Reflective lifelong learners

A pencil on a writing pad

 

The icon for Reflective lifelong learner

Lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. It is important for your competitiveness and employability, alongside your personal development.

The world of work is constantly changing and as individuals we need to be able to adapt. Being a reflective lifelong learner means challenging yourself to access learning and development opportunities and taking time to assess what you took from that experience.

Be a lifelong learner
Reflect:
  • How have you developed your skills through your studies?
  • Do you turn challenges or failure into learning opportunities?
  • Are you committed to your own continuous professional development?

In the next section you will see how you can develop this skill.

Develop your reflective and lifelong learning skills!

Here you will find some suggested activities that you can do to enhance your reflective and lifelong learning skills:

  • Utilise technology – Whatever subject you're interested in, there are a wealth of online resources out there to help you learn.
  • Ask your employer – Are there opportunities for personal development, internal training or to subsidise the costs of training?
  • Stay motivated – Lifelong learning often require self-motivation and dedication to stay focused. Offer yourself incentives to keep going.
  • Add some structure – Try setting aside the same amount of time for studying each night and try to write down a goal for each session.
  • Take every opportunity – There are plenty of opportunities out there to add to your knowledge, from taking a class in the local community centre, joining reading groups or even watching webinars.
  • Don't make excuses – No matter how much time you have, there's something out there for you.
How to remain a lifelong learner

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.

Reflect:
  • 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?

 

Developing belief in yourself and your skills

 

How to best demonstrate your skills to employers

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
  • Presentations

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.