Employability Skills

While you may have graduated from university with a great degree, this does not guarantee you a job immediately after you graduate. This is because employers are interested in what skills you have that can benefit them and their company, not what marks you got for your various pieces of coursework. 

In response to this issue, the CBI has set out nine key skills, which will make you stand out among other graduates in terms of employability. While you may have already developed some of these skills throughout your time at university, they are a good indication of what to work on if you are still not getting any job offers. 

  1. Business Awareness

Business awareness is concerned with your professionalism in the workplace. This includes your attitude towards customers and colleagues, ensuring that you are respectful at all times. Business awareness is also concerned with understanding your role, and how it fits with the others around you. 

In a wider sense, you should also be aware of the wider market your business is competing in, and how your main competition is. It is far more impressive to an interviewer if you can discuss in even a little detail about the company you are applying to, rather than having it explained to you. 

  1. Effective communication

This is fairly self-explanatory, being the ability to express yourself with both written and spoken words. Your ability to communicate is especially important during your interview, allowing you to express your strengths and show the interviewer that you have these nine employability skills that will make you stand out from other applicants.

Even after you have landed the job, your ability to express yourself remains one of the most important skills, allowing you to effectively communicate with both colleagues and customers, adapting your tone for different situations. 

  1. Entrepreneurship and Enterprise

Entrepreneurship is focused on being creative and being able to apply this thinking to your tasks to solve problems. In simple terms, this is being confident enough to take the initiative, and not sitting back and hoping that someone else will do it for you. 

This does not mean that you should aim to lead every conversation that you are a part of, or suggest ideas you are not confident in, but you need to show potential employers that you can come up with solutions that are not immediately obvious to the majority of other employees at the company you are applying to. 

  1. IT

This is something that you should already be familiar with from your time in education, but you need to demonstrate at least a basic level of ability with commonly used pieces of software. This requirement will increase dramatically if the job you are applying for is in programming or something similar. 

If you are not entirely familiar with the software used at the company you are applying to, you should at the very least demonstrate the willingness to learn and the ability to do so quickly. This is important as IT is crucial for running an online store and communicating with potential customers and clients. 

  1. Numeracy 

Another self-explanatory skill, and one you should already be reasonably proficient in. For most jobs, numeracy will allow you to do basic calculations to determine things such as sales totals and percentages. This is not any more difficult than the maths you had to do at school, so don’t feel intimidated by it. 

Your numeracy skills will also allow you to analyse data such as graphs, recognizing the most relevant data, and allowing you to make informed decisions based on this information. There are certain jobs that will require a higher level of numeracy than others, so you should research the job you are applying for if you think this will be the case. 

  1. Problem-solving

This is a similar skill to enterprise although it differs in several ways. While both problem-solving and enterprise are concerned with taking direct action, the former is also concerned with identifying the existence of these problems, and not simply responding to them once they become too big to ignore.

To be an effective problem-solver, you will need to combine several different business skills, such as having the business awareness to identify how to solve the issue, communicating with colleagues to let them know a problem exists and possibly asking for their help if necessary. If the problem is widespread enough to ask for help, you will also need sufficient team-working skills to work together effectively. 

  1. Resilience

Resilience is the ability to encounter difficulty and keep going despite it. This difficulty can be both personal and professional and can include both major and minor challenges. 

While overcoming the former will stand out on a cover letter or in a CV, you will have to deal with smaller challenges on a daily basis. This is important as resilience over a longer period of time is just as important as during major crises, as employers are interested in how you will perform in the long term and not just one specific task.

  1. Self-management 

Self-management is the organisation of both time and resources, ensuring that you meet deadlines on time while completing your given tasks as effectively as possible. This may include writing down a list of jobs you have been given, and prioritising the order you do them according to how long it will take and how important they are. 

Being good at self-management also means that employers are comfortable leaving you to work on your own without being constantly checked on. This is an especially good quality to have as both your employer and colleagues would prefer to be working on their own jobs rather than constantly checking and correcting your own work.

  1. Teamwork

In particular, you will need to be able to work effectively with people you either don’t know very well and even those you don’t get along with at all. The latter especially is part of a professional attitude, something you will need to exhibit on a daily basis at nearly every job.

Teamwork combines several previous employability skills, such as communication and problem-solving. The latter in particular is relevant as larger problems are often too big for individuals to handle, and so require a team of people to solve. 

gc_employability_skills_chart (1).png

If you can display most or all of these skills to a potential employer, such as during an interview or on a CV, you will have a much higher chance of getting the job you want, than if you had relied solely on your degree. For more tips on how to find a job after graduating, try reading some of the posts on Graduate Coach's career blog.

Written by Sam Sheridan
Featured image by Christina Morillo from Pexels

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page