What are Employability Skills?
“A set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that make an individual more likely to secure and be successful in their chosen occupation(s) to the benefit of themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy” (Higher Education Academy).“
What are employers looking for?
Taken from a research report called ‘ Employers‘
perceptions of the employability skills of new graduates:
- Business & Customer awareness
- Problem solving
- Communication & Literacy
- Application of Information Technology
- Positive attitude
Hard Skills Vs Soft Skills
- Communication skills
- Time management
- Degree/ Certificate
- Proficiency in a foreign language
- Computer programming
How can you develop these skills?
- Work Experience/placements/volunteering/internships/part-time work
- School / College / University e.g. live projects, group activities
- Hobbies/ interests e.g. involvement with sports or societies
Why is Work Experience so important?
- You learn a set of skills which CANNOT be taught in the classroom! Putting Theory into Practice.
- Increasingly competitive job market – having a good degree/Masters level qualification isn’t enough on its own anymore!
- Gives a better understanding of the working environment and the sector you wish to work.
- Helps with planning your career – will help you make informed choices about the different types of jobs available.
- Helps to make future contacts for the future
- YOU GAIN TRANSFERRABLE EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS…..
- Read quality newspapers (business/finance/economy/politics sections) and specialist trade publications.
- LinkedIn – Join professional groups on LinkedIn.
- Listen to news, especially business news and current affairs programmes on radio and TV.
- Read employer websites including news sections, press releases and annual reports. Check out competitor websites.
- Attend career events/ fairs – speak to a Career Advisor.
- Look at websites for the appropriate professional bodies and government departments.
- Attend local business / networking events.
“We’re looking for exceptional, well rounded, ambitious individuals who can show sustained
involvement in activities other than purely academic, such as work experience, industrial
placements and voluntary work in the UK or abroad”.
(Waitrose Graduate Recruitment Manager)
“We appreciate applicants who have a range of work experience built up from the first year, whether voluntary or paid, student jobs or more traditional internships. You should be confident that the work experience has value, even if it is not directly related to finance, and be prepared to explain how it links to the skills we are looking for.“
(KPMG Campus Marketing Executive)
We want bright, intelligent students with inquisitive minds. We are totally non specific in terms of the degree subject taken. We want to see students with work experience and are able
to demonstrate a real desire for a career in PR, marketing and communications.
(Director of Bell Pottinger Marketing Group)
“When recruiting graduates, we look for great work experience demonstrating your leadership skills whether with in charity, voluntary organisation or paid work, and especially like customer service based experience. Building this up over a few years and demonstrating how it relates to our business is key.“
(Sainsbury’s Graduate and Campaign Recruitment Manager)