Latest News: Becoming more employable – use this assessment tool

Jim Simpson

Jim Simpson

Management teacher, University of Sussex

‘Employability’ has become a big issue for employers and a major hurdle for job-hunters, young people especially. Here is a resource that can help job-seekers and advisers and anyone who wants to improve their generable employability.  In some cases employers have been concerned that graduates with highly classified degrees do not have some of the basic ’employability skills’ needed to fulfill graduate entry jobs. With so many graduates job-hunting and ‘credentialism’ having raised entry levels for many jobs, getting on that first rung of the employment ladder or making a career move can be a challenge.  Sometimes young people are so focussed on the job, the employer or career-path that they don’t focus enough on the basic, professional skills that they need to thrive and flourish at work.  Employers are clear that a degree is not enough.  In any business setting there are generic, employability skills that the job-holder needs to be equipped with – things like teaming skills; research ability; and good emotional literacy and regulation.  So what are these skills and how do you get them?  20 employability skills are explained here in the Employability Skills framework. This is a brilliant learning and assessment tool that has been used with countless numbers of young workers, under-graduates and career-switchers.  Here are some ways you can use the tool. Assess yourself against these criteria and see, on a scale of 1 to 10, how far you think you have these skills.  What evidence do you have to show that you have these skills?  Where can you improve?  What are the priority areas for skill-improvements for you?  What experiences – studying, part-time work, your own research, voluntary work etc. – can you get to meet these skill-areas?  Not everyone can score highly in every area, so focus on the biggest gaps. Job-hunters need to a) prepare and know where they are strongest, and b) have experiential evidence to validate their skills claims.  Also seeking out experiences to make up gaps in employability skills is important. In the future, generic employability skills will become more and more important in getting a job, keeping it, enjoying it and developing career pathways. So, review your employability skills regularly using this tool on one like it.  Looking ahead this will pay you back with great jobs and career dividends!

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