Know your skills

By studying your degree subject you will develop knowledge and skills relating to a specific area, often referred to by employers as 'technical skills'. Although a good academic record is an excellent way of entering the career of your choice, it is equally important that you can show potential employers how ‘employable’ you are. When you apply for jobs you will need to be able to demonstrate to employers that you have these 'employability' skills and provide examples to show where you developed them.

In a recent survey, 500 company directors were asked about the skills they look for in graduates. In total, 64 per cent said that employability skills were more important to their organisation than the specific occupational, technical or academic knowledge/skills related to the degree subject. [What Do Graduates Do, AGCAS Nov 2010]

These skills include people skills (eg teamwork), self-reliance (eg initiative, decision-making, problem-solving) and general employment skills (eg communication, literacy, IT skills). They are often known as 'transferable skills' because these attributes are vital in most roles and can be carried from one job to another.

Having difficulty identifying your key skills? Download our handout for further advice and a skills action plan.

Examples of transferable skills
  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Communication Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Networking
  • Initiative
  • Planning and Organisation
  • Adaptability and Flexibility
  • Numeracy
  • Computer Literacy
  • Time Management

Develop your skills through mentoring and get involved with the university.