Employability skills

Employers assess candidates according to their skills, not just the degree they've studied and the grades achieved. In particular they are looking for a wide range of “employability skills”.

Employability skills are those skills or competencies that help you get, and keep, a job. They are a mix of skills and attitudes. Employers look for both technical (e.g., Excel, Google Adwords) and transferable skills (e.g., communication, people skills, problem-solving, creativity). They are developed through your studies, work experience and extra-curricular activities.

Once you have got an understanding of the key skills employers look for, you then need to do an audit of your personal skills to see how many of these different skills you have and which areas you need to develop. There are three parts to completing a skills audit:

  1. Start listing the skills which you think you have.
  2. Provide specific examples of how you have acquired and used these skills.
  3. Identify what skills you need to improve or gain and how you will do so.

Your skills audit is a "live document" - keep it up-to-date as you acquire new skills or develop better examples to support existing skills. The examples from your skills audit should feed through to your CV as well as being used at interviews. 


Useful resources and transferable skills exercises

Book an appointment

If you would like a career development adviser to help you identify the skills you would like to use in a job, you are welcome to make a 50 minute appointment via MyCDES.