Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Graduate Employability Skills:What Every Graduate should Posses

graduate unemployment
Recently on facebook, I had a lengthy chat with an old school mate who was narrating his ordeal of securing a decent job after almost three years of completing tertiary. On the other side of the coin; I know another good friend who  has changed jobs and is currently at post on his second job offer, just within a period of  three months. So, what makes the difference? Finding it difficult to juxtapose, I decided to research on what HR managers and recruiters look out for in fresh graduates who are looking for an entry level position in any reputable firm.
Today, I share with you some vital skills graduate must have in order to be employable. This insight is not purely based on my knowledge as I am a novice in the world of work, but I guess it would be good for someone out there. If you think you are the one, just have an open mind and let’s learn. Don’t forget to drop me your comment.
Skills Graduates should have in order to be employable
  •    Knowledge skills
  1. Every graduate should have a body of knowledge in the field(s) studied; 
  2. Be able to apply theory to practice in familiar and unfamiliar situations; 
  3. Be able to identify access, organize and communicate knowledge in both written and oral English; 
  4. Have an appreciation of the requirements and characteristics of scholarship and research; and 
  5. Have the ability to use appropriate technologies in furthering all of the above.
  •   Thinking skills 
Are you  a Graduate or about to graduate, then you should posses the following thinking skills :
  1. Be able to exercise critical judgment; 
  2.  Be capable of rigorous and independent thinking;
  3. Be able to account for their decisions; 
  4. Be realistic self evaluators; 
  5. Adopt a problem solving approach; and 
  6.  Be creative and imaginative thinkers.
  •  Personal skills
  1.  The capacity for and a commitment to life-long learning; 
  2. The ability to plan and achieve goals in both personal and the professional spheres; 
  3.  The ability to work with others.
  •   Personal attributes
  1. Strive for tolerance and integrity; and 
  2. Acknowledge their personal responsibility for: their own value judgments; and 
  3. Their ethical behavior towards others.
  • Practical skills
  1.  Be able to use information technology for professional and personal development; and, where appropriate, be able to do following: 
  2. Collect, correlate, display, analyze and report observations; 
  3. Apply experimentally-obtained results to new situations; 
  4.  Test hypotheses experimentally; and 
  5.  Apply technical skills appropriate to their discipline.
What Next?
I plan to write a post on what employers expect from recent Graduates to enable them quickly fit into the working culture, but for now, I hope this helps you. Please drop me your comment. I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


In today’s competitive business environment, one of the most crucial and challenging tasks for managers and supervisors are to apportion work among the employees they manage and supervise. A lot of managers and supervisors frequently complain that they have too much to do and too little time in which to do it. However, the old adage “If you want something done right, do it yourself" prevents managers from delegating. Managers should delegate work not to just relieve their workload, but to allow the employees they supervise to grow professionally.
In this post I intend sharing with your some basic guidelines to help you delegate effectively at your workplace.Are you ready? I am too, so let’s get going!
  •     Ascertain  which task you want to delegate
 It is important to first determine what you are going to delegate. Then take the time to plan on what it is you want to delegate and why you want to delegate that specific task. In addition, find out how you are going to present the task to your employee; include your requirements, parameters, checkpoints and expectations.
  • Select the right person
Asses the skills and experience of your employees as objectively as possible and select the right person or team for the assignment. Personally, I believe employees who are creative and self motivated enough to work without you constantly looking over their shoulder and giving instructions are the preferred choice. 
  •    Clarify the Expected Outcome
Give an overview of the assignment including the importance of the assignment and why you have chosen the employee for the job. In addition, determine the results you consider necessary for successful completion of the task
  •   Give the subordinate time and space to complete the task
Delegating a task to a subordinate place enough trust in him to execute the task. As much as possible, avoid constantly jumping back in to check on how things are going. Give the person room to be able to successfully complete their assignment, and remember, while there is an agreed upon goal, they don’t have to get there exactly how you would get there. Let them do things in their own way; it shows that you trust their ability to make the right decision and it increases the morale of the subordinate.
  • Undertake Periodic Follow-Ups
Schedule a series of follow-up meetings. This is not necessarily to stick your nose in what they’re doing. Periodic follow ups enable subordinate to raise questions and concerns that need to be addressed .It also enables the manager or the supervisor to monitor progress and determine the need for assistance.

What Next?
Managers and supervisors need to learn how to delegate effectively at the workplace because delegating grooms your successor so that you can move on to bigger and better things. Often managers and supervisors derail their own advancement by not having someone to take their place don’t let this be you.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012


stage fright
Have you ever being invited to make a ten minute speech and you feel like vanishing into thin airs immediately your name is called? You are not alone. Delivering an effective presentation to 20 or more people is becoming increasingly difficult. With the emergence of the internet, listeners have better access to information and expect more content from speakers. You fail to make a strong point in the first three minutes of your speech and they quickly tune off their minds. How then do you deliver an effective speech that not only grabs attention but produces results? The following tips would help you master your public speaking skills
  • Grab their attention
Begin with something to get the attention of your audience. This might be a startling statement, statistic, or your own story. Listeners pay close attention when a person begins with, "Just two days ago, I received a phone call from a friend…" A current event is also another great way to begin: “On prime time news yesterday, you might have heard of the man who….” A question is another great way to make people listen. "How many of you feel our education system does not prepare as for the job market?" might be a way to begin a presentation about unemployment. Whatever technique you use, when you grab the attention of the audience you are on your way to a successful speech. Start with a strong introduction that lets the audience know within the first 30 seconds where you're going. Don't reveal your message but give them a clue.
  • Research the topic
Take time to find out all that you need to know about the topic. Even if it is a subject you know, take the time to brush up. Don’t assume because you have been speaking on that topic for some time you can just mount the podium. Researching the topic would expose you to certain information you may not have known.
  •  Make eye contact
Slowly scan across the audience and look people in the eye as you talk. A good audience gives energy back to you and participates when you demonstrate a friendly presence, so invite them in. This is also how you can see if your information is being comprehended, and helps you spot people with questions.
  • Include a "wow" factor in your speech.
public speaking skills
Make your audience go “wow!” in the course of your presentation. Yes, something in your speech should make your audience think, "Wow!" The “Wow!” effect could be a story, a dramatic point, an unusual statistic, or an effective visual that helps the audience understand immediately. With a "wow" factor, you then have something to look forward to in the speech that you know will have an impact on your audience. You'll become a more enthusiastic speaker because the "wow" factor will get you as well as your audience pumped for the speech.
Finally, leave the audience with something to think about. People remember best what you say last; make your last words a thought to ponder. For example, you may end the speech with, “Just remember, it is not what you hear, but what you do with what you have heard that matters.”

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How to Provide Exceptional Customer Service Experience

One vital asset that every company must have is its customers; without them, no business entity can survive. Exceptional customer service is the key to success of every business. Satisfied customers do not only help your business to grow by continuing to do business with you, they recommend you to friends and associates. Studies show that repeat customers typically spend more money, generate larger transactions, refer more customers, and buy a broader range of products than one-time shoppers.
 So how then do we provide exceptional customer service experience?  Use the following guidelines below to provide exceptional customer service experience:
  • Address customers by their name
The most pleasant sound in the ears of every person is his or her name. Address customers by name as often as possible, this adds a personalized aspect to your customer, it shows you pay attention to them and value them as a person, rather than just a nameless customer who purchased an item or service from your company.
  • Listen attentively and ask questions
Focus one hundred percent whenever a customer calls, email or approaches you with a concern or a question. Often, customer service representatives who are only on the phone pay half mind to customers, because they are not in their presence to gauge any facial reaction. But remember, a customer will pick up on your tone of voice or the way you comment if you do not listen to what they are saying. Active listening requires you to ask questions for clarification to best understand them. This in turn lets the customer know you are listening to what they are saying, and doing your best to solve the issue.
  • Go the Extra Mile
What can you give customers that they cannot get elsewhere? What can you give a customer that is totally unexpected? These are some of the question you need to provide answers to in providing exceptional customer service experience. Go the extra mile, surprise customers by over delivering. Throw in surprise extras or deals when customers place large orders. This shows loyal customers you appreciate the fact that they chose you over your competitors
  • Learn to Apologize
Apologize when something goes wrong; even if you know the situation was not your fault. It is appropriate that you accept full responsibility for the situation. You don't have to say it was your fault, but you do need to apologize for the fact that they feel upset or inconvenienced. The customer may not always be right, but the customer must always win.

  • Resolve Problems Immediately
Majority of customers prefer staying with a business that resolves their complaint quickly, and would rather not have to look for somewhere else to take their business. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done. The faster you resolve it, the better.

What Next?
Finally to provide exceptional customer service, make it simple for customers to complain. Value their complaints; as much as we dislike it, it gives us an opportunity to improve.