If you want to supercharge your career and have employers beating a path to your door, build your employability!
As a student, employability is a word you'll often hear spoken but what does it really mean and why should you care?
Let's break it down
You won't find employability listed in any job advert that's for sure but it's always there humming away in the background. It's a collection of soft skills, personal attributes, and experiences that employers actively seek out because they are transferable, will move with you and mean that candidates will be able to hit the ground running and perform well in any role. It is connected to your personal brand. Focusing on your employability now will really help you boost your future career.
Seven of the most common employability skills are:
There is no definitive list, and there are many, many more! You'll know which ones to focus on by looking at job profiles for your chosen career. Explore them further in the suggested reading
You don't need to wait until you graduate to develop your employability
Recognise any of those seven skills in yourself? The good news is that just by being a student, you are already developing transferable skills on your degree course which will build your employability; examples are critical thinking, time management, organisation skills, decision making, communication and presentation skills, team working. Student Union and Student Society activities are also a fantastic way to boost your employability skills including leadership skills, so make sure you get involved.
Stay competitive, stay curious and give yourself choices!
Keep challenging yourself, employability isn't a destination, it's a journey, something flexible that will grow and develop along with you. The Pandemic showed us how the world of work is always changing, so stay relevant, widen the kinds of opportunities open to you by taking any chance you can to develop and grow. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, a commitment to personal learning and growth is known as having a growth mindset- something else employers look for. University is a wonderful place to do this - think about using the things you do in your spare time: sports, hobbies, training, learning a new language, and any self-directed learning you decide to do such as MOOCs or LinkedIn Learning through your University. You can also use any part-time jobs, temping, internships, work placements, and volunteering to help build your employability.
Keep a record!
Can you remember what you had for lunch two weeks ago? I know I can't! Once you get all this moving, it is so important to keep a record of what you do and achieve and update it because you won't remember these nuggets of gold after a while with everything else that will be going on in your life. Use them on your CV, your job applications, to spotlight your skills and experience when a great opportunity comes along. It is all about showing, not just telling when it comes to job hunting!
What does your employability look like right now?
Identify one small thing can you commit to doing today to strengthen it and go and do it! Then, over the coming weeks and months, set yourself small goals to keep you moving forward. Before long, your employability will be sizzling hot, and you'll have given yourself more choice in what work you decide to take on and have employers fighting for your attention!
For more information and support on this topic from the University of Salford - please click here