Thinking about future career prospects can sometimes bring a mixture of excitement and nerves. There’s a world of opportunities waiting for you but not knowing what these opportunities are can be scary. We’re here to support you and show you how to best prepare for your future career.

One of the best ways you can get prepared is by developing your employability skills. Whether you want to work in a company or be an entrepreneur, whether you’re in your first or final year, employability skills are vital to landing a job when you graduate.

What are employability skills?

You’re probably thinking ‘what are employability skills, and do they really matter?’. Employability skills (also known as transferable skills) are the ‘soft’ skills employers want you to demonstrate. They show that you can work well in their organisation. These are the skills that make you employable and can help you stand out from other candidates.

As the job market gets increasingly more competitive, having a degree is a good start to securing your dream job. It gives you knowledge and some key skills. However, it’s important to continue expanding on your skill set to help further your career opportunities.

What employability skills should I develop?

Now you know what employability skills are and their importance, you’re probably wondering which employability skills you should develop. Luckily, we have identified the 10 employability skills most valued by employers. These are:

  • Communication
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Proactive leadership
  • Organisation and effectiveness
  • Digitally literate
  • Data literate
  • Industry aware
  • Reflective lifelong learner
Student volunteer talking to guests at an Open Day
Volunteering for our Open Days can help boost your CV and communication skills

How to develop employability skills

Now that you know a bit more about what employers are looking for, consider the skills you already have. Then think about what evidence you have of already using them. If you lack a particular employability skill, think about how you can go about developing it.

One way you can go about developing these skills is by getting involved in the opportunities we offer here at Salford. There are numerous events and activities for you to seek out alongside your studies. This includes:

  • Attending a Careers Fair
    • Here you can discover a world of opportunities and network with employers. This helps build your communication skills and industry awareness.
  • Booking an appointment with one of our Careers Advisors.
    • This is a great opportunity to speak directly with our Careers & Enterprise team. You can ask them any career-related questions to ensure you’re on the right track and developing your employability skills.
    • If your question is quick, you can come along to one of their Quick Query appointments. Drop-in and bookable sessions are available.
    • On campus? You can drop into the Careers Hub (in Lady Hale) to speak to an advisor. See the Careers website for full details.
  • Joining a society
    • By joining one of our societies, you can develop skills, meet new people and have fun all at the same time. With over 50 societies there’s plenty to choose from.
  • Joining Unitemps
    • They can help you find paid part-time or temporary work. These roles will help you develop your skills. For example, as a Student Ambassador, you would be involved in campus tours, open days and student life talks which would advance your problem-solving and teamwork skills.
  • Volunteering
    • Volunteering is a good route to employment as it gives you the opportunity to gain new skills and enhance the ones you already have. There’s volunteering roles across a range of organisations and industries.
  • Launch@ Salford
    • If you’re looking to start up your own business, Launch can support you. They run a free six-month programme to help you on your entrepreneurial journey. You’ll definitely develop communication and organisation skills here.