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Nearly every article you come across on job hunting, advises job seekers to showcase their skills to potential employers if they want to land a good job. But honestly, you cannot sell skills that you do not have!

Universities and colleges turn out hundreds of graduates every year, and it is shocking to find that 90 percent of these graduates lack intellect and skills. As a result, employers are beginning to question the employability of Nigerian graduates. Recruiters and hiring managers are complaining that many candidates lack the right combination of skills and traits to fill open positions. On the other hand, jobseekers constantly complain that there are no jobs, whereas very few of them are actually job-ready. Yes! The Nigerian job market is in deep-freeze mode at the moment, but assuming jobs come flooding the streets, would you be a good catch for employers?

Paper qualification is not the only requirement to land a job. You must have other components of employability to accompany your qualifications. Endeavor to make yourself hirable if you want to land on employers’ list.

Here are basic skills employers and hiring managers are looking for in new grads:

Essential Skills

Hiring managers are tired of seeing candidates who lack the necessary skills required to work. The poor oral and written communication skill displayed by the so-called graduates in Nigeria today is quite appalling. You don’t need work experience to know how to write, read or communicate properly, do you?

You must show employers that you have mastered essential skills like writing, reading, numeracy, presentation, and organization. Avoid grammatical errors, misspellings, and typos.

Commercial Awareness

Even though you just graduated, it is wise that you get acquainted with things happening in your industry.  Have a clear understanding of the type of business your potential employer does and who their competitors are. Familiarize yourself with their products, find out how things are done and read up on the role you wish to apply for.


Your first real job is going to be more challenging than any other job you have done in the past (be it Internship or primary assignment during your one year with NYSC). There will always be some kind of pressure attached to every job, so you shouldn’t be surprised when your ability to handle tough situations is tested during any recruitment process.

Employers expect you to have the ability to handle pressure, setbacks, unforeseen events, obstacles and failures without allowing them to affect your work. Learn how to adapt and be flexible, there is no one-size-fits-all technique for this. Just find what works for you.

Computer skills

In this digital age, you will hardly find any professional job that does not require the use of computer applications. Employers expect graduates to have basic knowledge of how to use a computer. Some hiring managers test candidate’s ability to handle certain computer applications like Microsoft Office etc. you should be able to prove to them that you have this skill.

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