matchmaking process, so if you don’t get the job or grad scheme that you want, you need to understand that it probably wasn’t the right one for you and move on.


Commercial acumen

Many graduates benefit from the chance to undertake work experience during their studies, but there are many who simply don’t have the opportunity. Having awareness of how a business runs and knowledge of the industry that you’d like to get into is imperative when it comes to the interview process of your graduate job search. Speak to people you know who are in work already. Better still, try and get some work experience if you don’t have any. Even if you can only find experience for one week, it’s better than nothing and it can often give you great insight that you might not have necessarily had before.



Don’t confuse this with arrogance. Coming across as arrogant is not going to help you in front of an interview panel and it won’t help you when it comes to fellow and more senior co-workers in the workplace. Unfortunately, if you’re a young graduate in 2018, you’re tarnished with a reputation for feeling entitled, so you’ve got to work even harder to look like you really want an opportunity and not just because you think you deserve it. Confidence is composure and comfort in situations that might make you feel a little awkward. It's something you can practice and get better at as well.  


This is an exciting time for you graduates, and with a little forward planning it doesn’t need to be stressful. Take your time and be selective when it comes to finding your new graduate job. This is a busy time of year on OnlyMarketingJobs.com for graduate recruitment, so if you’re ready to find your dream graduate marketing job, look no further.