The ability to work in a team structure ranks highest among the qualities employers seek in job candidates, according to a survey done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
Among the other highest ranked qualities are the ability to make decisions and problem solve; the ability to plan, organize and prioritize work.
Shirl Short, director of career services, said students can find employers that are recruiting NKU students and the specific skills they are seeking by exploring NKU’s own Norse Recruiting system.
Norse Recruiting is NKU’s online job and employer database, which lists co-ops, internships and full-time positions.
Short said this year’s survey is interesting compared to previous years because communication skills usually takes the top spot, however, this year the ability to work in a team structure ranks number one.
A similar survey done by the Association of American Colleges and Universities affirms the findings found in the NACE survey.
It found that a candidate’s ability to work in a team, think critically, communicate clearly, and effectively solve problems are among the most important qualities to have.
Short said, “A lot of work you do in any organization is done in a team. People will do individual work, but the emphasis is on people working together towards a common goal and objective that leads to success.”
Thanks to many on-campus resources, NKU students have the power to strengthen these skills before they venture into the job-world.
Students can improve their ability to work in a team structure by joining one of NKU’s 200 plus campus organizations from Greek Life to intramural sports.
However, for students who don’t have as much time to dedicate to a traditional organization, but still want to improve their teamwork and other professional skills, Leadership University was designed specifically with these students in mind.
Tiffany Mayse, assistant director of leadership development, said Leadership University not only helps with teamwork skills but also “Helps with resumes, networking, interview skills… It also helps with leadership skills and also helps them [students] with communication skills.”
Students can earn a Leadership Diploma by attending eight workshops, each about an hour long, and by doing a three-hour community service project, on or off campus, anytime between August and April.
By meeting these criteria, students can earn The Leadership Diploma, which shows they completed the Leadership University program and is something that can be put on a resume.
There are 21 workshops offered in November that count toward the Leadership diploma and also help teamwork and other professional skills employers are looking for. To sign up for Leadership University, visit www.nku.orgsync.com or for more information call 572-5806.
Problem Solving and decision making
Short explained that students use these critical thinking type of skills every day in the college classroom. By gaining more experience through co-ops, internships and certain leadership roles, students can really hone these skills.
Questions like: “Describe a difficult decision you made in the past six months. What made it difficult?” or “Tell me about a time you were creative in solving a problem,” are commonly asked in interviews, according to NKU’s career services Interviewing Guide.
When asked questions like these in an interview though, many students may struggle with an answer. By going to Career Services interview techniques workshop and mock interview workshop students can get preparation advice and feedback to these questions.
This semester’s mock interview day has past, but the next interview techniques workshop will be Tuesday Nov. 12, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Student Union room 105. This workshop can also count towards a student’s Leadership Diploma if signed up.
Plan, organize and prioritize
The Success Skills Center was created two years ago by Jered Wasburn-Moses, which provides one-on-one help for any student who wants to improve their college and life success skills.
All the tutors in the Success Skills Center have at least seven hours of training specific to success skills such as time management, note taking and task prioritization.
Moses, the coordinator of the Success Skills Center and Math Center, says they like to make the analogy of the tutors as coaches.
“Even Joey Votto has a batting coach. Any student can benefit, obviously not to the same degree perhaps, but everybody can improve and tweak and get a little better.” Moses said.
Even if students feel like they already have a good concept of these skills, the Success Skills Center can still provide students with advice and show them other ways to do things.
Moses emphasizes that tutors at the Success Skills Center have ongoing contact with students and it’s not just a place to get quick tips, it’s a process.
For more information you can call 572-5475 or stop by University Center room 170.