Visit any college campus and look at any posters and flyers and you are bound to see a myriad of campus activities being hosted or sponsored by campus groups and clubs. Behind those campus groups and clubs are students who are campus leaders. These are students who are organizing, influencing and leading other students. These intrepid campus leaders are sometimes the hardest working students on campus – often balancing a full academic load, part-time jobs and campus leadership roles. No wonder employers love campus leaders and why many often land job offers from multiple companies.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently published the annual Job Outlook Survey where employers share how they plan to evaluate the attributes and skills of this year’s crop of college graduates. This year, the number one attribute employers seek is Leadership.
In addition, to leadership being the top attribute, employers also identify the soft skills they will look for in the Class of 2013. Take a look at the 10 soft skills and it’s not hard to see why campus leaders land job offers after graduation. Below are just the top three soft skills rated, in order of importance to employers, and how a typical campus leader demonstrates these sought after behaviors.
- The ability to verbally communicate with people inside and outside the company. Campus leaders don’t just communicate with fellow students. Campus leaders communicate with faculty and staff advisors, external organizing bodies and even with the executive leadership of their college or university.
- The ability to work within a team structure is the second soft skill identified by employers as important. Campus leaders are usually part of an executive board and spend a lot of time negotiating the direction of the campus organization. In many cases campus leaders have to influence and motivate others to get things done. Campus leaders have also moved up through the ranks by being good team players who have shown they are reliable members of the team, semester after semester.
- The ability to make decisions and solve problems is a routine part of life for any campus leader. Moving a campus organization forward while making your mark as the leader involves coordinating events, managing day-to-day activities, motivating others and making choices. Evaluating program offerings, growing membership and even organizing locations will demonstrate to potential employers that campus leaders have the attributes and the soft skills they seek.