7 Soft Skills that HR is looking for 

in New Graduates

Do you know? According to a Wonderlic study, 93% of hiring managers consider soft skills "important." This means today's job market requires young graduates to be more than just book-smart. The ideal candidate must also be pleasant, dynamic, and well-versed in various "softer" skills. HR representatives look for these qualities in candidates during the hiring process to gauge their potential for success in the job.

HR departments have their eye on the ball regarding new grads and their soft skills — so you need to have yours ready to go at your following interview. Soft skills are not precisely asked about in interviews; however, if you don't demonstrate them, you won't get the job. So, here are seven soft skills that every new grad should know before entering the workforce:

Strong Communication

Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship or business deal. Regardless of your field or the role you are interviewing for, you will need to be able to speak confidently and clearly with all members of your team, clients, and upper management. Strong communication includes being able to:

  • Understand your audience and adjust your speaking style accordingly.
  • Build relationships with all people you encounter.
  • Articulate your ideas clearly and concisely.
  • Break down the idea into smaller pieces so others can understand it.

Furthermore, you must have a firm grasp of your non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is a communication style in which you express yourself through body language, such as postures, gestures, and eye movement. In non-verbal communication, the pitch is the key. A high pitch indicates excitement and energy, while a low pitch conveys authority and confidence. By using the right mix of high and low pitches, you can create a strong personality that will be sure to communicate effectively. Learn how to communicate effectively here!

Public Speaking

Some jobs may require you to give presentations to clients or at conferences, and you may also be required to give speeches at school or in extracurricular activities. You need to speak confidently and clearly to succeed in these scenarios. You must be aware of the value of speaking in front of an audience as well as to a group or a partner. Public speaking includes being able to:

  • Make eye contact with your audience - This can be tricky, especially if you're not used to speaking in front of a crowd. Nervousness can make it tough to know where to look, but you'll need to focus on the people in the front row so that they feel heard and connected to you.
  • Create a visual and engaging presentation - This is not something you can do on the fly — you will need to practice and prepare your presentation to be confident in your delivery and that your audience is engaged and listening.
  • Know how to handle difficult questions - There will be times when someone in the audience asks a question that is off-topic or is challenging to your ideas or views. You'll need to stay calm and collected, and you'll need to understand how to best address these questions in a mature, respectful manner.

Time Management Skills

Human resources departments often seek out candidates with solid time management skills. Time management is the ability to plan and control how you use your time to achieve specific goals. It is a valuable skill for many jobs, as it can help employees complete tasks more efficiently and prevent them from becoming overwhelmed by their workloads. You have to remember the three pointers Static; No excel needed, balance:

1. Static: Static means that something doesn't move or change, so if you manage your time well, you can be more productive and not waste time on things that don't matter.

2. No excel needed: You don't need to use a complicated program to manage your time; you can use a simple list or calendar.

3. Balance:
It's essential to have a balance in your time management skills. For example, if you spend too much time on your hobbies, you won't have enough time for schoolwork, and you'll get behind. Or, if you spend too much time watching TV, you won't have enough time to play with your friends. It's crucial to find a balance between work and play.

Charismatic Personality

You need to be confident, outgoing, and friendly — and show it in the interview and on the job. Companies want to hire friendly and outgoing people to connect with clients and other team members. Your personality will help you build your company's reputation and can significantly impact your success. 

 During your interview, you can demonstrate your great personality by being confident and friendly and having a well-groomed and clean appearance. 

You can check out Younity's course on Personal Development to ace your personality at work.

Your Mental Health

This soft skill is often overlooked, but it's an important one. Candidates are often victimized by Overthinking, Procrastination and Fear of failure. The field of Human Resources is increasingly looking for candidates with strong mental health skills. This is because the workplace is becoming more and more stressful, and employees are expected to be able to cope with this stress healthily. Mental health skills are therefore seen as essential to be a successful employee.

Good mental health means managing your emotions and stress levels, so they don't affect your performance.

If you're still worried about your mental health, you can attend our upcoming session on how to solve mental health issues.


Adaptability, like communication, is a crucial skill all job seekers need to possess to stand out and survive the competitive job market. Adaptability is vital for HR managers who know that most jobs constantly evolve. Adjusting to your company's ever-changing needs and demands will ensure you are the perfect fit for future roles and improve your chances of getting hired. It also shows you are a quick learner and can adapt to new situations quickly.

  • Adapting to new work styles, work situations, and technology.
  • Being open to change and working well with others on changing projects.
  • Managing your own time when working with change management.
  • Continuously learning about new technologies and software in your field.

Final Note

There you have it; seven soft skills that HR is looking for in new graduates. Do you have these skills? Do you know public speaking? How to manage your time effectively? If not, then we are always here for you!

You can always check our self-development program to stand out in the crowd and grab your dream job.

Finally, remember that companies want friendly and cheerful people who have a strong sense of self and know how to balance their workload. These skills won't be explicitly tested or asked about in interviews, but they will be seen in your performance once you start the job.

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