Employability skills

A person starts a new job


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.


Employability skills

What are employers looking for?

Employability or transferrable skills are the core skills and attributes needed in almost all graduate 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 in the UK and overseas. 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.

To start to identify the skills you already have, you can conduct a skills audit using these online assessments:

Once you have completed your audit, recognise the skills you feel most confident in and highlight the skills that you need to develop. By doing this, you can create a plan of how to address any skill gaps.

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. All these skills can be approached from a UK and global perspective – don't forget, students who have an understanding of the world are even more attractive to employers!

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. Explore each of the skills shown below and think about which ones you already have, which are most relevant to your possible future career, and how you can identify, develop and demonstrate them.

For more information, and to start to record your skills, please download our Employability Skills Summary, Employability Checklist and Activity Sheet

Develop your Academic Skills

It is vital that you develop your academic skills to succeed in your studies (including academic writing skills, referencing, IT skills, and skills related to assessments) and these help you develop your employability and ability to achieve your career goals. Get started by accessing academic skills support information, as well as an A to Z of skills support.