Develop My Skills

Developing my skills

During your time at the University of Bolton, you will find lots of opportunities to develop your skills, both in the curriculum, and also through extra-curricular activities.  Being able to showcase your skills to future employers will give you a far greater chance of beating off the competition, when it comes to that final job interview.

How do I develop my employability skills?

Many employers will assess applicants against a range of criteria.

Don’t panic: You will already have lots of skills to talk about: as a student you will have developed your organisational ability by juggling the demands of your degree, you will have developed your communication skills through class presentations and you may have led a team during a live brief.

It is important to use your time wisely whilst at university in order to build on the skills you already have, and develop new ones.  Here are some further ways in which you can do just that:

  • HEAR activities and achievements - all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at the University of Bolton will now have access to their Higher Education Achievement Report (also known as the HEAR). There are a number of University-endorsed activities for you to get involved with, and you can document your experiences and prove to employers that you have the skills they are looking for.  Click here for more details: https://www.bolton.ac.uk/hear/

  • Working part-time – having a job alongside your studies has many potential benefits.  It can give you the opportunity to earn extra money, enhance your CV, and improve your employability skills and prospects beyond university. Working part-time also offers the chance to meet new people and have a different social experience outside the university environment.

  • Volunteering - a great way to develop your employability skills and impress employers as well as gaining experience, it’s also an opportunity to network, build your contacts and it may even lead to paid work.

  • Joining a student club or society – Joining a student club or society is another way of building your skills particularly if you take on positions of responsibility such as president, secretary, team captain, student representative or treasurer. Joining in also shows that you are reliable, committed and trustworthy. You can find a list of societies and sports clubs on the University of Bolton’s Student’s Union website.

  • Taking a year out - Some graduates decide to take time out after university. If you plan your time effectively, it can be a good way of improving your employability for when you do decide to enter the job market.

  • Study abroad - there are great opportunities to study and develop your skills and knowledge in another country through the University (which are sometimes funded), whether it be in Europe with an Erasmus scheme or elsewhere in the world. 

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How do employers know I have these skills?

Many employers will applicants against a range of criteria.  There may be a job specification which will make this explicit.  If not, you will need to identify the competencies the employer requires through the advert, job description and your research into the company.

In order to prove that you possess these skills, you will need to provide evidence to support your claim: it is not enough to say that you can do something – you have to prove it!

This is where all the work experience you have undertaken, the part time work you have taken on, the voluntary work you signed up for needs to be carefully considered, as well as the particular elements of your academic studies, and your social life.  All of these can provide that much needed evidence to prove to employers that you have put those required skills into practice.

Evidencing your skills

The University of Bolton has developed the Graduate Attributes Matrix for Employability (GAME) which provides an overview of the key skills it expects all graduates to leave University with. 

GAME is use by the Careers Team to help you self-assess where you are in terms of employability skills and attributes.  This model should be used to assess your professional development during your time at University, and provide you with a foundation for the start of your career.

Rather than viewing this as a tick list you will address on one occasion, you should make an assessment of where you are at this point in time, set your goals and determine what needs to be done in order to get that dream job.

Consider your USP (unique selling point).  What are your unique strengths, skills, attributes, attitudes and experiences which will help to distinguish you in the job market?  Do you have good, relevant examples for each attribute?

By developing an action plan now to address GAME, you will significantly increase your employability skills which will help you to enter your chosen profession.

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Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
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RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver
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iip Logo