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Desirable Qualities of Fresh Graduates Employers Look for

by on April 6, 2023 | Top Stories

Desirable Qualities of Fresh Graduates Employers Look for -

Every student has his/her unique set of strengths and interests. Nevertheless, there are some underlying core qualities that employers would like to see in the people they employ. Some of the qualities that are mentioned below may be what some graduates already have but for others these may be some qualities that perhaps they can cultivate if they have not had them already.

As technology develops by leaps and bounds and as the world continues to embrace artificial intelligence, more qualities are expected of future graduates. Of equal importance will be qualities pertaining to personal attributes such as kindness, ambition, sensibility, attention to detail, dependability, punctuality etc and also qualities pertaining to skills that are generally acquired through training and courses pursued.

Below are some welcomed core qualities of a fresh graduate:

  1. Ability to communicate with clarity - The ability to speak clearly and to be precise in what you want to put forward is very important especially during meetings and discussion. This reduces the chance of misunderstanding and helps move projects and ideas forward. In today’s challenging world you must be able to convey information clearly and persuasively through various media such as written, verbal, and digital.
  2. Prompt In Action - Do not sit on your job or procrastinate. Do not put off what can be done immediately to a later time. Responding promptly to emails and other correspondence ensures productivity while giving others a good impression of your work attitude. There is nothing more satisfying to a client who gets a prompt reaction or response from the person they liaise with.
  3. Humility First - No matter how well-qualified you are there are still new things to be learnt and room for improvement. Thus a successful graduate should be constantly reading, learning and willing to challenge your own understanding and knowledge. Be a good listener first and do not try to impose your opinion on others. You must possess the desire and ability to continue learning and developing new skills throughout your career. In other words you must realise that learning is a lifelong process. With the increasing availability of online learning resources, self-directed learning has become a crucial skill in the 21st-century workforce. Self-directed learning involves taking responsibility for one's learning and development and seeking out opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge.
  4. Ability to accept failure - Graduates should cultivate the mindset of readiness to accept failure. In this way, you will feel less stressed and will be able to take failures as opportunities to learn and grow.
  5. Be focused - Graduates who are focused when they work are likely to spend less time working laboriously without achieving much. The ability to be hyper-focused by removing distractions will enable you to achieve more in less time. Traits such as grit, tenacity, perseverance and resilience are found in those who are focused and serious in their work.
  6. Be ever-ready to take initiative - Do not behave like a puppet on a string. Take charge of whatever you set out to do. If you need help, seek help or advice and when faced with problems, look for solutions. You must have the ability to analyse information, identify problems, and develop effective solutions. This of course requires critical thinking and discretion on your part and solutions must be found based on rationality and not on impulse.
  7. Teamwork - Besides caring for themselves, graduates should also care for the welfare of those around them. Learning to trust and value others will open up more doors for you and make you more adaptable and amenable to any team. The ability to work effectively with others, share ideas, and contribute to group goals will ensure productivity and harmony at work. You will need to motivate and guide others from time to time, take responsibility and make difficult decisions.
  8. Development of well-balanced work-life routines - Sleep, rest, exercise and maintain healthy relationships with friends and family. How effective you are at work depends on the consistency of your work performance and sustainability of work pace. Having enough rest and other recreational activities makes you more mentally well-balanced and able to go the extra mile in your work.
  9. Digital Literacy - Digital literacy skills allow you to find, use and create information online in a productive and useful way. Having an understanding about digital literacy enables you to use technology safely. These skills have become indispensable for every global citizen to communicate, find employment, acquire new knowledge and also socialise. Thus graduates armed with the right set of digital skills are workforce ready. As technology is now integrated into the learning experience, digital literacy is vital for self-improvement and empowers graduates to be technically relevant in the future world.
  10. Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation - You must be able to seize opportunities in an entrepreneurial manner and ask the right questions to generate new ideas. To be able to apply new ideas, you must have the ability to evaluate information and arguments, identify patterns and connections and construct meaningful knowledge. In today's rapidly changing economy, graduates need to be able to think creatively and develop innovative solutions to problems.
  11. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) - To achieve success at work you must possess the ability to understand, use and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. When you can manage your own emotions, only then can you perceive, reason with, understand and manage the emotions of others. This gives you the ability to guide and help others, thus creating a happy working environment.
  12. Global and Cultural Competence - In today’s world the ability to understand and appreciate different cultures, perspectives, and ways of thinking is of utmost importance. With increasing globalisation, graduates should have a basic understanding of international issues, as well as cultural competence and the ability to work effectively across cultures.
  13. Leadership, Ethics and Social Responsibility - Graduates should have the abilities to lead, motivate and guide others, take responsibility and risk and making difficult decisions. They also should have a strong sense of ethics and social responsibility, as well as an understanding of how their actions can impact society and the world. Those with good work ethics place a high importance on their professional success without sacrificing moral principles. A team with good work ethics will be highly motivated, reliable, trustworthy, engaged, accountable, proactive and aware of their own strengths and weaknesses.

These are some of the sets of skills and qualities expected of graduates to meet the demands of the 21st century and the competitive job market.

@ copyright STUDYMALAYSIA (, March 2023


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