The term ‘Employability’, introduced by Sumantra Goshal in 1997, refers to attributes that help employees create value while doing work, learn from their experience and – through this – enhance their ability to perform well and adapt to changing a changing job market in the future. Employability also refers to those skills that employers would like to see in their staff. Having Employability skills, and being able to articulate your experience and learning of these skills, can enhance a CV and be drawn upon in a job interview. There are many different sets of skills that are prioritised by employers which can vary substantially from position to position and across fields.
Stephen Isherwood, the Chief Executive of the Institute of Student Employers, who is frequently asked ‘What do employers want?’, responds that they want ‘someone with a good brain, someone who can get stuff done with other people, someone who is motivated to do the work they are signing up to do’.
At Sussex/IDS, we define employability as the ability to know what your skills are, to articulate how you developed these skills during your time at University and to recognise which skills are important and applicable in appropriate contexts. We believe that this is part of a process which demonstrates your ability to think critically (‘good brain’), to know and use your skills (‘get stuff done’), and to demonstrate, through examples, how you are appropriate for a particular post (showing motivation for the work you are signing up for).
The set of Employability Skills presented in the chart below has been developed by IDS, the Department of International Development, University of Sussex and by our Alumni, and is offered as a guide to help you:
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- showcase the ways in which your degree has developed your employability,
- articulate what you have learnt during your time studying international development,
- develop a tailored list of examples demonstrating your employability attributes
- and use this learning to your best advantage