Practicing These Behaviors Will Make You Career-Ready

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is the professional association that connects professional association that connects college career services with college/university relations and recruiting professionals.  In addition to collecting and reporting nationwide destination data and trends in college hiring, NACE provides an excellent set of Career Competencies that employers want students to master before they graduate. The Tufts Career Competencies closely align with the NACE set.

Check Out Tufts Career Competencies

Recently, NACE identified key behaviors that allow college students preparing to enter the workforce to demonstrate their career readiness to prospective employers. Understanding the competencies employers are looking for and knowing the behaviors that will prove you have those skills helps make you a well-rounded employee. A great way to use your summer is to focus on one or two competencies and strategize ways to improve.

NACE’s Career Readiness Competencies AND a few of the behaviors to develop each competency are as follows:

🔍 Career & Self-Development

Proactively develop oneself and one’s career through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships within and without one’s organization.

  • Show an awareness of own strengths and areas for development.
  • Professionally advocate for oneself and others.
  • Display curiosity; seek out opportunities to learn.
  • Assume duties or positions that will help one progress professionally.

💬 Communication

Clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with persons inside and outside of an organization.

  • Understand the importance of and demonstrate verbal, written, and non-verbal/body language, abilities.
  • Employ active listening, persuasion, and influencing skills.
  • Promptly inform relevant others when needing guidance with assigned tasks.

🤔 Critical Thinking

Identify and respond to needs based upon an understanding of situational context and logical analysis of relevant information.

  • Make decisions and solve problems using sound, inclusive reasoning and judgment.
  • Gather and analyze information from a diverse set of sources and individuals to fully understand a problem.
  • Multi-task well in a fast-paced environment.

🌐 Equity & Inclusion

Demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures. Engage in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.

  • Solicit and use feedback from multiple cultural perspectives to make inclusive and equity-minded decisions.
  • Actively contribute to inclusive and equitable practices that influence individual and systemic change.
  • Advocate for inclusion, equitable practices, justice, and empowerment for historically marginalized communities.
  • Keep an open mind to diverse ideas and new ways of thinking.
  • Identify resources and eliminate barriers resulting from individual and systemic racism, inequities, and biases.

☑️ Leadership

Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals.

  • Inspire, persuade, and motivate self and others under a shared vision.
  • Seek out and leverage diverse resources and feedback from others to inform direction.
  • Serve as a role model to others by approaching tasks with confidence and a positive attitude.
  • Plan, initiate, manage, complete and evaluate projects.

💼 Professionalism

Knowing work environments differ greatly, understand and demonstrate effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace.

  • Act equitably with integrity and accountability to self, others, and the organization.
  • Demonstrate dependability (e.g., report consistently for work or meetings).
  • Consistently meet or exceed goals and expectations.
  • Have an attention to detail, resulting in few if any errors in their work.

😄 Teamwork

Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.

  • Listen carefully to others, taking time to understand and ask appropriate questions without interrupting.
  • Effectively manage conflict, interact with and respect diverse personalities, and meet ambiguity with resilience.
  • Be accountable for individual and team responsibilities and deliverables.
  • Collaborate with others to achieve common goals.

💻 Technology

Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.

  • Navigate change and be open to learning new technologies.
  • Use technology to improve efficiency and productivity of their work.
  • Manipulate information, construct ideas, and use technology to achieve strategic goals.

Visit Our Career Competencies Page for Plenty of Ways to Practice These Career-Ready Behaviors

By Robin Kahan
Robin Kahan Associate Director, Engineering Career Services Robin Kahan