Industry awareness is an understanding of how industries and businesses work. It's about knowing what's going on in the world and analysing the way it might impact your chosen sector and company. You should demonstrate your industry awareness through showing that you have completed a good amount of research on the employer on the sector (particularly at interview, when answering questions or when asking your own questions) and by whether you factor in commercial considerations when approaching scenario-based.
- Can you show your understanding of the priorities, values and ethical issues in your field/industry?
- Do you research the employers you're interested in?
- Can you demonstrate your awareness of global issues?
In the next section you will see how you can develop this skill.
Develop your industry awareness skills!
Here you will find some suggested activities that you can do to enhance your industry awareness skills:
- Stay up to date - Including podcasts on business and industry, radio news and current affairs programmes, signing up for Google Alerts for top companies and leaders and following employers on social media.
- Read stories you're interested in - Discover what you're truly interested in and learn from there.
- Have a point of view - Knowing the facts about an industry is important but having a sound point of view on them will help you to stand out further.
- Get some experience - Whether it's an insight day or a week-long placement, experience helps you discover how a company runs on a day-to-day basis. Joining sector-focused university societies will also help you to talk about your experience at interviews.
- Use your connections - Talking to experienced business leaders or those in your industry will help you grow your confidence when demonstrating commercial awareness at interviews.
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. This Employability Skills Checklist 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.