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The 5 skills every graduate needs

Three people at a meeting table.
Soft-skills can help you get ahead in the job search.

Employers naturally want to recruit graduates who have strong academic qualifications. But while a good degree is impressive, other skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and the ability to demonstrate empathy are equally as important.

Here are the top five skills you need to impress as a graduate:

1. Emotional empathy

Empathy is one of employers’ most desirable skills. Research shows that recruiters value emotional empathy in an employee more than intelligence, because it means they respond well to other people’s feelings.

According to ‘The Future of Jobs Report’ by the World Economic Forum, emotional empathy will be one of the top skills in demand by 2020.

Empathetic employees can cope better with stressful situations and are good listeners. They also raise the morale and well-being of other staff.

2. Leadership

A good leader will know how to motivate others, always be positive and  show initiative.  It’s about the ability to take charge while also listening to others and accommodating their needs.

An impressive leader can forge strong relationships and create an environment of trust and respect. The difference between success and failure depends on a leader and their ability to connect, engage and motivate their team.

four people working with different fabrics and sewing machines
Working in a team is a key part of many jobs today.

3. Teamwork

In many professional environments people have to work in teams, so it’s important that staff can work together and motivate each other.  A team is more than just a group of people.

A good team member is someone who is reliable and consistent, and develops good relationships with others.  They communicate their ideas with clarity and are flexible in the way they approach tasks.

Above all, they’re an active participant in the work of their team.

three people wearing white lab coats using equipment in a laboratory
Communication skills are increasingly valued by employers.

4. Communication

All employers want someone who’s a good communicator.  It’s no longer enough to simply have the technical skills to complete a task.

If someone can deliver information clearly, and tailor it to specific audiences, they will be a highly sought-after employee.

A strong communicator will develop productive relationships and work well with others.  They’ll be prepared to listen to the views of colleagues.

Effective communication within a company is a key driver of higher productivity.

5. Problem-solving

No manager wants to hire someone who doesn’t have the ability to think for themselves or to make independent decisions. Problem-solving skills are relevant to any job role, regardless of profession.

To resolve a problem, there has be a decision-making process.  Graduates need to have the confidence to make hard decisions and stick to them whatever the outcome may be.

Solving problems shows that you have an analytical and critical mind and are not afraid of tackling any obstacles that get in the way of your goals.

Learn more

Take the first step towards your future career and check out the range of courses available at ECU.


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