What are employers looking for?

Regardless of which career you decide to pursue there are a key set of skills that any employer will be looking for. Think about each of the skills below, can you identify an example where you have demonstrated this skill effectively?

The skills audit (.doc) has been designed to help you identify your strengths, weaknesses and areas for development within various skills areas that are typically sought by employers. 

We provide a range of skills training and event that can help you to pick up the skills areas where you may feel less experienced. Use My Career Zone to browse and book on to skills training sessions.


Desirable skills

Communication (oral) Enterprising Project Management
Communication (written) Flexibility  Problem Solving
Commercial Awareness Initiative Analytical Skills
Cultural Sensitivity  Interpersonal skills and team working Foreign language skills
Customer focus  Leadership / Management Responsibility
Data Handling  Networking Reliability
Decision making Organisational Adaptability Time management

Personal development planning (PDP)

Being able to talk confidently about the skills you’ve gained during your time at university will help you when it comes to job interviews in the future.

Personal development planning (PDP) is a good way to make sense of your learning in all aspects of your life, helping you to identify the skills you’ve developed and those that need more work.

Most students will be involved with PDP through their College’s Personal Tutorial System, though in some cases it may be through skills-based group tutorials and/or modules within academic programmes.

You will be encouraged to use a webbased resource to support your PDP. This will help you reflect on your skills, record your achievements and set yourself targets for the future.

Use your ePDP (found under the Student Record tab of your MyExeter portal) to record the employability and career management skills you are developing and plan the areas you need to improve.

I expected everything to be handed to me on a plate, I now realise that while I graduated with a decent degree (2i), I had no real awareness of the skills I had to offer. I had no idea at all of career opportunities within small businesses and no relevant experience.

Unemployed Graduate.