Employability skills are the 'soft' skills employers want candidates to demonstrate to show that they can work well in the organisation. These skills are also essential to become a successful entrepreneur or if you plan to work freelance on projects with clients.
What are employers looking for?
Employers will be looking for a range of skills when you apply for their jobs. Some skill requirements will be job specific but many of the desired skills will be ‘general’ or ‘soft’ skills that you gain from academic and other life experiences. You may have heard the phrases ‘Employability skills’ or ‘Transferrable skills’ being used when the topic of gaining employment after your studies comes up.
Employability or transferrable skills are the core skills and attributes needed in almost all graduate jobs. They are also vital if you are going to be self-employed, for engaging with potential investors and customers. The good news is, much of the ordinary, everyday activity that you undertake as a student can help you develop your employability skills (e.g. working in groups, planning projects, undertaking part time work, giving presentations) so from year one of your degree programme, you are starting to build these essential skills.
It is therefore important for you to be aware of what employers are looking for and know how you can identify, develop and demonstrate your employability skills.
Salford employability skills
From our own labour market research, we have identified ten employability skills most valued by employers across many different sectors. Whatever you are studying you'll develop many of these skills through your course, and the more you get involved with the many opportunities on offer at Salford, the more you will enhance your employability. Start to consider whether you already have evidence of using these skills, and if not, how might you go about developing them.
These Employability Skills will look different depending on your subject and your future plans: if you want to be a graphic designer, creativity and communication will involve different things than for an engineer or a counsellor. Below, you can explore each of the skills. Think about which ones you already have, which are most relevant to your possible future career, and how you can further develop them.