Starting your study program is exciting and at times time daunting. There are a lot of new things happening and many new experiences to gain. Understandably, you may not want to be thinking about the top 10 employability skills right from the start of your studies. However, it is beneficial to think about it at the start to develop an awareness of your skills and which ones you want to develop further. To help you on your journey we have compiled the top 10 employability skills that you can develop during your journey at UWS that will make you even more employable. While you certainly don’t have to tick every single box, we encourage you to have a look through these and see which you may already have or which you can work on during your studies.
Top 10 Employability Skills
The first skill in our Top 10 employability skills is a big one: Reliability – it’s an extension of trust. In a work setting it means giving your employer the guarantee that you are trustworthy, dependable, and someone the company can rely on in any type of situation. A clear distinction here is that reliability doesn’t mean you always need to outperform yourself, it means being able to communicate your skills, abilities, and viewpoints to the point your colleagues, team, or manager know they can rely and depend on you when you say you can do something.
Reliability at university can be practised in all sorts of ways, the way you show up for yourself in class, for your group members on a group project, sticking to deadlines, and the way you ask uncomfortable questions to make sure assignments are understood correctly.
Motivation goes hand in hand with initiative in the workplace. Employers value employees who are proactive at identifying problems and coming up with new ways of working. A motivated employee strives to grow within the company and is keen to improve their skills through training or development options.
Motivation can easily be deepened at University by identifying the work you enjoy doing and continuing to learn and grow. Take initiative by chairing a club in the field you enjoy or asking your professors if they can share their experiences with you.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines emotional intelligence as “the ability to understand the way people feel and react and to use this skill to make good judgments and to avoid or solve problems”. It’s a skill that is highly valued by employers as it promises the ability to handle stressful situations and conflicts better. The ability to self-regulate emotions and understand the emotions of others helps to avoid impulsive decision-making. Your study years are a good time to improve your emotional intelligence. It can be as easy as reminding yourself to keep eye contact with your fellow students and professors. Keeping up eye contact makes the person you are speaking to feel more valued and you may be able to see things that the floor or ceiling wouldn’t have been able to tell you.
Problem-solving skills mean new perspectives, improved workflows, speedy and efficient fixes, and the list goes on. It’s one of the most valued skills by employers so much so that it is often assessed in recruitment processes.
How do you build on your existing problem-solving skills at university? Ask questions, look for new ways of thinking and perspectives, and take on responsibilities in ways you haven’t done before.
With teams and companies working in different working environments; be it from home, in the office, or a combination of the two, time management is more important than ever.
Employers need to be able to rely on their employees to manage their time well. This is something you can practice during your study years. Understand how you are spending your time, prioritise assignments, set personal time limits for them, and create a schedule for yourself. Get creative and efficient when it comes to time management.
Good communication skills lead to quicker turnarounds and improve collaboration with your colleagues. Great communicators can write, speak, listen and present in very effective ways. All of these skills can be learned and improved on during your studies. Take every opportunity you can to challenge your communication skills and you will be a highly effective communicator by the end of your studies.
Resilience is often described as the ability to bounce back from a difficult situation. It goes hand in hand with managing your emotions and thoughts and taking challenges as opportunities to grow. Resilience gives you the ability to stay motivated, be objective, and not let your personal feelings cloud your judgment. You can practice resilience at university by allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn from them, building relationships, and being proactive.
The ability to work with others is a strong skill you learn during your studies. Collaboration at the workplace means working well within your team and finding out how to work towards the strengths of the individual team members, which leads to building great relationships at work and higher team productivity. Enjoy and value your university group assignments to deepen your collaboration skills.
The ability to manage your tasks, deadlines, and projects independently without supervision is an invaluable skill you need in the workplace.
It is also one of the skills you will learn starting in your first semester at university. Our tip is to create a schedule to help you navigate your classes, studying, activities, and social life.
Creativity in the workplace means considering something a different way and coming up with new outlooks and solutions. It extends to most of the above-mentioned skills. If you learn to identify unapparent patterns and create new solutions for them It helps develop better results for a company. UWS encourages you to think differently.
So there you have it!
Lastly, don’t get overwhelmed by the Top 10 employability skills. A lot of the studying and work you do at university will help you deepen these skills. Bring awareness to your employability skills from the start of your studies, take notes of your progress in a notebook, and don’t forget to enjoy your growth.