Develop your skills for the gradute job market


Commercial Awareness

Recognising the aims of a company, its place in the economy, and what it hopes to achieve is crucial as is the ability to see the wider picture beyond the confines of your own role. Knowing the significance of your part in the bigger picture demonstrates that you understand the running of the organisation and how all employees are working towards a common goal. Achieve this by researching the company/organisation thoroughly and knowing their place in, particular industry and also knowing the job role and linking it to other team member responsibilities.

Imagination and Creativity

Having the vision and the ability to translate new ideas into viable business opportunities and plans will, in many fields, be invaluable. This is not about changing for changing sake but bringing new ideas to the table that will bring positive changes to the organisation or provide a new direction or product. This skill is not solely the preserve of the creative industries and will be welcomed in many fields.

Adaptability and Flexibility

This is the ability to fit quickly, smoothly and effectively into a new environment or embrace changes in direction or working practice. Employers seek employees who can be flexible in their approach if for example, there is a looming deadline or they are working in a fast-paced, quickly changing environment.

Working Independently and Autonomy

Whilst team working is an essential skill, having the ability to work alone and take responsibility for your individual workload will give an employer confidence in your ability to complete your responsibilities without constant checking and monitoring.

Team Working

Recognising that teams are made up of a variety of different people with different skill-sets is essential. Each member of a team will bring their own skills to the table, whether that is negotiation, leadership, time management or technical skills. There is a place for all of these and to be successful it is important to identify your own strengths and how they benefit the team as a whole and how your skill base will enhance those of the other members. Remember, in any team environment you will have the opportunity to learn from your fellow team members, and they from you.

Leadership and Delegation

Having the ability to take control of a situation and delegate tasks to the most appropriate team member is recognised and appreciated by employers. This requires the ability to inspire, encourage and demonstrate you have a vision of being successful in achieving the goal. Leadership skills demonstrate your ability to take the initiative and encourage participation and involvement, allowing people to feel confident in their role and expressing their ideas. In addition, recognising who may be the most appropriate person to delegate a task to shows awareness of the skills of others in your team.

Communication Skills

This is the ability to present yourself clearly and be easily understood, using a preferred means. This covers oral communication, writing and listening, as well as digital communication methods. When considering communication skills be aware of other factors such as body language, the audience and their ability and awareness to take on board suggestions and always be willing to accept feedback from others.           


Numeracy skills are relevant even if your chosen career route is not predominantly maths-related. Everyday ability is still a sought after requirement, and often recruitment selection processes may require you to demonstrate a certain level of ability.


This is a demonstration of being able to prioritise important tasks and schedule responsibilities according to demand and timescales. Managing your workload effectively will highlight to employers you are able to identify what needs to be done and also how you approach this will be key.

Digital Competence

Regardless of your occupation, there are very few careers that will not require a level of ability in IT and computer use. Social media usage is also vastly increasing across sectors and computer usage is far reaching.


Employers not only look for candidates who can quickly come up with solutions; they also want to see your approach to it, and this includes interactions with colleagues and peers. Whilst recognising the urgency are you able to maintain a level of calm and focus?


Knowing your role and recognising your own skills and abilities will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and area of expertise. It is always important to do this without appearing arrogant. Remember, as a graduate you have demonstrated you have the ability to work to a prescribed level and in your assessments shown you have understood your studies and content. Securing employment after graduation is your opportunity to demonstrate that your investment in your future has been successful and you are ready to use the knowledge, skills and experience you have acquired thus far.

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