What Does it Mean to be “Employable”? Top 5 Tips

A university course will help you develop some of the skills that employers are looking for, but you need more than a degree certificate to get a graduate-level job. Companies want to see other achievements as well as qualifications, and they also want to make sure you have the right employability skills to be able to do the job – such as being a good communicator, an ability to work in a team and being able to solve problems. A positive attitude, enthusiasm and adaptability are also seen as important as you will have a lot to learn when you start your first graduate job.

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1. Get involved in your college or university

You may spend four years doing a degree but employers will want to know what else you gained during that time – think about what skills you could gain – leadership: being a HISA rep; communication: attending cross college boards.

2. Ask for career advice early on 

Most students only ask for career advice when it comes to applying to University or at the Exit Interview at the end of their course, but it would be in your best interests to ask for advice within your first year to see whether the course you are doing is right for the career that you want, whether you are doing enough to equip yourself with employability skills and so on. Also, attend CV writing and application sessions if you can, the earlier you start to work on your CV and how to apply for jobs, the more at ease you will feel when it comes to crunch time.

3. Volunteering

There is a big emphasis on volunteering nowadays, it shows your commitment to helping others, it shows that you are an active and helpful member of society and it also opens doors! The more people you meet, the wider your network becomes, especially in a small community like Shetland. Who knows, the person you volunteered with might be someone who can help you take another step on your career ladder.

4. Work experience

Getting work experience as part of your degree really improves your employment opportunities; you are getting hands on practical experience. It can lead to jobs too: a third of students employed by the top 100 graduate recruiters have already worked for the organisation (The Graduate Market in 2016 – High Fliers Research). It also means that in such a competitive community, you have more to offer than just your qualification.

5. Networking

This is such an important thing to remember! “Over 85% of all jobs are filled via networking” (LinkedIn 2016). Remember to leave a good impression at any job, networking trumps applying for a job by a factor of 3:1, that goes to show that getting to know people is so beneficial when it comes to finding a job.


Always remember that you can speak to Klaudia in C10 on Mondays and Fridays or you can contact her at klaudia.grubska@uhi.ac.uk