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Top ten employability skills you should have

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Published: 5 August 2021

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You’ve already made one of the best decisions you could make for your career by choosing to study at the University of Sunderland in London.

The knowledge you’re gaining from your specific course will set you up for a successful career in your industry.

But what about those other things you need for the world of work, the ones some people call ‘soft skills’?

Now is the perfect time for you to identify the areas you need to work on and develop the abilities that will put you ahead of the competition.

1) Teamwork

No one person has all the skills needed for all tasks. That’s why knowing how to work with others is a vital aspect of every job.

2) Problem-solving

Identifying, analysing and finding solutions for the issues that come up everyday work is an important part of working life.

Being the person who can think something through to a solution will make you a very valuable member of any team.

3) Communication

This could be considered perhaps the most important skill needed for any job. That’s because pretty much everything you’ll do at work requires you to speak to people.

Understanding how to do that in a clear and well thought through way is a talent worth learning.

4) Time management

The process of planning and organising your workday. This is something deeply important to any business as it’s all about making sure you’re organised, efficient and doing your absolute best for your company.

5) IT skills

The ability to use a variety of computer systems. This could be as simple as the Microsoft Word you’re currently using to write your essays or more specialised such as Adobe Photoshop or a variety of Customer Marketing Systems (CMS). It depends on the company and the career.

6) Numeracy

This is all about how well you deal with numbers and is something that will be useful for specific jobs such as accounting and finance. You could be tested on your numeracy during the interview [] stage, so be prepared.

7) Customer awareness

Understanding the people you’re selling to, the things they want and what would put them off using your services. It’s a key skill in communications, gathering data on the kinds of people that will buy from you and learning how to talk with them.

8) Initiative

This is the ability to take things on by yourself. It is a tricky thing to get right because you have to find a balance between identifying a need then finding a solution and going above your manager’s head and making a mistake.

9) Project management

This is one of the largest and most complex skills you need to learn for your career. It’s essentially the process of taking something from the idea stage, through development, to launch and analysis.

If it’s an area you want to specialise in, take a look at our MSc Project Management course.

10) Flexibility

The ability to adjust to short term changes. It’s easy, once you know what you’re doing at work, to stick to a set routine. But the best employees are ones who can change how they approach their tasks based on the current circumstances.

There are, of course, plenty of skills you will need to learn before you start work, and many more you’ll pick up once you get in the office.

But take some time whilst you’re still studying to learn more about the ones we’ve mentioned above and boost your chances of finding the job you love.

That could be a classmate, colleague, friend or family member. But don’t forget you can also bring it to our Careers and Employability Service.

To have a one-to-one chat with them, book a meeting through Compass.

Alternatively, email careers-london@sunderland.ac.ukFind out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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