Academic excellence is important (one of the key factor) if you want to garner a great job when you leave the education system. However, as society becomes more competitive, having a strong degree is no longer a guarantee to obtain good jobs. Berry Berry Easy would like to highlight some of the factors which employers will be looking at when you search for your first elusive job. So make sure you equip yourself with these skills before you leave school or university.
Top Job Attributes – An Analysis from Berry Berry Easy
Based on the 2011 Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) survey, the top four criteria when companies employ new employers are:
- Communication skills (in English) – 68.0%
- Working experience – 67.0%
- Interpersonal skills – 56.2%
- Passion and commitment – 55.7%
So, how do you obtained those traits? An in-depth look on the traits is shown below:
1. Communication skills in English
It will be great if you could start from now and learn English the proper way. Start from the most basic manner and improve your command of the English language from scratch if you are not a ‘native’ speaker or are not yet proficient with it. You can:
- Learn all the basic grammatical rules.
- Listen to the BBC radio (on FM radio for southern parts of Johor on FM 88.9, or listen to BCC on shortwave radio for other parts in Malaysia).
- Read English newspapers.
- Write letters to penpals in English.
- Read subtitles when you watch English movies.
- Speak English to your friends whenever you can.
- Avoid using other languages or translation when you need to complete a task in English.
2. Working Experience
While working experience which are relevant can be hard to come by for post-SPM or post-STPM students, it should not be so for university graduates. You can get relevant work experience by:
- Part-time jobs in your relevant field.
- Getting industrial internships from jobs fairs, contacts from your lecturers, contacts from your parents or relatives, or self-search internships.
- University based research internships are also highly regarded for some companies.
Most of the time, if your internship goes well, it is also easier to apply for the same company in the future. So for those who had internship opportunities, make sure you put in 120% effort at work.
3. Interpersonal Skills
It’s always an advantage if you have good interpersonal skills or EQ (emotional quotient). EQ is valued more highly over IQ in workplace as the working environment usually requires teamwork rather than solo performances. So a job candidate who has good interpersonal skills will be seen better as a team player and leader simultaneously. You can improve upon your interpersonal skills by:
- Joining competitions in schools, such as Robotics Competition (such as NRC) which forces you to work in a team, leading to an improved interpersonal skills.
- Be a leader in societies. When you know how to lead well, you’ll learn all the soft skills necessary in handling people.
- Do community service and reach out to the unfortunate, you’ll meet people on the way and hone your interpersonal skills.
- Understand the psychology of human nature.
4. Passion and Commitment
For bosses, it is better to have a motivated workforce than a talented workforce. A talented but unmotivated workforce is half the shadow of what they possibly are. While a motivated workforce can perform beyond their capabilities. It is a known fact that workforce is more easily motivated if they already have passion and commitment in the first place. So how do we increase our passion and commitment in a specific field? here’s how:
- Learn as much as possible about your field. This way, you’ll stumble upon new and interesting things, from which you’ll find your niche and gain passion on your field.
- Try to be a determined and responsible person, this way, your commitment in your committed job field will be unwavering.
So there you go, the top criteria for employers in Malaysia fully explained. So please listen to Berry Berry Easy and start gaining those skills in addition to all your academic skills.