As a newly graduated student, leaving the confines of your classes can be an intimidating, yet exciting experience. All college graduates who set out into the real world and leave their weekly classes behind will find a recurring theme in the types of jobs they will end up with. Unless you’re interested in a hard trade that does not utilize computers or an office space of any kind, you’re likely to need a certain technical skill set in order to be a viable asset in today’s marketplace.
Knowledge of basic office suite software, such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, are a basic requirement of anyone looking to work in a desk job nowadays. Microsoft Office is a good place to start, but there are also free word processing software that college students can take advantage of that make the same format of files, such as those offered through Adobe and Google. For those going into healthcare, getting familiar with an EHR software like Integrity Support can be useful for telling your employer you’re different from the competition. Knowing how to use an online data program or data system will be something excellent to add to the resume.
The ability to maneuver around information online is an irreplaceable skill that the majority of college students can adapt to very quickly. Most graduates are considered to be part of the millennial age, which means they are practically ingrained with a sense of know-how when it comes to the web. Aside from being able to find the right kind of information, being able to tell truthful data apart from data that is not as fact-based is also necessary. This means knowing which sources are reliable and can be trusted. Being able to understand the difference will make or break your ability as a new grad to provide accurate information without question. As archaic as it may seem to you, being able to look up information using a library indexing system will be just as useful and impressive to those who might be older than yourself in the workplace.
No resume would be complete without the inclusion of your typing ability. If you aren’t sure just how fast you type or haven’t tested yourself in a few years, there are online typing speed testing sites that you can accurately test your typing chops with. Most jobs posted with detailed descriptions of what skills they are looking for will include a minimum typing speed required for potential candidates. The most common typing speeds will be anywhere from 60 to 75 words per minute, which will be represented as WPM in the application. You might type even faster than this. If so, remember to include that in your resume but be prepared to prove it if that’s the case. Some job descriptions will require a faster typing speed than even 75 or 80 WPM. Be sure to keep your eye on the typing requirements and if it’s more than 150 WPM, ensure that you are able to keep up with the demand before applying.
Knowing the difference between how to speak to your co-workers and your friends through internet means, such as emails or messaging on social media, is an important ability. You absolutely must know how to distinguish between professional speak and casual conversation. Even if you work in a more laid-back environment, it may not be appropriate to speak to your boss the same way you would with your best friend online. Remember also to include any professional means of addressing others. If they are a doctor, be sure to include Dr. before their name. This rule of thumb applies to all other formal means of addressing, including Mr. and Mrs. or Prof.
As a newly graduated adult, these are just some of the useful skills you ought to be bringing with you from school and into the workplace. Most students nowadays have mastered one or more of these skills before even entering school. By the time you’ve graduated, it’s likely you’ll be able to distinguish yourself in the workplace by a number of useful technical and social skills.
Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.