• Your one stop for college news and resources!
Leadership Skills

Develop Your Leadership Skills

Learning leadership skills while being a college student is an achievement that can set you up for life. By focusing solely on academic education, we fail to learn the practical problem-solving methods that we may need as we enter real life post-college.

As a community, we are facing tons of problems like lack of quality health services, failure to build a strong economy and maintenance of national security. Perhaps the best way to ensure that our future is better than today is to transform today’s college students into future leaders.

Things I learned as a college student leader

Fortunately, there are many instances of our college life where we can learn leadership skills to secure our future.

To bring about change, it’s essential to accept change. To become a successful leader, one should be prepared for the changes he or she is going to experience next. This is perhaps the best thing I learned as a college student and a leader.

The points below are my personal insights that could help any young college student develop successful leadership skills:

Confidence and arrogance are two different things

If you are confused between these two terms, it could guarantee your failure right at the beginning. Leadership does not make you better than others, but it may make you stronger. Using the powers you have as a leader or authority figure to satisfy your ego is not leadership. Instead, be responsible, speak only when you have to and learn to keep opinions to yourself. Whatever you do, though, do not talk without conviction.

Leadership is about setting goals

Without a vision, leadership is incomplete. Learn to give a unique perspective to things to distinguish yourself from others. Being able to translate your own interpretation and understanding and communicating your ideas to your team is what leadership is all about.

Do your research, collect more facts and figures before setting your goals, but never rely on others’ data to lose your vision.

You can’t expect others to perform without performing yourself

As a leader, you are expected to set positive examples. Your own actions, dedication and commitment towards your goal will keep your followers on foot. By taking steps yourself, you can easily convince and encourage other people to join forces with you.

Learn to take risks

A leader is always ambitious. If you really want your team to rally up for you, learn to take risks. A leader is idealistic. Risks do not always mean failure. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you would have liked, it helps you recognize your limitations, your strengths and develops a learning environment around your team. When your team gets to know that their team leader isn’t afraid to learn a thing or two, they generally follow in their footsteps.

The best part about knowing your weakness is the ability to thoroughly test your maximum potential. With time and practice, you can deliver your best.

Don’t let people tell you “you can’t”

Oh heck, you can! Nothing is impossible. Don’t let people around you bring you down. It could be the people you are closely working with or the team you are leading. Not everything will be as favorable as you like. If there’s something you can’t find, create it but never let yourself down.

Organization is key

To develop leadership skills, you need to be organized. You must keep track of things to ensure that everything is running smoothly. For that, you must write down your goals to avoid forgetting them.

Work through your communication skills

Communication is one of the most essential traits of a leader. Reach out to your people, and address them the right way. Fortunately, communication skills will not only help you as a college student, they are essential for a successful career as well.

As a student leader, you are expected to speak with confidence and carry the right body language when discussing your goals. Persuasion techniques along with diplomacy skills are applicable for most careers you will seek in your future.

Become more responsible

In addition to fulfilling your own responsibilities, as a student leader, you have extended responsibilities to cater to. Your job goes way beyond just ensuring that the task is complete. You need to outline, dedicate, work along and follow up to ensure that the job is completed promptly.

Learn management skills

This is something you will need in all areas of your life during and post-college. It’s the second nature that makes you control how life moves forward. As a leader, you must make budgets, oversee operational tasks, build consensus, prioritize workload and assign tasks accordingly. If you practice your management skills in college, you can definitely earn more significant rewards in the future.

Final word

The role of a student leader is a great responsibility. Having said that, it pushes you to learn skills during your college years that you can proudly implement throughout your career and life. Don’t forget: part of having a successful student leader career also depends on how good you are in bonding with people around you.

Free Courses to Boost Your Resume

Free Courses to Boost Your Resume

Job searching with a skeletal resume is hard. We’ve searched the web for some highly reputable and FREE courses that will give you the up-to-date and relevant skills you need to navigate today’s job market. Not only this, these courses will boost your resume, making you a valuable asset to companies on the lookout for grads.


Know your HTML from your Java? If you are looking to work in an industry that is tech-driven, then coding is a valuable asset to add to your resume. Codecademy.com offers a free course for beginners looking to get a basic understanding of coding and web development using HTML and CSS language. Alongside 4.5 million online students, you can crack the fundamentals of coding over 12 sessions.

Social Media

Businesses use social media to connect and communicate with their customer base. It’s also how they advertise, market their product or service and increase website traffic; nowadays, professional experience with social media is becoming increasingly important to hiring managers. While we all tinker around on our personal social media platforms every day, using it in a business environment is slightly different. Buffer.com offers a free email course that gives 25 daily “lessons” in under 10 minutes. Understand social media algorithms, brand-building and content creation to attract audiences.


SEO—or search engine optimization—is the act of optimizing website content to increase traffic and visibility. This competancy is vital for a wide range of industries from publishing to retail and it’s a nifty skill to help you brand yourself, too. Boost your resume and learn SEO with udemy.com in their free online course SEO Tutorial for Beginners. In this introduction you will learn keyword research, on page and off page optimization and you’ll receive a certificate of completion at the end.

Learn German

Knowing multiple languages comes high on an employer’s list of desirable skills, and is especially valuable in international businesses. For example, did you know that Germany is one of the largest trading partners with the US? The ability to communicate effectively with your prospective employer’s partners may just push you ahead in the resume que. Learn German with duolingo.com for free in just five minutes a day with their fun and accessible game-like lessons. The website also offers bite-size lessons covering a wide range of other languages including Spanish, Italian and Dutch.


For most creative industries, basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop is vital. Thankfully, the creators of Photoshop (and other useful design applications including InDesign and Illustrator) teach beginners the rudimentary principles of the software with useful videos and (you guessed it) it doesn’t cost a penny. This free course to boost your resume can be completed in little over five hours over at adobeknowhow.com.

Further reading: How to Land a Job after College

Successful Job Interview

Nail a Successful Job Interview

Job competition is tough—especially for recent graduates whose experience might not be as tip-top as the seasoned employee. According to Glassdoor, each corporate job offer receives around 250 applications. Of those, only four to six candidates are offered an interview, and (perhaps obviously) only one will have a successful job interview. So, be proud; you’ve got your foot in the door—now it’s time to impress your future employer.

Dress to impress

First impressions count in a successful job interview. According to Business Insider, people make judgements and assumptions about you within just seven seconds of meeting you. With such a tiny window of time to work with, make your first impression count with appropriate dress. The company should have a dress policy that you can find out prior to meeting, but if you are unsure, opt for minimalist, formal wear.

List your strengths 

For introverts, it may feel out of your comfort zone to gloat about your strengths to strangers. However, this is an opportunity to positively apply your skills to the job you are applying for. Your key strengths should inhibit both soft and hard skills. Soft skills refer to skills that can transfer easily from one job to another. A soft skill may be how you manage yourself in stressful situations, or how you mediate conflict in the work place and get along with colleagues. Hard skills refer to specific technical abilities that you possess and are key to the role at hand—such as writing and software knowledge.

Positive body language

Your body language plays a pivotal role in all forms of communication and can affect how others perceive you. “You could be saying how great you are, but your body could be giving your true feelings away,” says Alison Craig, author of Hello Job! How to Psych Up, Suit Up & Show Up.  Awareness of your body language can help towards having a successful job interview. Avoid closed postures like slouching and fidgeting, as this suggests that you are guarded and may not be taking the interview seriously. Appear confident, assertive and poised by sitting tall and keep your hands relaxed and open, sitting above the desk. When your hiring agent is speaking, lean in a little while listening and slightly mirror their movements to show engagement and curiosity.

Ask questions

Did you know that not preparing questions for your potential employer may make you seem uninterested in the role? 97 percent of recruiters surveyed by job board reed.co.uk said that candidates should bring a list of questions along with them to an interview. Come equipped with specific-to-the-role questions to ask your hiring manager. This will help you gather important information for yourself whilst confirming your interest in your new job. Questions to ask for a successful job interview include:

  1. Could you describe a typical work week in this company?
  2. Who does my position report to?
  3. Are there any prospects for growth and career advancements in this role?
  4. Which accomplishments would you expect from me within the first three months of employment?
  5. When should I expect to hear from you and how soon would I be expected to start?

Follow up

Seal the deal with a follow-up email to your employer. Politely thank them for their time, explain that you enjoyed meeting and that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Take this opportunity to affirm with the hiring manager in a couple of sentences the value you will bring to the company. Relatively few candidates follow up in this way after an interview which could damage chances of a successful job interview. This helps to ensure that it’s YOU on the mind of the employer, and not your competitor.

Further reading: Applying for Your Dream Job