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Careers & Enterprise Centre

What is Employability?

Employability is an important concept to think about throughout your time at Durham. Whatever you want to do once you graduate, you will need to consider whether you have the skills, experience and personal attributes that a future employer is looking for when hiring.

Increasingly, employers are saying that a degree is not enough and that they are looking for students that can demonstrate a range of skills and show that they are 'work-ready'. Consider starting with the Skills Audit to determine where you are now.

Here are some key employability skills to consider:

  • Effective Communication - Being able to express ideas with clarity and focus in writing, discussions and presentations.
  • Teamwork - Ability to take on different roles in a team and work well with others to achieve aims and objectives.
  • Commercial Awareness - Understanding of a business or sector. How do they operate? What are their aims? What are the challenges they face?
  • Problem Solving - Identify potential problems, assessing the risks and apply logical and creative thinking to come up with solutions.
  • Leadership - Being able to motivate, inspire and develop other peoples' strengths. Coordinating activities, delegating tasks and setting deadlines.
  • Project Management - The process of planning, monitoring and controlling in relation to a particular project.
  • Time Management - Ability to manage your own time and prioritise to be more productive and efficient in completing tasks.
  • Initiative - Being proactive and enthusiastic, identifying opportunities, recognising best practice and generating new ideas.
  • Adaptability - Flexibility to work in different environments and teams on a range of projects and tasks.
  • Enterprise and Innovation - Ability to identify opportunities and gaps in the market and to create new and innovative ways to solve problems.
  • Computer literacy - Familiarity with the basic functions of the Microsoft Office suite and the ability to accept, learn and adapt to new technology.