As a post-secondary school dedicated to helping people get jobs in the creative industries, we see some of our grads struggle to find work. Yes, we have a great placement rate, but that comes as a result of addressing some insights our industry partners have shared with us. When Marketing Manager at Paris Jewellers and former EDAC Marketing Maven, Erin Hazen, pointed out an article on Fast Company to us, it resonated because it confirmed the reality we face with our graduates.
According to the article the top six skills that hiring managers see lacking are (in order of importance):
- Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
- Attention to Detail
- Writing Proficiency
- Public Speaking
These are EXACTLY the same issues that hiring managers at studios (everything from game studios to design houses) are asking us for.
It isn’t enough to be good at your chosen discipline, you also must be excellent at the skills that support your discipline.
If you look at the list above and cringe a bit, you are not alone. This list is a challenge for almost every school.
What’s even more challenging is that most people graduate from their school thinking that they have the necessary skills from the list above. The harsh reality is that they don’t and they don’t discover this until after graduation.
Teaching the list above is almost as challenging as learning it. Most teachers prefer to spend time in the classroom focusing on their discipline. Rightly so! You are paying tuition to learn about game design, or digital illustration, not grammar or problem solving! At EDAC, we try to embed these skills into the various projects we do so that writing well is presumed and students have to deal with the rejection they would encounter in the real world if their written work isn’t up to par.
So, there you have it. The half dozen hot potato skills that you need to improve your chances of being hired. If you are in school, ask your instructors, teachers, mentors, coaches, or counsellors how you can address your proficiency in these things. Sometimes you need to bite the bullet and do that “other stuff” in order to carve your way to the thing you want to do the most.