Angela McCarthy is an experienced career counsellor, freelance writer, small business owner – a parent and grandparent – with a passion for careers and a fascination with the turbulence and change occurring in the 21st century world of work.
What do employers want in graduates?
There is a lot of talk about the future of work and the furiously fast changes occurring to careers and the workplace. So what skills are needed by your teen to become employable?
Alongside academic prowess, employers are looking for well-rounded graduates who are proactive, collaborative and resilient and keen to contribute and flourish in the workplace.
Employers say …
Vodafone New Zealand graduate manager Anna McHardy looks for adaptable graduates.
Attitude is everything, says FCB Auckland account director Nick Bell.
People need to be lifelong learners because of the huge breadth of skill sets needed in today’s digital landscape, says Digital Arts Network strategy director Stephanie Creasy.
AUT Edge Award
AUT's Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack has coined the term ‘C skills’ to summarise what employers are looking for in tertiary graduates. These skills include communication, collaboration, creativity, curiosity, co-operation, caring and sense of community.
In recognition of the importance of these employability skills, AUT has launched the AUT Edge Award, a co-curricular award designed to help students develop their employability skills and make the most of volunteering and leadership activities.
AUT Employability and Careers director Anna Williams says the award will be formally recognised on the AUT academic transcript of successful participants.
My five cents worth: students tend to only look at advertisements as their primary source for jobs. We know that between 65-80% of opportunities are never advertised. Employers tend to hire through their networks first, they like to hire from within, then networking and only advertise as a last resort.
To be resilient and accept rejections
To research companies for opportunities
Develop their LinkedIn profile and follow preferred employers
Attend relevant conferences and other networking opportunities like career fairs.
As parents you may be able to put your child in touch with your own networks and help them with interview techniques. I've encouraged my Sam to be himself in interviews. He is not a particularly extrovert candidate but I think it is more important to be authentic.
It is also important to prepare a great CV and to practise interviewing skills. Workshops in these skills are all available through the Employability Lab at AUT and are a compulsory part of the Edge Award.
As parents we can give our children the edge by encouraging them to take up the opportunities above.