Career success depends on taking responsibility for yourself. / Stockbyte / Getty Images
A college degree isn’t enough to get you a job these days, says Bill Coplin, author of 10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College. “Employers are looking for people who have proven that they have the skills,” he says. “You can’t prove that by taking courses.” Here, the Syracuse University professor shares the three most important skills to land a job.
Work well with others. Strong social skills are an asset in the workplace, but don’t wait until you’ve landed the job to demonstrate this, Coplin advises. “You have to make the interviewer feel you’re on their side, and then once you’ve got the job, be a good team player. ... Employers don’t want troublemakers.”
Know your numbers. Data is important in every field, says Coplin. “A lot of students would say, ‘I’m going to be an artist, so why do I have to know numbers?’ But in most jobs, you’re going to end up using Excel at one point or another.” Understanding statistics can make a difference.”
Be responsible for yourself. Only those with strong motivation and time management skills will get ahead. “Taking responsibility is the most important, because if a student isn’t going to say, ‘I’m here to learn and help my future,’ then nothing else is going to work.”