Career Pathways and Employability Skills

Career Pathways 

To explore the many different career pathways that are available to you please follow this link 

https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/explore-careers 

Over time we will be developing our ‘Job of the Week’ please follow the links as they grow over time 

Employability skills 

Employability skills are the core skills and traits needed in nearly every job. These are the general skills that make someone desirable to an organisation.  

Employability skills include the soft skills that allow you to work well with others, apply knowledge to solve problems, and to fit into any work environment. They also include the professional skills that enable you to be successful in the workplace. These are also considered as transferable skills because you can apply them to a job in any industry. 

Here we focus on the top 5 soft skills employers are looking for. See our advice on how you can develop these skills and stand out from other candidates in the interview process. 

Communication 

All employers look for job candidates with strong communication skills. These refer to one’s ability to convey information clearly to others. Employers want employees with strong written, verbal, and nonverbal communication skills. Part of being a strong communicator also includes being a good listener; employees need to be able to understand the questions and concerns of their clients and listen to their employer’s directions. 

  • Written Communication 

How can I develop this skill? 

Develop your communication skills by meeting new people and working with them. You could: 

  • join a sports team or creative arts club 

  • volunteer somewhere you will talk to the public 

  • try public speaking 

  • take an online course – like how to give work presentations 

If you want to build your confidence, you could practice and build your communications skills with family and friends like: 

  • organise an activity – like a quiz 

  • practice situations – ‘how would you handle a customer complaint’ 

  • practice writing emails or letters 

  • roleplay with an interview 

 

Leadership skills 

Employers associate good leadership skills with management skills. But it also shows employees can look after their own workload. Even if you are not a manager, you are likely to have had leadership experience, like: 

  • time management 

  • conflict management 

  • problem solving 

  • mentoring 

How can I develop this skill? 

  • tutor a student 

  • organise your schedule by creating a timetable 

  • resolve conflict between friends or colleagues 

  • motivate others – you could do this by organising activities, fun or educational like a quiz 

  • teach skills to others – you could create instruction manuals or videos to share with family and friends 

 

Positivity skills 

A good attitude is something a lot of employers look for. Employers look for people who see solutions, not problems. This soft skill is easier to show an employer in an interview stage. You could show that you have a good attitude and are happy to meet people. Employers want someone that will be happy to be at work and get along with the other members of the team. 

How can I develop this skill? 

  • motivate a team – sports team or creative arts club 

  • try to get the best out of a hard situation 

  • network – whether for work or education, this shows a good attitude to learning and growing 

  • be part of a team, like sports or creative arts – show you’re a team player 

 

Flexibility skills 

Flexibility tells employers that you are adaptable to different situations. It shows you can handle change and adapt at short notice. It also tells employers that you will help in situations that are not part of your job role. That you are willing to go over and above what you need to do sometimes. 

How can I develop this skill? 

  • have to rearrange your day because of an emergency 

  • doing more than one task at a time 

  • do something outside of your comfort zone 

  • do a challenge that stretches you 

  • change your plans to help someone at short notice 

Problem solving skills 

Employers look for problem solving skills because it shows you can find problems and fix them. 

How can I develop this skill? 

  • play logic puzzles and games 

  • keep a journal – looking at your mindset and how you look at solving problems 

  • develop your communication skills 

  • learn to do data analysis 

  • try brainstorming and developing plans for problems you have 

 

Match soft skills to your employer 

  • research the employer – what is their company culture. Look on their website and see what their company beliefs are 

  • look at the job description you have. You should be able to find some of the soft skills they are looking for. 

  • use the star method to help you relate the soft skills into your answers and examples. 

https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/careers-advice/interview-advice/the-star-method