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      The number of jobs available for graduates is predicted to rise by 10.2%, according to a survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters. Good news for students – but when you come to apply for your first job after university, are you sure you'll have the relevant skills for the post?

      Leaving it until you're sitting in front of a blank computer screen trying to write your CV for a graduate job may well be too late to assess the qualities you've got to offer.

      "From day one students should see the start of university as the start of their working life," says Dan Hawes, co-founder of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. "Think of the skills you need to have when you finish university in three or four years time and then work backwards, so you're hoarding skills each year."

      Gemma Pirnie, founder of Your New Crew, says: "When I left university I was completely unprepared for what the grad market would throw at me. I thought having a 2:1 from a good university and having a bit of (irrelevant) work experience would see me land a job no problem – not the case."

      Obviously the skills you need will depend on the job you apply for, but there are some things that graduate recruiters are looking for that you can start thinking about now.


      Business sense

      "Candidates who start their own societies, organise their university ball or start their own T-shirt-making business while at uni tend to have a good grasp of how a business makes money," says Cary Curtis, managing director of Give-a-grad-a-go.“

      An understanding of business is one of the main skills that students underestimate, according to a 2013 Guardian survey. Less than 10% of students thought it was a vital skill, compared to nearly 50% of employers.

      "You don't need to be the next Mark Zuckerberg," says Curtis, "but having a good idea of how a business runs and the challenges involved are really useful skills to take into a company."
      “你不必成為下一個馬克·扎克伯格,” 柯蒂斯講道,“但是知道怎樣經營一個生意,了解其中的挑戰,對公司而言是非常有用的。”

      Get global

      "More and more employers are wanting graduates to have a 'global mindset', which means understanding different cultures and how industries work across borders," says Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters.
      “越來越多的雇主希望畢業生有‘全球化的理念’——了解不同的文化,以及工業產業如何跨國運作,” “畢業生招聘協會”的首席執行官斯蒂芬·伊舍伍德講道。

      Isherwood recommends that students make the most of time at uni to meet people from around the world, consider study abroad schemes like Erasmus, and says that speaking another language shows that a grad has a "better cultural understanding".
      伊舍伍德建議學生們多花時間和來自世界各地的人交流,考慮伊拉斯莫國外交流學習項目,會從中受益很多。伊舍伍德也講道,會講一門外語也體現出畢業生有“更好的文化理解能力”。(小編注:“Erasmus Mundus” 項目是歐洲在高等教育領域的一個合作性學生交流項目。)

      A language

      "If you speak another language then make sure it's clearly displayed on your CV," says Curtis. "We really like bilingual candidates as they usually interview really well. But quite often their CV doesn't do them justice. 'Business fluent French' looks much better than just 'French A-level at grade A' as it offers a company more."
      “如果你會講外語,記得在簡歷上清楚地標明,” 柯蒂斯講道,“我們真的很喜歡會雙語的應聘者,因為他們通常面試表現都很棒。但是很多時候他們的簡歷都沒有為他們爭取到機會。‘流利的商務法語’看起來比只是‘法語初級考試A等’更有吸引力,因為這能給公司帶來更多。”

      Be careful though. "If you haven't had much practice with your languages make sure you scrub up before sending out a CV that implies you can hold your own.

      A squeaky clean digital footprint

      "Start building a digital footprint of relevance to what you want to do," says Smith. "Employers, just like everyone else, will look on the internet as a first port of call."

      That might mean setting up a LinkedIn profile, starting your own blog or website, joining Twitter, and generally making sure you're careful about what goes online connected to you.

      Chris Smith, chief executive of Opinio Group recruiters, says: "If the only thing employers can find is you with traffic cones on your head on Facebook then you're in trouble."

      Office etiquette

      Knowing how to fit into an office will come in handy for many graduate jobs, so it's a good idea to look for opportunities to spend time in one while you're still a student.

      Hawes says: "What some graduates might not have is the office know-how, maybe they've never worked in an office before so everything's new, whether it's answering the phone or the way you dress or address people, the things like that – office etiquette."

      How to make a good cuppa

      Sam Espensen, managing director of Conversation Creation, says: "One of the skills that has stood me in great stead is making great tea and coffee. I once had a grad refuse to make my team drinks because it 'suggested he was below the rest of us' – needless to say he didn't last long.
      “創造對話”的管理主任山姆 ·埃斯佩森講道:“我在辦公室站穩腳跟的技能之一就是會準備很棒的茶和咖啡。曾經有畢業生拒絕給我的團隊準備飲品,因為他自己認為這樣顯得低人一等——毫無疑問,他當然沒能在辦公室呆太久。”

      "We all make tea in my team and the person who brings me a cup of tea unprompted is likely to be my hero for the day."

      Sussing out the culture of a workplace (whether they all make tea for each other, for example) is really important when you come to look for work.

      Good with computers

      "Hard skills in programming and software development for us are really valuable," says Hawes. Curtis adds that being highly numerate and having good analytical skills is increasingly important.
      “編程和軟件開發的硬性技能是我們很看重的,” 霍斯講道。柯蒂斯補充講道,優秀的計算和分析能力正日益變得重要起來。

      But even if you're not applying for a job in a tech company, being digitally savvy is still really important.

      "All employers expect graduates to be computer literate," says Isherwood. "Generally just being aware of the digital age is important. That doesn't mean having programming skills, but understanding that instant messaging and conference calls are common in the business world and having basic IT skills like working with spreadsheets and documents."
      “所有的雇主都期望畢業生精通電腦,” 伊舍伍德講道。“總的來講,重要的是認識到現在是數碼時代。這并不意味著要會編程,但是知道即時通訊和電話會議是商業中很常見的,要會使用諸如電子表格和文檔等基本的電腦操作技能 。


      If you've been thinking of joining a uni sports team but haven't quite found the motivation, here's another reason to join: it could help you get a job. Smith says: "What shows better that someone can be part of a team than the fact they've spent the past two years playing for a team.

      Being able to work with other people is a key skill employers are looking for and you'll need to prove it's something you have had experience of beyond your course.

      "When talking about teamwork don't use university examples," says Isherwood. "At uni the teams are chosen for you, so it's much more impressive to speak about sport or involvement with a society."
      “講道團隊合作的時候,不要用學校里的例子,” 伊舍伍德講道。“在學校,團隊是為你選好的,所以講講在運動隊或者社會活動中的例子,會給人留下更深的印象。”

      Talking to people

      Getting confident talking to people is useful for building up your contacts. Pirnie says: "Attend industry meet ups. This will help you both with articulating your interests and with interview techniques as you'll quickly become comfortable talking to new people.

      Smith recommends going to exhibitions and conventions in your chosen field. He says: "There are small business conventions going on all over the country. Go to them, meet people, ask some questions. And if you're not sure yet quite what you want to do, all the more reason to get out there and investigate."

      Positive attitude

      If you're still at uni, it's worth thinking about how you can build up all these skills. But if you're in your final year and haven't ticked them all, don't worry. "Employers often say that they hire for attitude and train for skill," says Hawes. So whatever experience you've got to your name, a positive attitude is still the most important thing you can bring to your first job.
      如果你還在大學,很值得好好考慮下自己可以怎樣培養這些技能。但如果你已經是大四最后一年卻還沒掌握全部技能, 也不要擔心。“雇主們總會講他們會選擇態度,然后培養技能,” 霍斯講道。所以,無論你有什么技能,積極的態度仍是決定你第一份工作的最重要因素。

      A few more things to consider

      • A driving licence:
      • 駕照:

      "A driving licence certainly isn't the prerequisite that it used to be," says Curtis, but if you haven't yet learnt to drive it's still worth trying before you leave uni. Smith says: "It can be important. Also, it speaks volumes if you can't drive. The first thing I think is – why not? It hints at laziness."
      “駕照當然不會是雇傭新人的前提了,” 柯蒂斯講道,但是如果你還沒學過開車,有必要在離開大學之前開始這一計劃了。史密斯講道:“這點也可以變得重要。而且,如果你不會開車,其實可以體現一點。首先我想到的是——為什么不會呢?這暗示你很懶呢。”

      • You can pick up skills in unlikely places:
      • 你會在自己想都想不到的地方學到技能:

      Espensen's father ran a cottage industry making model planes, and when she was a student she "reluctantly" helped out, packing the kits and posting them out. At the time she had no idea that the knowledge she built up would come in handy – but she ended up working doing the PR for the Bomber Command Memorial and realised how useful it was.

      Things you get involved with at university and in your own time might not seem directly linked to what you want to do in the future, but you never know when those skills might come in handy.

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