Below we have listed a range of skills that are important to employers. We have tried to offer an easy definition of what they each mean, so that when you are applying for jobs you are able to provide evidence of the skills that you have achieved throughout your studies, or via your existing life and work experience. They include the following:
The ability to express yourself clearly and confidently through the spoken and written word. Delivered in a clear manner, avoiding jargon and pitched at a relevant level, so that it is received and understood.
Examples: delivering presentations, debating, writing essays, reports and dissertations, powerpoint presentations, covering letters and application forms, emails and blogs, writing for the student newspaper, presenting on the University radio or becoming a Student Ambassador.
To work effectively and confidently within a group to achieve a common goal or task. This will involve understanding your role within the team, and listening and supporting other team members.
Examples: demonstrated through group work within your classes, through sporting activities, taking part in committee meetings, external work experience or volunteering projects.
Planning, Organising and Time Management
Ability to manage self and/or others, resources and time in order to complete goals and tasks to schedule, whilst remaining in control.
Examples: compiling a study plan, managing a household budget, balancing studies and home life, meeting deadlines for assignments and projects, producing a timeline or organising a filing system, planning a trip abroad, organising a charity event.
Analysing and Problem Solving
Ability to gather information in a systematic way from a variety of sources in order to establish facts; identifying possible cause and drawing conclusions from a situation or problem.
Examples: solving subject-based problems in your classes, deciding which subject and university to attend, choosing your house, improving systems in your job, dealing with customers problems, undertaking market research.
Take responsibility and ownership of own work, identify opportunities and be proactive in putting forward own ideas.
Examples: learn a new skill or take part in a training session in order to be more productive, putting forward a new idea, improving a basic process to improve a product or service, setting up your own business, creating your own website, setting up a new student group/committee.
To identify your own skills, achievements, abilities, interests, values, motivations and weaknesses.
Examples: compiling your CV, meeting with your Careers Adviser to discuss your career goals and aspirations, compiling a personal career plan.
Ability to adapt and change to different situations and environments and to respond to the needs, wishes and demands of others.
Examples: working overtime or covering someone else's shift, moving away from home to attend university, working abroad, agreeing to learn new ways of working by attending new training, working or living with people of different ages/culture.
To understand and be able to extract appropriate meaning from numerical data and express oneself effectively in quantitative terms.
Examples: devising a spreadsheet to manage personal income, processing invoices, book-keeping, becoming Treasurer of a group or committee, handling cash and balancing tills in a job.
Understanding the steps that need to be taken to achieve specific targets and goals.
Examples: setting goals and objectives, producing a risk assessment, putting together a project or assignment plan, organising an event, writing a career action plan.
Personal Impact and Confidence
Present a strong, professional image which commands the respect of others.
Examples: deliver presentations, managing a group project, having a clear personal development plan, undertaking some voluntary work.
Further Skills Development
There are many other skills which you will develop throughout your time here at the University, and these may vary depending upon the course you undertake. We have therefore attempted to list below, a further set of skills that you may also acquire, which are equally valuable, and which will help you in your job search.
The ability to motivate, take responsibility and lead other people, in order to achieve set goals and objectives.
Examples: leading a sports team, organising a student event, managing a group project.
The ability to make and sustain contacts in order to gather advice, information and potential business and career development. Linked very much to good communication skills.
Examples: developing your Linked In web page, attending a careers conference and making contacts, attending a University networking event, showcasing your work and project developments to the public, making speculative applications.
To have an awareness of the business issues that affect the industry you are interested in joining, and to understand the environment in which it operates in relation to customers and competitors.
Examples: research undertaken for placement and job interviews, research undertaken for projects and assignments, reviewing a company website, reading business journals and publications, organising business events.
The ability to discuss and then reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. This involves working together with other people and building trust.
Examples: negotiating your salary in a job, or organising an overdraft with your bank. negotiating an extension for your assignment with a course tutor.
The ability to use a range of computer packages and software including email, word-processing, databases, spreadsheets, and the Internet. These are important skills that most employers will expect.
Examples: compiling a spreadsheet to manage your finances, putting together reports, leaflets and newsletters.
Choosing a course of action or the best option by considering various paths open to you, identifying the pros and cons and then making a balanced judgement.
Examples: chossing which university and/or course you want to attend, choosing where you would like to live, choosing an internship in order to gather experience.
The ability to generate new ideas and solutions, and to produce something new that has value to others.
Examples: introducing a new methodology to solve a problem, designing a new product or service for customers to meet a need.
To understand and appreciate different cultures, speak and understand different languages.
Examples: learning a new language, undertaking a gap year abroad, taking in part in an international work placement, working abroad.