What are employability skills? | Top Universities

What are employability skills?

By Gordon Scott, SuccessfulGraduate.com

Updated July 6, 2023 Updated July 6, 2023

Written by Successful Graduate

As a university student, it's important to start developing and practicing your employability skills early on. These skills are essential for securing a job after graduation and can even set you apart from other candidates. Here are some ways you can start developing your employability skills while studying.

How to develop your employability skills

  • Take advantage of extracurricular activities: Joining clubs, societies or volunteer organisations can help you develop key employability skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication and time management. Employers value candidates who can demonstrate that they have developed these skills outside of the classroom.
  • Attend career events: Many universities offer career fairs, workshops and networking events. Attending these events can help you gain a better understanding of the job market and what employers are looking for in candidates. Additionally, career events can provide opportunities to network with professionals in your field of interest.
  • Build a professional online presence: In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is important. Create a LinkedIn profile and start connecting with professionals in your field. Showcase your skills, education and experience on your profile, and engage with others in your industry.
  • Seek out internships and work experience: Internships and work experience provide opportunities to gain valuable industry experience, develop your skills and build your network. Many employers use internships as a way to recruit graduates, so it's important to make the most of these opportunities.
  • Improve your communication skills: Communication skills are essential in the workplace. Take opportunities to practice your communication skills, such as presenting in front of a group or participating in group discussions. Seek feedback from your peers and professors to improve your skills.
  • Develop your problem-solving skills: Employers value candidates who can think critically and solve problems. Look for opportunities to develop these skills, such as participating in case competitions or taking on challenging assignments.

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By developing and practicing these employability skills, you will be better prepared for the job market after graduation. In fact, according to a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers rank these skills as some of the most important when considering job candidates.

It's important to note that developing these skills is not just about making yourself more attractive to employers. These skills can also help you succeed in your academic pursuits and in your personal life. For example, improving your communication skills can help you build better relationships with your peers and professors.

In addition to the tips above, it's also important to be proactive in your job search. Don't wait until after graduation to start looking for a job. Start researching companies in your field of interest and networking with professionals early on. The more you can do to prepare yourself for the job market, the better your chances of finding a job that's right for you.

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

This article was originally published in June 2023 . It was last updated in July 2023

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