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5 must-have skills a new graduate needs to excel in his professional life

Fresh graduates need every skill-related edge they can get when it comes to landing their first full-time job. But more often than not, they tend to rely only on academic excellence to score top roles in good organisations. Whether you’re launching a career as an engineer, programmer, artist or just about anything else, there are certain business skills that every professional must have to be successful.

So whether you’re gunning for a job or your first big raise, this list of professional skills can help you seal the deal. (And Monster can help you find the jobs.)

Bonus points: These business skills can also help you in the future when you’re looking to get a promotion or boost your appeal to potential employers.

Negotiating skills
This will come in handy in many professional situations, but especially when it’s time to ask for a raise or secure a great job offer. Becoming a good negotiator early on in your career is important since most salary increases are predicated on earlier salaries. Negotiating skills can also help you barter for other job perks and benefits, such as a signing bonus, flexible work schedule, or relocation assistance.

How to develop these skills? Laying the groundwork for salary negotiations, you need to arm yourself with data. How much, on average, does someone with your education, skills, and years of experience get paid in your industry?

Do your due diligence; ask mentors about salary expectations and research online to determine how much you’re worth. Once you can support your request with grounded arguments, you will have a better chance of getting what you want.

Technology skills
A solid grasp of Microsoft Office probably isn’t enough to impress. So head online to learn how to code, get certified in Google Analytics and discover the basics of SEO and SEM marketing.

Learn a foreign language
Acing a foreign language brings a host of benefits. It not only improves your cognitive skills but also helps you stand out in the employment market. Most cities offer affordable group learning options. As with most things, practice makes perfect, so look out for opportunities to chat in your new language.

Soft skills
Although you may feel that your ability to carry out specialised job requirements is sufficient to land a job, please don’t ignore soft skills as they are just as essential as any other business skill. Teamwork, people skills, efficient communication etc. are soft skills that are not only vital in any workplace, they mean you will stay around! It is no surprise that employers always look for these in a prospective candidate.

Public speaking skills
Public speaking skills are crucial to establishing yourself as a competent, likeable, and approachable individual. Whether you’re in front of a large audience or in front of a small team, your ability to communicate your message and your vision clearly is critical.

Use presentations at team meetings to sharpen your public speaking skills. Tend to get pre-presentation jitters? Just remember that you’re the one in control of what you say, how you say it, and how your audience receives the information. Make sure you ask your boss for feedback so that you can improve for future presentations. To get practice outside the office consider joining public speaking workshops and debating clubs.

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