« November 2010 | Main | January 2011 »

Verbal Communication Skills Most Sought by Employers

New college graduates looking to crack the still-tight job market need to hone their verbal communication skills, say employers taking part in NACE’s Job Outlook 2011 survey.

Survey respondents indicate that verbal communication skills topped the list of “soft” skills they seek in new college graduates looking to join their organizations, followed by strong work ethic, teamwork skills, analytical skills, and initiative. (See Figure 1.)

Interestingly, when asked how satisfied they were that new college graduates could deliver on key skills, employer response was mixed. They reported being “very satisfied” with the teamwork and analytical skills of new college graduates, but verbal communication skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic all fell below that level, with ratings hovering between “somewhat” and “very satisfied.”

Even if candidates can deliver on those top five skills, employers have a fairly substantial list of other skills they deem as important and other attributes they seek. In fact, employers rated nine other skills/qualities as “very important”’ to “extremely important,” and most cited GPA requirements and a preference for new graduates with internship or other relevant work experience.

Figure 1: Employers Rank Top 5 Candidate Skills/Qualities

1. Verbal Communication Skills
2. Strong Work Ethic
3. Teamwork Skills
4. Analytical Skills
5. Initiative

Source: Job Outlook 2011, National Association of Colleges and Employers.

NACE conducted the NACE Job Outlook 2011 survey from mid-August through October 15, 2010. A total of 172 surveys were returned for a 20.7 percent response rate.

Posted by jckroll on December 08, 2010 at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

Growing Need for Designers In Silicon Valley! Why?

Why is there such a stunningly short supply of designers in Silicon Valley right now?

Higher demand, increased awareness, more appreciation, more projects, good design= higher ROI, and more!

Check out this interesting discussion on Quora from designers across all industries:


Posted by jckroll on December 08, 2010 at 01:04 PM | Comments (0)

Need a bright, motivated MSI student?

The School of Information is actively soliciting host organizations for Alternative Spring Break. Last year more than 100 SI master’s degree students spent the week of spring break working at over 50 nonprofit, cultural, educational, and government organizations in New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. They worked on information-management service projects for institutions like the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the Huffington Post, the Cabrini-Connections Tutor/Mentor Connection, the United Nations, and the Detroit Public Library.

Projects included archiving, cataloging, research, web development, digitizing, curating, creating online tutorials, and database development.

If your organization, or one you know, could use a dedicated, capable — and best of all, free — graduate student (or two or three!) for a week in March, please contact Kelly Kowatch at kkowatch@umich.edu.

Alternative Spring Break host sites must be:

• A public sector organization (non-profit, government, education, or cultural)

• In the metropolitan area of Chicago, Detroit, New York City, or Washington, D.C., accessible through public transportation from the downtown area (with the exception of Detroit)

• Willing to provide a professional-level project or projects related to the School of Information’s areas of study

• Willing to spend time with the students, providing them with a well-rounded experience, educating them on the purpose of the organization, and introducing them to relevant colleagues

The application deadline for host organizations is Jan. 7, 2011.

Posted by kkowatch on December 06, 2010 at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

This Week at SI-CDO - Monday, December 6, 2010

In this Edition
Recruiting @Ross
Walk-in Hours for the Week
RSVP for Winter Events

Creating Your Brand II
Tuesday, December 7
Noon-1:00 p.m.
2255 North Quad

This is a follow-up session to the Creating Your Brand I session in which participants will be able to share and refine their personal branding statement. Attendance to the first work shop is not required, but suggested.

What Can You Do With a MSI?
Career Exploration Series: Archives and Records Management

Wednesday, December 8
Noon-1:00 p.m.
2255 North Quad

In this session, the Archives and Records Management specialization will be introduced, examined and information will be shared on the following to help you envision your career pathway and prepare for success: required skills and abilities, employment outlook, salaries, job outcomes, industry trends, testimonies and tips, and much more.

Holiday Job Search Planning with the Career Development Office
Wednesday, December 8
5:00-6:30 p.m.
3100 North Quad (Ehrlicher Room)

Take a break from your studying, for some festive holiday refreshments, and to ask any questions you might have regarding your job search planning over the holidays. The Career Development Office (CDO) staff will be available to review resumes and cover letters, offer strategic job search tips over the holidays, or we can simply be available to answer any job search or career questions you might have.

Recruiting @Ross
These employer visits are facilitated through the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and is not an employer event at the School of Information. All UM students are welcome to attend employer visits at Ross; however, SI students should be prepared to discuss with recruiters and company representatives what it is that they are studying at the School of Information and how they are a fit for their company.

Some of the companies this week include: The Cambridge Group, Goldman, Sachs & Company, Deloitte, and more!

Check iTrack for the full list of employer visits!

Walk-in Hours for the Week
Emily Bowman
If you have general career development questions, need assistance with your part-time job search, or would like your resume reviewed, you can make an appointment with Emily Bowman by emailing her at embow@umich.edu. Students who schedule appointments will be given first priority but walk-ins are welcome.

Wednesday, December 8 from Noon to 5
Friday, December 10 from Noon to 4
3360 North Quad

Walk-in appointments are meant to answer your quick 10-minutes or less questions. If you need a longer counseling session, please make an appointment by emailing si.careers@umich.edu.

RSVP for Winter Events
We have lots of programs and workshops planned for the Winter 2011 semester - see iTrack for a complete listing. Enjoy your break!

Posted by shamille on December 03, 2010 at 03:12 PM | Comments (0)

Capitalizing on the Holiday Season: Informational Interviews

With the semester winding down and the holidays drawing near, the last thing on your mind may be your inevitable job search. But the few weeks leading up to the winter holidays may be a great time for one key task: the informational interview. The period of time between Thanksgiving and New Years is one where relatively few industries are swamped with work. Libraries, archives, web development firms... nearly all of the staff in these establishments will be counting the days until vacation and postponing major projects until after the new year. There is no better time to identify a professional that you want to learn from, set up an interview, and spend 30-60 minutes discussing the field in which you want to explore.

Ready to take a stab at it? Check out these resources for tips on informational interviewing:

How Does Informational Interviewing Work?
Mastering the Informational Interview
My Pet Peeves About Informational Interviews

Posted by embow on December 03, 2010 at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)