Here we are, you just graduated, you’ve done it! Congratulations, it’s all behind you now, you can move on. I mean, you want to move on but you’re struggling. It’s not working, you apply again and again and it’s always the same story. “Unfortunately, we will not be moving forward with your application..” You start to feel frustrated and you wonder whether your degree was worth it or not.
You are focusing on the wrong things
I understand your frustration, but you are focusing too much on the negative. Even though you might not have the skills for your dream job yet, your degree taught you things you wouldn’t have learnt otherwise. It’s important to acknowledge the skills you have, it will make you feel more confident and help you with your job search. Here are soft skills you gained during university.
- Time management. During those three or four years you constantly had to manage your time. You had to juggle your degree, part-job and other activities, watch deadlines and make sacrifices in order to get where you are right now.
- Critical thinking. Being a student can be challenging and stressful, but all those assignments made you step out of your comfort zone and probably changed you a lot. You had to think outside the box and change the way you approach problems to obtain your degree.
- Communication. If you want to convey information in an effective way, a solid foundation of soft skills is necessary. That’s what university is about. Your opinions were challenged, you debated, learned to find information quicker. In a nutshell, your journey helped you become a much better communicator and thinker.
- Self-motivation. Remember all those nights you had to push yourself to work? It’s not always easy to stay motivated but you had to work and meet your deadlines no matter what. Your journey taught you dedication and self motivation.
How can my soft skills get me a job?
You have soft skills which is great. How can you use them to get an offer? Stating them in your CV is not going to help much. You have to use some context and show how your soft skills will help you be good at your next job!
- Projects. Try to relate every skill to a specific project or situation. When put in context, soft skills look better on your CV and will allow the employers to see what you are really capable of. We’ve all come across a “Tell us about a time when..” question. Think about an experience, a situation that affected you and tell the employer the set of skills you learnt from that experience.
- keep learning. Even if you graduated, you can still acquire knowledge and learn new skills. That’s how you will stand out from the other candidates and get that offer. Remember that employers focus on whether you can actually do the job or not, and that’s what matters the most.
No matter what you studied, which university you went to and what grade you obtained. You still had a life changing experience and gained important life skills. You have to appreciate what you learned and use it to go forward. A lot of people get great jobs without a degree, by working hard and being persistent. So you will surely get the job you really want if you put the effort in. Remember that it takes a long time to get a graduate job for most people, so don’t give up.