Graduates with enterprise skills are more successful in getting their first job

Graduate jobs We often associate enterprise with being self-employed, your own boss, but more and more employers are looking for people with enterprise skills. As a graduate you will not yet become engrained in the employee mind-set and so you are perfect to offer not only the skills you have from your degree course but also a more enterprising mind-set.

So what is an enterprising mind-set?

Having an enterprise mind-set can often be the difference between being a good member of staff and being a great member of staff. But what do we really mean by an enterprise mind-set?

An enterprise mind-set is a set of attitudes, traits, or competencies that on the whole include but are not exclusively:

  • The ability to focus on opportunities, and know how and when to take those opportunities.
  • A curiosity in people, solutions, ideas etc. People who are curious often read, learn, and ask about things and this information gives them a different way of looking at things.
  • he ability to see the possibilities in a situation rather than the difficulties.
  • Creativity to developing ideas and solutions.
  • A willingness to take action and responsibility.
  • The ability to bounce back from failure having learnt from it and be willing to take that learning into the next situation.

Setting yourself apart with an enterprise mind-set

Having an enterprising spark can really set you apart from others. It enables individuals to not only give things a try, but also to bounce back when things do not go to plan. For them, failure is an opportunity to learn and develop. As long as their future decisions are influenced by lessons learnt and mistakes are not repeated, then they are moving forward, improving, and increasing the chances of the organisation doing well. In general, all of us could do with some of this mind-set to get us through our everyday challenges. Indeed, it is worth considering that if more people in society had a more enterprising mind-set, could it improve society as a whole, as more people would be willing to take action and give things a try?

I love the idea but will employers?

If you are wondering do all employers love the idea of enterprising staff well the answer would have to be no. Unfortunately not every organisation has embraced the concept of having more enterprising staff. This could be that they are worried that staff might go off and do it for themselves or managers might be worried that staff could be better skilled than they are.

For now concentrate on the more forward thinking organisations. The ones who know they need to embrace change, be more innovative and adapt their products and services to suit their clients ever changing needs. They know that this needs and enterprising attitude. It needs people who can see the need to change and seek opportunities to improve things or develop new ideas.

These organisations will be the ones who are looking for staff who are creative, adaptable, customer focused, innovative and forward thinking.

As a graduate recruit with enterprise and entrepreneurial skills you are an asset to any company. You are likely to be the one can spot gaps in the market and innovate. Most importantly if you are commercially minded you’re an asset to the organisation. Graduate job seekers should showcase their strengths in this area by demonstrating a capacity for independent work and original thinking, as well as sound business sense. Demonstrate as well that you have an interest in the market that your potential employer operates in, this will show that you get what they do and how they do it.

What should my CV be telling them?

If you are innovative and believe yourself to be enterprising in your mind-set you could add to your CV examples of when you have thought about things differently or if you have been involved in enterprising projects at school or university. Include words like collaborative and customer focused. Demonstrate how you are willing to find solutions and accept this takes hard work and determination.

Enterprise and entrepreneurial skills are effectively a combination of skills, including:

  • commercial awareness
  • creative and innovative thinking
  • prioritisation and time management
  • problem solving
  • communication, negotiation and persuasiveness skills

What about the interview?

During the interview demonstrate your awareness of the marketplace and interest in commercialism. Talk about problem solving skills, making decisions based on gathering information and considering both the organisational needs and those of the clients. Talk about how you have been involved in enterprising projects either at school, university or in your own time. Help the potential employer see how valuable these skills can be and good luck with job hunting.

If you would like Rebecca to speak to your student group about enterprise and how it can add value to their employability skills talk to us today. You can see Rebecca at work with student groups this week at Stafford University –

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