Hollerings | Digital & IT

Catching the eye of your employer for your first graduate role!

Think outside the box

There is a common misconception that degrees are not always beneficial when trying to land your dream job. Some research shows that graduates still carry a strong advantage over someone without a degree but many companies also value experience over academics.

Many graduates are unaware that their qualification is not the only crucial element to landing their dream job. University allows you to develop many other skills and attributes along the way and this is exactly what employers are looking for.

We have rounded up some key points which employers generally look for in graduates to help you secure your dream role!

What type of skills are employers looking for?

Starting yourself up in the real world can seem daunting, but landing your first job after your graduation isn’t just about the qualification you have gained. Employers are not just looking for someone with technical skills. They also look for someone with the determination to succeed in their career.

The technical skills you need will depend on the role that you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a role in testing, then you will be expected to have a clear knowledge and understanding of testing, but as a graduate, you will not be expected to have a high level of experience.

Soft skills are often overlooked by society as not everyone understands the significance of them. Majority of people assume that it is expected of them to carry only technical skills and experience. However, many employers – specifically in the tech industry, want to see more evidence of self-developed attributes, as well as their technical abilities. These skills are developed throughout our lives and work experiences, so make sure to include these on your CV. 

Soft skills include:


You need to be able to show that you can not only work individually, but also as part of a team. When interviewing, talk about a time when you worked within a team and the outcome of the project. The majority of jobs that you apply for in tech will require you to work in a team, big or small – so this is an important skill to have.

Problem solving

This is a vital skill to carry in any job. Problem solving is a crucial part of a lot of tech related roles. You may be put in a position where a problem needs fixing and it will be down to you to fix it.

Verbal & Written Communication

This applies to any role – prove to employers that you can communicate efficiently and provide them with examples of when you have had to do this. They will be able to monitor this on how you execute yourself when talking about your skills and how you have used them.

Decision Making

During school, the majority of your decisions are made for you. Once you step your foot in a workplace, you become accountable for all decisions that you make. Employers look for someone who can prove that they have the ability to do this as there will come a time in your career when you will have to make your own decisions.

If you are being interviewed then talk about these skills and give examples of when you had to apply them to a task you completed.


How to develop your skills

Developing personal projects on the side will help you practice your skills and enhance your ability to use them. Most people in the tech industry usually develop their own personal projects to work on in their spare time and this is something employers will look out for. 

Why not create an educational blog? This is also a good way for making connections. Use the space to document all your work whilst educating others at the same time. The more time you spend developing your skills outside of work, the further you will progress. Employers will value you for this – this will help them understand how much you want your career in tech.

Go the extra mile

Ultimately, your goal is to make yourself stand out from everyone else. You need to consider – ‘Why should they choose me’ and ‘What can I bring to the table?’. Your CV needs to demonstrate how you go the extra mile in both your spare time and studies and there are many ways you can execute this!

Why not try out volunteering? Apply to businesses both in your field and outside. Your willingness to work for free will show employers your determination to succeed in your career. 

Take up extra courses – You can access so many tech related FREE online courses. Taking up a career in Digital Marketing? Google Digital Garage offers a free online service that provides you with free courses in digital marketing. It’s something extra to include on your CV and gives you the opportunity to enhance your skills. There are so many free courses that offer this.

You have your qualification, now your job is to prove to employers that you really want the role you are applying for. If you consider all tips from the above then you’re set up in the right direction to landing your dream role – Good luck!

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