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What employers want

What skills and abilities do employers look for?
What employers want

For most recruiters, it’s not only what you have studied that makes you an attractive applicant, it’s what else you can bring to the organisation: your skills, attitude, energy, insight and potential for development. That is why it is so important your resume, application documents and even your LinkedIn profile actively sell your skills and achievements.

Although each role is different, there is a core set of skills most employers will be looking for. Recruiters will also expect candidates to address specific skills that have been identified as essential or desirable in order to carry out the job competently.

Start now

Don’t wait until the night before an interview or application deadline to think about your key assets.

Developing and perfecting some of these skills now will put you ahead of the game when it comes to applying for jobs. You will need to provide specific examples of these abilities so it is never too early to start keeping track of situations where you have applied them.

Key skills for employability

Communication

  • Writing an essay, thesis or report
  • Blogging
  • Contributing articles to student newspapers and websites
  • Making presentations 
  • Debating.

Teamwork

  • Group project work
  • Team sports
  • Mentoring with programs such as AIME
  • Student clubs.

Planning and organisation

  • Completing projects
  • Organising activities for NAIDOC week
  • Managing competing priorities – including studies, part-time work and social life
  • Finding relevant work experience or project work
  • Starting your own student club or putting on an event
  • Creating a website
  • Taking on extra duties at your part-time job.

Problem solving 

  • Dealing with a difficult customer 
  • Identifying a more efficient way of doing a task or job 
  • Analysing data and journal articles for assignments.

Networking

  • Attending employer/career events and making contact with others
  • Joining a professional association and attending meetings and events
  • Using social media to follow and engage with employers and organisations of interest.

Leadership

  • Taking a position of leadership on a committee
  • Having responsibility for other staff in a part-time job
  • Captaining a sports team.

Commercial awareness

  • Staying on top of world, business and industry-specific news by subscribing to papers, specialist trade and industry publications, newsletters and websites
  • Meeting professionals in the industry and discussing current challenges and hot topics
  • Taking a commercial interest in your workplace.