What is Employability?

Briefly: Your preparedness for work, your ability to work, and your willingness to learn

Having a good degree in a fascinating subject may not be enough to get you the job you want when you graduate. The fact is that only a minority of students gain employment which directly uses the academic knowledge of their degree programme, and many employers do not mind what subject you have studied

Employers like to recruit graduates who have ‘joined in’, worked as a team, shown leadership, or spent time travelling and experiencing new situations and cultures – so long as you have learnt something from it!
How Does Employability Help My Career?

When you apply for jobs at the end of your degree, graduate application forms will require you to identify, describe and provide evidence for all of your qualities and skills. It may be that there are gaps in your personal profile

Key Skills
The deliberate development of Personal and Key Skills is essential for gaining initial employment. Key skills are not specifically related to the subject that you are studying, but are transferable between all subjects and, hopefully, between many different situations. You may already have gained accreditation in key skills from school or college and this will give you a good foundation. But it won’t matter if you haven’t. Think about what skills you have and if there are any gaps that need filling.

This is a list of Personal & Key Skills considered to suit degree studies:
• Self-management
• Management of learning
• Communication: Team/group work/ management of others
• Problem-solving
• Data-handling
Excel Employability Programs?

Excel Employability programs are designed to enhance your Key Skills, promote your Personal Development, and present you with unique situations and opportunities to stand out from the crowd

Let us ask you an ordinary question, and let you choose which reply is more interesting:

What did you do during the summer holidays?
i. I got a part-time job stacking shelves at the local supermarket
ii. I hung out with the guys and went surfing
iii. I met this gorgeous girl/boy and we spent all our time together
iv. I went to Disney world in Paris
v. I looked after my sick Aunt, allowing my Uncle a few weeks rest
vi. I took a vocational course in 'xyz', which will really help my studies next semester
vii. I volunteered for an archaeological dig of Roman ruins at ' local zyx'
viii. I went to Summer Camp in France - it was really cool
ix. I went to Summer Camp in China - it was really hot
x. I Volunteered with Excel to help install a water pipe over 10 miles of rough foothills in Nepal. We had a great time and good laughs, even though there was no running water or electricity most of the time

Think about this as a potential employer would

For those of you looking to maximise your employability after completing your Degree, you should consider the summer break as an opportunity to enhance your Key Skills and Personal Development. These things do count when it comes to being offered 'The job you really want'

We suggest you now read our Questions from Employers section, and then look again at these answers. Ask yourself, which of these summer vacation options gives me enhanced Employability when I complete my Degree?

Now try and answer this question again, this time considering what a prospective employer will make of each answer, and also make assumptions about you in the process

Now let us see what Employers thought about these answers...
click when you are ready

How is your application form looking?

Related Pages: Employability,    Questions from Application Forms,    Summer Recess Questions from Employers

You can greatly increase your Employability by taking a 1-year Placement or Gap Year. Life Experiences and Volunteering are also very useful, as these show a greater depth of personality, and will engender greater interest from potential employees - making you stand out from the crowd

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