Teamwork is one of the fundamental skills employers look for and it’s on the high priority list.
Show you can collaborate, influence and compromise.
Teamwork is all about being able to operate smoothly and efficiently within a group. Doing this draws on a number of other skills:
The ability to encourage and inspire other team members to perform better
The ability to compromise and ignore your own ego
Communication and other interpersonal skills such as negotiation, influence, advising and interpreting.
Employers look for individuals who can bring different strengths to teams – some graduates may be particularly good at monitoring or evaluating progress, others may urge the team on when it starts to flag and others may be great at contributing bright new ideas.
Where can I get it?
You may have already gained teamwork skills without even realising it.
If you haven’t already got a solid body of evidence to prove it, it’s never too late to make a start.
The question is: where?
Sports clubs are an excellent place to build up teamwork skills. Obviously, it has to be a team sport, so golf and tennis are probably out of the picture. On the plus side, it doesn’t have to be at top flight level. Bonus points you competed at the Olympics, but joining a department hockey team is just as valid.
Quiz teams are also a good place to develop teamwork. You will frequently compromise with other team members, and sometimes back down on answers only to find that you were right. While you probably don’t want to give employers the impression that you are always in the pub, most will appreciate the relevance.
However, teamwork skills can be developed in many different extracurricular activities. Committees of student societies, work placements and part-time jobs are all good places to develop teamwork skills. Just remember to look out for concrete examples of your contribution to the team. You could save yourself time in the long run by recording them as you go along.