Reflective lifelong learners
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.
- 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!
Boost your reflective and lifelong learning skills with these tips:
Utilise technology: Dive into online resources aligned with your interests.
Ask your employer: Inquire about personal development opportunities and subsidised training.
Stay motivated: Maintain dedication and offer yourself incentives to stay focused.
Establish a routine: Dedicate regular study time and set specific goals for each session.
Seize every opportunity: Explore classes, join reading groups, and attend webinars to expand your knowledge.
No excuses: Regardless of your schedule, there's always something to learn. Embrace the possibilities!
Once you have started to consider how you can develop your skills, start to think about how you might be able to showcase them during your career journey.
Demonstrate your employability skills
You will be asked to provide evidence of your skills in job applications, CVs and interviews – articulating where, when, why and how successfully you have used your employability skills. Top tips:
- Start with noting down examples of your skills on our Employability Skills Checklist
- Keep this as a record to use when completing applications and preparing for interviews.
Reflect on your journey
- Identify the skills you're using in your studies.
- Record all your experiences (paid work, voluntary work, roles in clubs or societies, for example) using our Employability Skills Activity Sheet
- Maintain your skills audit for future reference.
- Pinpoint any challenging skills or qualities you are struggling to evidence.
- Take action to bridge any skills gap.
Check out our employability guide (perfect for new students) to unlock opportunities and more ideas to help you develop your employability skills.
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.