Your personality and the skills you have produce a unique combination
OU graduate Stephen McGann identifies the skills that enhance his employability.
Stephen: When people want value for money for everything that they do, is to say well where is the use at the end of the day, will this be immediately a directly applicable to what, you know, to what I do and so it was interesting as someone who'd worked in the Arts to then go and do a technological scientific degree because the first thing we'd say well that's a lot of use and unless you completely change course, how will that be applicable.
It was and it has been amazingly applicable and there are levels to the practical benefits of what I've learned and how I've applied it back to my work. The general things of course, which any employer can understand, I've become more articulate. I've been able to organise my thoughts better, so these are the general things where if I went whatever I do, if I write, if I act, any kind of thing I do it would matter.
I'm more self-motivated, self disciplined by many, many degrees. My brain is now wired differently. This is the freaky thing. My wife said to me when I'd worked after a about a year of the course, she said, 'You're thinking differently'. I said, 'How do you mean?' She said, 'Well, you argue, meaning discuss, in a different way. You approach problems in a different way.
Your skills have been gained in formal education, work or from everyday life.
The competencies that OU students develop during their degree become invaluable to us.
Emma Beadle, Unilever
To analyse your skills and how they relate to the skills employers look for, think about your
Your personal qualities are attributes such as patience, humour, initiative and flexibility, and are very relevant to the type of work that would suit you. The better you know yourself, the more likely you are to find a situation that suits you.
We want people who can demonstrate they have an eye on what would be best for the customer; who can think out of the box, drive towards solutions and have engaging, inclusive personalities.
Sarah Darch, Virgin Management
Have you considered your own behaviour, emotions and reactions? Ask people close to you, as they may be able to identify strengths and qualities that you have not considered before.
Your personality affects your style of operating in the workplace and the way you respond to situations. Have a look at the activity assess your working style to see what you learn about your personality.
...the competencies are designed so that the assessors can assess you in a fair and objective way, against set criteria.
Lopa Bakhai, KPMG
Job advertisements may use unfamiliar terms to describe the skills required. Look at the language and try to work out what they are looking for, so you can match your skills to job descriptions.