Employers want you to be able to tell them why you are right for the job. Articulating skills and motivations is something many students struggle with so here are a few easy steps to give you confidence in articulating your employability.
Employability skills put simply are your attributes, skills and knowledge. Evidencing these skills effectively for a specific role is the key to unlocking that graduate job door.
You have a unique set of skills from various experiences that can prove your employability, some of which may surprise you. Examples include:
- Teamwork can be shown through playing football.
- Leadership can be shown through leading a group project within your degree.
- Creativity can be shown through playing an instrument.
- Problem solving skills can be shown through dealing with difficult customers in a part time job.
Being aware of your skills and what you have to offer is your first step to success. The living CV on Leeds for Life will help you explore and think about the attributes, skills and knowledge you have. You can then pick and choose the best examples when applying. If you want to build up your skill set further, our blog posts ‘get involved’ and ‘get a life’ will help.
Structure your evidence
When it comes to applications and interviews, it is useful to have a structure to enable you to articulate your skills and competencies clearly. Try using STAR to evidence your employability skills. This will allow you to answer competency based questions effectively.
“Throughout University I worked part time as a waitress. On a particularly busy weekend, we were short staffed and a customer complained about the wait for his food. I liaised with the kitchen and persuaded the chef to prioritise the customer’s order. I apologised to the customer, explained the situation and the amount of time left to wait. The customer calmed down and was soon enjoying his meal. He returned to the restaurant on a regular basis.”
Simple methods like the STAR approach can really improve your chances of success. Employers are evermore interested in your non-academic attributes, skills and knowledge as well as your qualifications.
Employability can come from anywhere
It’s how you describe your employability using evidence that makes a difference. Preparation and practice will lead to success.
Having a diverse range of evidence to draw from in the recruitment process makes you more attractive to employers; an example of this can be seen by the following short animation.
Telling an employer why you are right for their job requires clear communication which is a skill within itself. By preparing your evidence and practising articulation techniques you are inevitably improving your employability. Have confidence in your experience and be aware of how you can market this to an employer. Good luck!