Technology is constantly evolving in the workplace and most employers will expect you to be digitally literate.
But what does this mean for you? Being digitally literate is someone who is able to use technology competently. This could be understanding how to use different software or programmes, being able to find and analyse digital information whilst continuing to learn and upskill.
Employers value digitally literacy, as technology supports businesses to work more efficiently. If you choose to become self-employed you will need to understand how technology is used in your industry. You should expect that this is a basic requirement of the vast majority of careers, though some technical job sectors will require very specialist digital skills such as coding.
- How do you use technology to communicate and work with others?
- Are you confident in using Office 365 tools?
- Do you know what digital skills are required for your future career?
- How can you develop and evidence those skills?
In the next section you will see how you can develop this skill.
Develop your digital literacy skills!
To help you to continue to evolve and improve your digital literacy, we recommend that you complete a self-assessment of your current digital skills as a first step. You can use the Jisc Discovery Tool to complete this assessment and create a personal action plan: Jisc - Personal Development | Login (potential.ly)
Once you have identified areas for improvement, read on for some suggestions of how you can build your skills.
- Developing your digital skills eLearning: Learn about the importance of developing your digital skills whilst at university and the value of digital skills in the workplace.
- Microsoft Office Specialist qualifications (MOS): Boost your employability with this globally recognised IT qualification. This is your chance to gain evidence of your knowledge of the top three workplace productivity tools - Word, Excel, and PowerPoint - by studying and passing these Microsoft accredited exams.
- Google Digital Garage: Develop job-ready skills using Google's free flexible online training.
- Future Learn: Provides free online short courses from top universities and specialist organisations.
- Jobs and Work Experience: Gaining real work experience will enable you to practice your digital skills in a workplace. This could be through an internship, placement, part-time job or volunteering.
- Virtual Work Experience: Replicate work tasks online with top companies, by completing a 5-6 hour online virtual work experience with Forage.
- Join a club or society with the Student Union: You could practice your digital media skills by creating online content and marketing for the society.
To learn more about employability and how to access opportunities to help you develop in this area, take a look at our employability booklet (aimed at new students) which provides all you need to know.
Demonstrate your employability skills
You will be asked to provide evidence of your skills through the job application and interview process – you can talk about where, when, why and how successfully you have used your employability skills.
We would recommend keeping a record of evidence of the skills you have developed so that you can refer to them when submitting applications or preparing for interviews. Our Employability Skills Checklist and Activity can be a starting point.
- What skills you are using during your study?
- Can you record experiences as you go along?
- Are there skills and qualities that you are struggling to evidence?
- How will you maintain your skills audit?
- Do you need to take action to bridge a skills gap?
Be positive and relevant
- Give examples of the most relevant skills first from your job, internship or work experience
- Use confident language to describe your skills, for example, praise employers have given you.
- Better to focus on transferable skills than routine tasks on your CV, gained through part-time jobs.
Sell your skills in different ways
These are just a few examples:
- Social Media including a Linked-In Profile
- Networking opportunities
- CV, Covering Letters, Application Forms
- Interview and Assessment Centres
Think beyond common skills
Our Employability Skills are probably ones you are familiar with. But there are some you might not be familiar with, such as meta-skills. A meta-skill like a master skill – it's something that can help you in lots of different environments.
Think also about:
- Subject skills e.g. Software, use of Lab equipment or research methodology
- Talents and abilities e.g. Languages, drawing skills, athletic
- Personal qualities e.g. Calmness, tenacious, creative, supportive
Match skills to your employer
Research the employer – what is their company culture? Look on their website and see what their company beliefs are.
Look at the job description you have. You should be able to find some of the employability skills they are looking for.
Use the STAR technique to help you relate the employability skills into your answers and examples. Read our blog post written by our careers adviser, Adam Taylor, on the STAR technique.
Speak to a careers adviser
Our Careers Advisers are on hand to help. Book an appointment on Advantage or by calling 0161 295 0023 (option 5).
Appointments are available for current students and graduates of the University of Salford only.