With several Bank Holidays coming up (thank you, King Charles) and summer just around the corner, now’s the time to line up some work experience. Can’t find an opportunity in your desired industry? Don’t let that put you off applying.
When it comes to entry-level roles, businesses seek out candidates with universal employability skills, such as communication and leadership, and these can be gained from every kind of placement. Let’s see what that looks like in practice.
Unless you work as an ice fisher in Antarctica, you will need good communication skills to thrive in a role. Communication is the ability to understand and be understood by others, which includes presenting ideas to others clearly, having a friendly and confident demeanour, respecting other points of view and speaking in a public setting.
In practice: interacting with customers, giving a presentation, conducting phone calls, writing emails.
Most people would probably define creativity as using imagination to generate new ideas, but it can also refer to thinking about a task in a new or different way. If you’re creative, you can find connections between different ideas and use them to solve problems. That’s working smarter, not harder!
In practice: arranging displays, gathering social media content, suggesting and setting up new systems.
Adaptability is being able to adjust to new or different circumstances. In the workplace, this includes a change in environments, schedule alterations and fitting into a team. Every industry faces situations that are unpredictable, which is why employers want candidates to be flexible.
In practice: using technology, hybrid working, applying feedback, creating back-up plans.
Has anyone ever told you you’re a good leader? In other words, you have a knack for organising people to reach a common goal. This skill enables you to provide clear instructions, delegate responsibilities, set achievable goals, motivate others and manage deadlines.
In practice: arranging meetings, training new employees, managing projects.
You know what they say, ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ (sorry). Teamwork skills enable you to cooperate with others in an organised, empathetic manner – drawing on each member’s strengths for optimal productiveness. Being willing to pull your own weight by sharing ideas and responsibility is also vital.
In practice: brainstorming, helping a colleague complete a task, resolving a conflict.
Find opportunities to gain employability skills at the Bucks Skills Hub Work Experience site.