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Employability Skills Awareness

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Presentation on theme: "Employability Skills Awareness"— Presentation transcript:

1 Employability Skills Awareness
Department of Student Services

2 Learning outcomes By the end of this session, you will be able to:
Understand the importance of skills/competencies and be aware of what employers look for in the recruitment and selection process Identify which skills you have and understand how to give evidence and examples of these Identify strategies and resources for enhancing and developing your skills and experience Department of Student Services

3 Have you ever thought...? ‘I need to get some work experience’
Department of Student Services

4 What is employability? “...having a set of skills, knowledge, understanding and personal attributes that make a person more likely to choose and secure occupations in which they can be satisfied and successful.” Dacre Pool & Sewell, 2007, Department of Student Services

5 CBI: ‘Employability skills’
“ A set of attributes, skills and knowledge that all labour market participants should possess to ensure they have the capability of being effective in the workplace, to the benefit of themselves, their employer and the wider economy.” Future Fit, CBI, 2009, page 8 Department of Student Services

6 Exercise 1 Handout A - skills audit
Highlight all attributes which you feel apply to you Where you have highlighted the most attributes against a skill, this indicates areas of strength Where you have fewer or no words highlighted, this indicates areas which you may wish to improve or develop Department of Student Services

7 What do employers look for in a graduate?
“Employers need graduates who are equipped with a range of core work skills as well as academic ability. It is these competencies, such as interpersonal skills, communication, team working and customer awareness which, in the final analysis, make graduates employable” ‘A Manifesto for Graduate Employment ‘, Association of Graduate Recruiters Department of Student Services

8 Which skills are employers looking for?
Team work Communication skills (oral) Communication skills (written) Commercial awareness Problem-solving ability Planning & organisation Persuading/negotiation IT/computer literacy Department of Student Services

9 How do I identify the skills employers want?
Employers give a clear indication of the skills they want from a candidate and those required for the job through a range of sources: - job advertisement - job description/specification - organisation literature/website - employer open evenings/events It is essential that the candidate shows how they match these requirements in the application process to ensure they progress through to the next stage. Department of Student Services

10 Where do I talk about my skills?
CV Covering letter Application form Interviews Department of Student Services

11 CVs and cover letters When talking about skills in your CV or cover letter, you must provide evidence for them in a concise manner. An example of how a skill and evidence might be expressed in a CV:- Team work When working at Marks and Spencer, I supported my colleagues during peak times to effectively deal with high volumes of customers. This helped to ensure the team delivered an outstanding service and achieved weekly sales targets.

12 Application forms and interviews
A competency based question requires you to provide detailed answers based on real life examples in order to demonstrate skills required for the job. Example questions: - Please give an example of where you encountered a problem. What was the problem, how did you solve it and what was the result? Describe how you achieved a goal through influencing the actions of others. What were the circumstances? What did you do to make a difference and what was the result? Department of Student Services

13 How do I talk about my skills?
The STAR approach can be used when answering competency based questions in application forms and at interviews. Situation – provide a brief background of the situation. Mention where you were working / studying, what your role was and what the circumstances were. Task – the problem/activity/request you were presented with. Action – what did you do? This section is particularly important, and encompasses most of the detail. It should explain step by step the action taken and why. Result – what was the outcome of your action and what did you learn? Department of Student Services

14 Exercise 2 Handout B - STAR exercise
Using handout A, select the skill for which you highlighted most attributes. Think of a specific example you can give as evidence of using that skill. The example can come from your studies, work experience, clubs and societies or any other appropriate activity. It might help to imagine the question as “Tell us about a time when you have .....[insert appropriate wording for your skill]”. Using the STAR framework, write out an example for your chosen skill. Department of Student Services

15 Developing skills “21st century graduates need to demonstrate to employers that they can ‘hit the ground running’. In addition to working hard to gain a good degree, students should engage in extracurricular activities and obtain work experience in order to develop skills that will make them better prepared for the world of work.” Carl Gilleard – Chief Executive, Association of Graduate Recruiters. Department of Student Services

16 Where can I develop my skills?
Academic activities and projects Vacation and part-time work Professional Work Placement module (if applicable) Volunteering Mentoring/peer support University clubs and societies and the Students’ Union Home life Interests Department of Student Services

17 Employment On-line Managed by the Employment Service, Career
Development & Employment Service (CDES) Part time work Vacation work Placements and internships Graduate jobs Jobs alerts by Department of Student Services

18 Voluntary work “Put aside pre-conceptions: volunteering is work experience… the act of choosing to be a volunteer can show greater initiative and commitment” Miles Killingley, Senior Manager, Executive Education at HSBC “Volunteering can be a great way to develop the skills we look for when recruiting graduates.” Helen Feltham, Marks and Spencer’s Director of UK Retail, Human Resources Department of Student Services

19 Support in finding voluntary work through the university
Reach Student Development and Activities Service, Student Services North Campus: TM1-89, Tower Building, Holloway Road City Campus: 3rd Floor, 2 Goulston Street Department of Student Services

20 Volunteering – useful websites
Database of 163,000 registered charities in England and Wales Search for volunteer opportunities in your local area Information on volunteering and list of contact details for local volunteer centres - for year olds, after completing hours of volunteering, you can receive an award that will boost your CV. Department of Student Services

21 Clubs and societies and the Students’ Union
There are many personal benefits in joining a society, even starting a new one and getting involved in the Students’ Union Develop new abilities and leadership skills Work within a team of peers Satisfaction of setting and meeting goals Put on campus-wide events or activities Share talents or interests with the University community Clubs and Societies studentoffice/ Students’ Union - Department of Student Services

22 Exercise 3 Handout C - Action planning
Choose three skills you would like to develop Be as specific as you can about what aspect of the skill you want to develop, how and by when you intend to develop these skills. Complete the table in Handout C to create an action plan Think as widely as you can about sources of help and information you can make use of Department of Student Services

23 Summary You will already have many skills and abilities that employers value You can develop these further and learn additional ones whilst at university Work experience and/or volunteering are vital to making effective applications Learning how to present and articulate your skills to employers is essential Use the free resources that the University provides to get ahead in the job market Department of Student Services

24 Final tip Keep a record of all your personal, academic and work achievements, however big or small, as they occur Use STAR (where appropriate) to practise providing evidence for your skills When you come to apply for opportunities and prepare for interviews, you will have done half the work! Department of Student Services

25 Career Development & Employment Service (CDES)
This service has a presence at both City and North campuses and offers guidance and support to all students and to graduates for up to 3 years after they leave. This includes: The opportunity for individual discussion on areas such as career planning and job/work experience search Workshops on a variety of job search topics Information on careers events and activities For more details on the services offered and on how and where to access them, please refer to the website: Department of Student Services

26 Career Development & Employment Service (CDES)
The University Employment Service provides access to vacancy information for full time and part-time opportunities, vacation work and internships. For details on how to register go to: CDES Contact information: North Campus: 1st Floor, Tower Building, Tel: City Campus: 8 Goulston Street, Tel: Department of Student Services

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