Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Job Search Skills You Learned in School

If you’re a recent college graduate, you have a very specific set of skills. These include in-depth research, scientific writing, efficient study habits and probably some pretty impressive sleeping patterns. As you enter the wide open world and become a job seeker, consider ways in which you can take these skills and convert them to useful skills in your job hunt.

For example, at this point in your life your research skills are spot on! You know how to use online databases and how to spot a trustworthy source. You also know how to use search engines efficiently to find the resources you need. As a job seeker, you can use these skills to wade through the mountains of resources available to you in your job search.

Using your previously fine-tuned skills, you can spot trustworthy advice columns and job boards, and you can effectively search a company’s website to gather information that could be useful in a job interview. You also know from countless hours of research that the best supporting evidence is deep within academic articles, case studies and professional reports. You know that you have to dive deep in order to get the most accurate information. The same is true of researching your potential employer. Instead of sticking to their website, search for news articles on the company and learn about their social media activity, as well.

The art of writing papers and essays is also valuable as a job seeker. You know how to use the research you’ve just done to support the big idea of a thesis, and how to condense the information to make your points concise. Your cover letters and resumes can be approached in the same way. If the big idea is that you are uniquely qualified for the position, then your supporting evidence is your experience related to the position. Revise your resume to reflect the work skills you know an employer will be looking for, and condense all of your experience and knowledge into bite-size excerpts to display your qualifications.

How many countless hours did you spend in the library with your nose to your notes, trying to capture all the information necessary for a final exam? Just as you studied and prepared for those, you also need to “study” for a job interview. This goes beyond research and gets to the nitty gritty of what you’ll say and how you’ll present yourself. Essentially, an interview is a test of your skills and qualifications, so be prepared by looking up potential interview questions and preparing answers ahead of time. You already know your resume from front to back, but can you speak about experience that didn’t make it to the resume? Can you expound on the resume to further highlight your qualifications?

Remember how each and every professor had their own distinct quirks concerning assignments? This professor had a strict outline for all papers, and that professor would only give essay exams. You learned how to adapt to these foibles and thrive as a student. Every potential employer can be thought of the same way: by researching their company and asking questions about the hiring process, you can tweak your credentials and presentation to meet their peculiarities head-on. This kind of customization shows that you’ve done your interview homework.

The correlations could go on and on. Hopefully these few have served to remind you that though you may be new to the job search, the skills you already have are able to help you search efficiently and effectively as a job seeker. Don’t leave the time you spent learning behind you at the university. Instead, use it to help you succeed as you step into the real world and start your job search!

What are some skills you picked up in college that can be used in your job search as a job seeker? Share with us in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by jjorogen

Kailyn Baum

Kailyn is a recent college graduate with degrees in English and Political Science. She is currently working in the publishing industry, where she loves the fact that she is paid to immerse herself in talking and thinking about books all day long. When she isn’t working, she enjoys reading, cooking, line-dancing, and writing short stories and poetry. Her sincerest hope for contributing to Spark Hire’s job seeker blog is to provide job seekers of all ages with the tools and sense of humor necessary to stay calm and carry on.