The importance of 5C’s (Critical Skills)

 Have you ever wondered, what does employers or sponsors look for in a candidate to invest their money in? Based on research, there are 5 main skills that makes these candidates highly sought-after, which are the 5C’s;

  1. Communication;

-The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium (in this context, verbally, phone calls and writing e-mails or letters)

-The successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings

[reference; active listening and effective speakinwww.oxforddictionaries.com]

 

Communication involves;

  • The ability to communicate both verbally and in writing with a wide variety of people
  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Write clearly and succinctly (clear, precise expressions in a few words)
  • Demonstrate a varied vocabulary and tailor your language to your audience
  • Active listening skills involve not only hearing but gaining and understanding information
  • The ability to make a good first impression towards the employers
  • The ability to speak and write fluent and professional English to negotiate/interact with international customers/business partners

 

WHY IS COMMUNICATION IMPORTANT?

  • Good verbal and written communication means you can get your messages across with less chance of misunderstanding.
  • Listening is a basic requirement leading to fewer mistakes and a greater understanding of the needs of employer and client.
  • As your career progresses, the importance of communication skills increases since as well as creativity, people skills, and an aptitude for teamwork, the ability to speak and write with clarity and conciseness is essential for managers.
  • Convince the employers that you are able to receive and understand commands, cooperate with other staffs well and influence customers

 

*Plus points for fresh graduates with ability to speak or write in a third language

(e.g. Arabic, Spanish, Chinese etc.)
{Communication skills are ranked at;

  1. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
  2. Ability to sell and influence others

Source: The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey to 200 employers internationally during mid-August to September 2015}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Cultural adaptation;

Cultural adaptation is the process of ensuring your message, whether translated into another language or not, is presented using cultural references and role models that your intended audience will identify with

 

  • Cultural adaptation”is the process of adjusting messages to the intended audience by incorporating their cultural heritage, language and ethnicity.
  • Sometimes it means finding the right word. On other occasions, it is about finding cultural equivalents so that information is accurate but is also relevant and understandable to a different cultural audience.
  • Cultural adaptation is especially important for graduates who wish to work with a company that works globally
  • In promotion, cultural adaptation increases the affectivity for a certain advertisement

 

HOW?

  • Use images that reflect members of the community.
  • Use colours and other graphic elements with special cultural meaning to enhance the power of a message.
  • Poorly chosen graphic elements can detract from a message. For example, in North America, the colour pink tends to imply femininity and softness, while in some Asian cultures pink has a sexual connotation. In some cultures white is a sign of purity, while in others it is a sign of mourning.
  • Thoroughly test images and text on intended audiences to ensure they are effective and culturally appropriate.
  • Use simple, everyday language
  • Use shorter sentences (25 words or less) and paragraphs
  • Include community role models

 

 

 

 

  1. Creativity and Innovation
  • What is Creativity?

 

  • Creativity is a function of knowledge, curiosity, imagination, and evaluation
  • three important levels of creativity, which are discovery, invention, and creation.
  • Creativity refers to generating new and novel ideas.
  • Innovation refers to the application of an idea and, in many cases, is a collaborative enterprise. So in other words, innovation is applied creativity.
  • Employers like hiring creative employees because these are the people who come with ideas, both big and small, to develop the company.
  • At an assessment centre, creativity and imagination are more likely to be tested with problem solving exercises. In interviews and psychometric tests you will be given lateral thinking exercises

HOW TO BE CREATIVE IN SOLVING PROBLEMS

–          IDENTIFY THE CONSTRAINTS AROUND THE PROBLEM

–          IMAGINE YOU ARE SOLVING SOMEONE ELSE’S PROBLEM

–          GOT A LARGE PROBLEM TO SOLVE? BREAK IT UP INTO SMALLER PARTS.

–          NEED A BRAINSTORMING SESSION? WORK IN PAIRS, NOT LARGE GROUPS

–          PRACTICE THE GOLDEN RULE OF CREATIVITY

 

 

 

 

  1. Critical Thinking and Problem solving

 

{Employers say they need a workforce fully equipped with skills beyond the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic to grow their businesses. These skills include critical thinking and problem solving, according to a 2010 Critical Skills Survey by the American Management Association and others.}

 

  • Most formal definitions characterize critical thinking as the intentional application of rational, higher order thinking skills, such as analysis, synthesis, problem recognition and problem solving, inference, and evaluation” (Angelo, 1995, p. 6 ).

 

  • Critical thinking involves;

 

  • asking questions,
  • defining a problem,
  • examining evidence,
  • analyzing assumptions and biases,
  • avoiding emotional reasoning,
  • avoiding oversimplification,
  • considering other interpretations,
  • and tolerating ambiguity.

 

WHY DO WE NEED CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS?

 

  • Employers want employees who can work through problems on their own or as an effective member of a team.
  • Ideal employees can think critically and creatively, share thoughts and opinions, use good judgment, and make decisions.
  • As a new employee, you may question why an organization follows certain steps to complete a task.
  • employers are usually appreciative when new employees are able to offer insight and fresh perspective into better and more efficient ways of doing things

 

 

 

 

  1. COLLABORATION

 

  • Collaborationis a working practice whereby individuals work together to a common purpose to achieve business benefit
  • With the changes and advancements in technology, such as high speed internet, web-based programs, file sharing, email and video-conferencing, collaboration has become a more productive way of doing things.

 

  • Collaboration in the workplace incorporates teamwork and several other aspects, such as the following:
  • Thinking and brainstorming ideas to provide solutions – This key element brings groups together to offer different perspectives and expertise to solve for common problems. The phrase putting our heads together would be a good example of this important element of collaboration.
  • A strong sense of purpose – Groups and individuals who truly collaborate see the value in working together. Collaboration is not forced upon someone. There should be a meaningful reason for working together, and it should benefit both parties or the company as a whole.
  • Equal participation – In corporate America, a collaborative manager or leader may often say, ‘leave your titles at the door.’ Treating everyone as equals when collaborating can open up communication and encourage ideas from all levels of the company or department, not just the managers or directors.

 

BENEFITS

Access to Skills and Strengths

Develop Employee Skills

Solve Problems and Innovate Faster

Work Efficiency (Divide and Conquer)

Job Satisfaction and Employee Retention

 

Here are the 10 skills employers say they seek, in order of importance:

  1. Ability to work in a team
  2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  3. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
  4. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
  5. Ability to obtain and process information
  6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
  7. Technical knowledge related to the job
  8. Proficiency with computer software programs
  9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports
  10. Ability to sell and influence others

(According to survey conducted by Forbes magazine August-September 2015)

 

 

MY OPINION:

(ranked in order of importance)

 

  1. COMMUNICATION

In my opinion, generally, communication is the most important trait that employers look for in fresh graduates. It starts from the first impression, to the ability to comprehend and process instructions and to convert words into actions. I think this is the most important because it is almost like a basic to all the other 4 skills needed. For example, if  I have creativity, it would be of no use if I do not have the ability to convey my idea to the board of directors or to the society.

 

  1. CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING

Critical thinking is one of the crucial skills needed by graduates. Employers often look for graduates who are able to think outside the box, make rational decisions and face difficult and adverse situations. Moreover, even the government have implemented the High Order Thinking Skills way of learning to face the need for critical thinking in job criteria nowadays.

 

  1. COLLABORATION

To me, it is important to be able to collaborate with colleagues effectively. Often, you will work with a large community of people with various projects. Therefore, ability to collaborate, exchange ideas and combine forces to complete a task or a project is highly required in fresh graduates.

 

  1. CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

As fresh and young graduates, employers are expectant to seek creative minded employees that con provide insight to the company. Creativity and innovation is what develops the company to become better and relevant with the latest trends. Fresh graduates who are able to create and generate new ideas would be very likely to land a job.

 

  1. CULTURAL ADAPTATION

Being the last does not make this skill the least. In my opinion, it is important to be able to adapt culturally especially if you are working in a diverse environment with multiracial staffs or even working overseas in a country that has nothing in common with your hometown. The ability to adjust words and graphics to match with the local community or the target community is a valid plus point for young and fresh graduates to land a job especially in fields of entrepreneurship.

{I prepared this for an interview for a pre-university scholarship, I thought it would be useful to share with all of you :)}