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Assessing your skills Assessing your skills Document Transcript

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  • ASSESSING YOUR SKILLSWelcome to Assessing Your Skills one of the series of Futures workbooks,which help students choose and prepare for their careers. Like the otherworkbooks in the series you can dip in and out doing the exercises which aremost relevant to you. You might want to include the exercises or the outputin your personal development plan or e-portfolio.The aim of this workbook is to help you to clarify or identify your skills as afirst step toward choosing work that really suits you. It can also help you inthe preparation stage of compiling a CV, in preparation for job interviews andfor other occasions when you may want or need to analyse your skills.ContentsWHAT SKILLS AND APTITUDES DO YOU HAVE?............................................7SKILL ANALYSIS..................................................................................................8MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE AND SKILLS..........................................................15CODE....................................................................................................................16M...........................................................................................................................16L......................................................................................................................................................................17S......................................................................................................................................................................17W....................................................................................................................................................................17P......................................................................................................................................................................17I.......................................................................................................................................................................17N.....................................................................................................................................................................17M.....................................................................................................................................................................17K.....................................................................................................................................................................17L......................................................................................................................................................................17S......................................................................................................................................................................17 2/39
  • W....................................................................................................................................................................17P......................................................................................................................................................................17I.......................................................................................................................................................................17N.....................................................................................................................................................................17M.....................................................................................................................................................................17CODE....................................................................................................................18K.....................................................................................................................................................................18L......................................................................................................................................................................18S......................................................................................................................................................................18W....................................................................................................................................................................18P......................................................................................................................................................................18I.......................................................................................................................................................................18N.....................................................................................................................................................................18M.....................................................................................................................................................................18K.....................................................................................................................................................................18L......................................................................................................................................................................18S......................................................................................................................................................................18W....................................................................................................................................................................18P......................................................................................................................................................................18I.......................................................................................................................................................................18N.....................................................................................................................................................................18M.....................................................................................................................................................................18K.....................................................................................................................................................................18L......................................................................................................................................................................18CODE....................................................................................................................19S......................................................................................................................................................................19W....................................................................................................................................................................19 3/39
  • P......................................................................................................................................................................19I.......................................................................................................................................................................19N.....................................................................................................................................................................19M.....................................................................................................................................................................19K.....................................................................................................................................................................19L......................................................................................................................................................................19S......................................................................................................................................................................19W....................................................................................................................................................................19P......................................................................................................................................................................19I.......................................................................................................................................................................19N.....................................................................................................................................................................19M.....................................................................................................................................................................19K.....................................................................................................................................................................19L......................................................................................................................................................................19S......................................................................................................................................................................19W....................................................................................................................................................................19P......................................................................................................................................................................19CODE....................................................................................................................20I.......................................................................................................................................................................20N.....................................................................................................................................................................20M.....................................................................................................................................................................20K.....................................................................................................................................................................20L......................................................................................................................................................................20S......................................................................................................................................................................20W....................................................................................................................................................................20P......................................................................................................................................................................20I.......................................................................................................................................................................20 4/39
  • N.....................................................................................................................................................................20M.....................................................................................................................................................................20K.....................................................................................................................................................................20L......................................................................................................................................................................20S......................................................................................................................................................................20W....................................................................................................................................................................20P......................................................................................................................................................................20I.......................................................................................................................................................................20N.....................................................................................................................................................................20M.....................................................................................................................................................................20K.....................................................................................................................................................................20CODE....................................................................................................................21L......................................................................................................................................................................21S......................................................................................................................................................................21W....................................................................................................................................................................21P......................................................................................................................................................................21I.......................................................................................................................................................................21N.....................................................................................................................................................................21M...........................................................................................................................21L......................................................................................................................................................................21S......................................................................................................................................................................21EIGHT INTELLIGENCES.....................................................................................23WHAT SKILLS MOST EMPLOYERS SEEK.......................................................29THE RESULTS.....................................................................................................37 5/39
  • When you have completed the exercises in this workbook, you are advised tomove on to the next one: Your Personality and Values. Completing all theexercises in both workbooks will help you clarify or gain a broad view ofyourself. 6/39
  • SECTION 1: FIRST THINGS FIRSTLater in this workbook you will be asked to complete some skill analysisquestionnaires, but the starting point for any skills audit is with you andwhat you think.What skills and aptitudes do you have?So, what do you think are your main skills and aptitudes? Think about threespecific areas at this stage: academic; interest related; work related (ifapplicable). What are you good at?  Academic: related to education and training; subjects or areas you feel are your strongest  Interests: related to your interests away from education or paid work  Work: related to any past or current work experience (if applicable).Write in the spaces below, an example has been given for each. Academic Interests Worke.g. Analysing data e.g. Organising events: e.g. Talking topublished in journals five a side football customers matches 1. Using quotes in 1. Good 1. Good with my work to back organisational money and up an argument skills for social numbers events with 2. Good at friends. talking to customers 3. Good at manual labour 4. Good at working with machinery 7/39
  • SECTION 2: SKILLS AUDITThis next exercise takes the process of skill analysis a step further.Below is a list of specific skills. There are two parts to the exercise: 1. First, look down the list of skills that follow and and mark in red against up to 10 you feel are your strongest at this point in time. 2. When you have done that go back over the same list and make up to ten in green next to skills you feel you want or need to develop or learn in the future.(P) Teaching, coaching, mentoring or training others(P) Organising people(D) Examining, observing, surveying; having an eye for detail and accuracy(D) Managing money, budgeting(D) Researching, gathering information(I) Designing things or events(P) Leading or directing others(D) Analysing, sorting or sifting through information 8/39
  • (T) Keeping physically fit(D) Organising or classifying data(T) Using machine tools, e.g. power tools(T) Handling things with precision and speed (can include racket sports)(T) Building, constructing, repairing things(D) Diagnosing, looking for problems(D) Making catalogues or lists e.g. compiling an inventory or list of items(D) Following instructions, diagrams, blueprints(I) Improvising and adapting (for example, when things don’t go to plan)(I) Creating, innovating, seeing alternatives to situations(P) Motivating people(D) Problem solving generally(I) Developing other peoples ideas; helping them be more creative(T) Hand-eye co-ordination, e.g. fast computer games; racket sports(D) Reviewing, evaluating(I) Working creatively with spaces, shapes or faces(P) Performing in a group, on stage, in public etc. (can include presentations)(P) Giving credit to others, showing appreciation(P) Listening to others(I) Sizing up a situation or person quickly and accurately(T) Manual dexterity (using your hands)(D) Memorising numbers or other information(T) Developing your physical strength & stamina(P) Taking first moves in relationships, i.e. to talk to strangers(T) Fixing, repairing things(P) Helping others 9/39
  • (T) Assembling things (you learn quickly how to put material things together)(I) Drama, acting, role-playing(P) Conveying warmth and caring(P) Selling, negotiating, persuading(I) Working creatively with colours(P) Showing interest in other people(T) Using hand tools to make, service or repair things(I) Composing music(D) Using a computer(P) Helping other people to learn, change or develop(I) Conveying feelings or ideas through art or graphics(T) Finding out how mechanical or electrical things work(I) Writing creatively or imaginatively(T) Developing quick physical reactions, e.g. sport; driving etc(D) Manipulating numbers rapidly in mental arithmetic(T) Developing muscular co-ordination or physical stamina(I) Having insight, using intuition (e.g. you are good at guessing accurately what others are thinking or feeling)(P) Showing sensitivity to other peoples feelings(D) Reading for facts(I) Reading for ideas(T) Manoeuvring vehicle or other objects accurately in tight spaces(I) Shaping things or materials to look goodIs there anything missing from the list above? If you feel anything specificand important to you is missing from the above list, write it in the spacebelow. If not, continue the next stage of this exercise on the following page. 10/39
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  • CURRENT SKILLSNow look again at the skills you ticked and list them in rank order ofimportance or interest to you in the grid below. You will notice that eachof the skills you picked out had a letter, either D I T or P attached to them.Make a note of the letter attached to each skill in the left hand box of thegrid below. Letter Skill Description (DITP) Keeping physically fitT Managing moneyD Handling things with precision and speed (can include racket sports)T Building, constructing, repairingTD Following instructions, diagrams, blueprintsT Using machine tools, e.g. power toolsT Manual dexterity (using your hands)P Listening to others Developing your physical strength and staminaT Developing quick physical reactions, e.g. sport; drivingT etcWhat do the letters DITP represent? See next page. 12/39
  • DITP? Data: an interest in organisation, administration, information and being in situations involving attention to these issues; can suggest an interest in clerical and organisational activity. Ideas: an interest in creative activity and applying original ideas or solutions to problems or situations; suggests an interest in using your own ideas in an independent way. Things: an interest in practical and technical matters; an interest in working with your hands, or involving solving technical problems. People: an interest in working with people in some sphere, but particularly in a supportive, advisory or caring way. YOUR SKILLS AUDIT RESULTSome questions to ask:  Do all your skills listed fall into one or two main groups, or is there a reasonable spread across the four categories?The results suggest that Things is by far the most choice. This shows that Ihave a clear interest in practical and technical matters. This also shows that Ilike to work with my hands or involving solving technical problems.The next most popular result was Data which shows that I have an interest inorganisation, administration, information and being in situations involvingattention to clerical and organisational activity.  Are any categories missing from your profile? If so, why?no  The first three or four ranked skills tend to be the most significant. Is there a common thread or element between these?They are mainly in the things bracket. 13/39
  •  Most jobs combine more than one skill; can you think of any types of work that combine the skills you have listed? If you can’t, then don’t worry. There are more exercises to do in this workbook and in Futures book ‘Your Personality and Values’ that might suggest an answer to this question. FUTURE SKILLS Now look again at the skills you picked out in green. List them in the grid below in rank order of importance or interest to you to develop in the future, along with action plan notes on why you want to learn the skill in question, plus how and when you will do this.Skills to learn or Why you want to learn the How I intend to do this When Idevelop in the future skill intend to do this1. I feel this will be good in I intend to do this by August atTeaching, coaching, business and in everyday life. playing in a rugby team. In the start ofmentoring or training the trainings sessions the seasonothers there will be team exercises which I would be able to teach others in the drills etc.2. To get a better idea of what Use the sources available For all uniReading for ideas type of thing is could do or use and do my own research work in my work3. Having insight, using I think this will help me in Be seeing how people react While at intuition (e.g. you are everyday life in business in different situation in university good at guessing such as in university life accurately what others are thinking or feeling)4. Writing creatively or This would be useful to keep Using ideas from different While imaginatively the reader interested in my people that have done writing for work similar things my essay Nov 275. Helping other people I feel this will be good in By first of all knowing the Dec 18 to learn, change or business and in everyday life. ins and outs of the work. I develop have tort my brother how to help on the building site and using the tool. 14/39
  • 6. This is a very important skill By working I have alreadySelling, negotiating, needed in business so I think it worked selling topersuading is important to learn this skill customers so I know a little bit about it but I feel they could be improved.7. Taking first moves in I think this is important By coming to university Sep 28 relationships, i.e. to because being shy myself I feel miles away from home I talk to strangers that I miss out on a few things have been forced to and I would like to change that. interact with strangers and make friends so I think I have improved this8. This is a very important skill in I think the best way to do Sep 28Sizing up a situation or business and everyday life this is by gettingperson quickly and because you will know experience by going intoaccurately whether to trust or do different situation so I will business with the person be able to to have a rough idea of the situations that might happen9. This is important in business I have to do presentation Sep 28Performing in a group, on and in everyday life because for different modules instage, in public etc. (can then you can get your opinion university so I will have toinclude presentations) across if you have the do this and the more I do it confidence to be able to do the more confident I will this. be come at it10. This is important in business This will be done by doing Sep 28Leading or directing and in everyday life because group work in universityothers then you can get your opinion modules. I have done this I across if you have the sports marketing module confidence to be able to do for the poster presentation this. assessment If you need advice about ways you might learn or develop these skills, visit the Careers Service, you can contact them via www.leedsmet.ac.uk/careers, or look at Skills For Learning http://skillsforlearning.leedsmet.ac.uk/ SECTION 3: MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE SKILLS In this section we take another step in the process to consider the idea of multiple intelligence and skills. Intelligence can be defined as the ability of a person to reason. 15/39
  • Intelligence and skill are two separate concepts, although clearly there is arelationship between them. We tend to want to display and apply ourintelligence in tangible ways – often through developing and using skills.Intelligence tests have traditionally been constructed around four main abilityareas: 1. Numerical 2. Linguistic 3. Spatial 4. Logical/reasoning (which draws largely from the other three areas)However, Howard Gardner, Professor of Education, Harvard University, hasargued that we reason in a set of particular ways and that we can identifyeight different sets of intelligences.Gardner’s ideas will be elaborated later, but first complete the questionnairethat starts on the next page.There are 80 questions. In most questions you will be asked to what extentyou agree with the statement presented to you, in terms of your ownexperiences.You can respond from 1 to 5 to each of them.  1 is the lowest response, usually implying a negative reaction/no experience/no interest  5 is the highest response, usually implying a very positive reaction/ response or interestWork fairly quickly through the questions and tick the response that is closestto your feelings on the question or statement presented. Questions 1 2 3 4 5code As a child, to what extent did you have M a liking for music/music classes? In school, to what extent did you enjoy K sports/gym classes more than other classes? 16/39
  • As a child, to what extent did you easilyL learn maths, such as addition, multiplication, etc.? As a child, to what extent did you oftenS build or make things out of available material? To what extent do you enjoy gamesW involving words, or the sounds of words? To what extent have you hadP friendships that have lasted for a long time? To what extent do you have a clearI sense of who you are and want you want out of life? To what extent is it easy for you toN understand and care for animals? To what extent can you play a musicalM instrument? As a teenager, to what extent did youK regularly play sports or engage in gym activities? In school, to what extent did you everL have a particular interest in maths? As a teenager or adult, to what extentS did you enjoy getting involved in art and/or design? To what extent have you ever written,W outside of school, a story, poetry or a song? To what extent are you good at solvingP conflicts at work, home or elsewhere? To what extent are you aware of yourI feelings and able to control your moods? To what extent have you ever studiedN wildlife in your own time, outside of formal school or college study? To what extent do you have a goodM voice for singing, either alone or with others? 17/39
  • Questions 1 2 3 4 5code To what extent are you good at things K that require hand/eye coordination, e.g. juggling? To what extent are you curious about L why or how things work? To what extent can you design & make S the best use of space around you? How effective are you at bargaining orW making a deal with people? To what extent do you feel you easily P understand the feelings, wishes or needs of others? To what extent do you plan and work I hard towards personal goals (home or work)? To what extent are you good at N observing & learning about nature & the natural world? To what extent do you have music on toM aid work, study or relaxation? To what extent are you good at doing K precision craft related work with your hands? To what extent are you good at L designing systems for dealing with work related issues? How easily can you work out how to put S together or assemble something, e.g. self-assembly furniture? To what extent when others disagreeW are you easily able to say what you think or feel? To what extent do you enjoy working P with others in groups or teams? To what extent do you know and I understand your own motivations? To what extent are you interested in N natural or life sciences? To what extent can you identify theM sound of different musical instruments? To what extent do you remember best K what you have done (compared to seen or heard?) To what extent do you enjoy mental L tests or puzzles? 18/39
  • Questions 1 2 3 4 5code To what extent do you have a good S sense of direction? To what extent do you learn best byW discussion with others? To what extent for social life do you P generally prefer parties/group activity? To what extent have you a sense of I your own strengths and weaknesses? To what extent do you have a strong & N active interest in environmental issues? To what extent can you rememberM tunes or rhythm in music? To what extent do you like to think K through problems while engaged in physical pursuits, such as walking or running? To what extent do you like to L categorize, group or organise things? To what extent do you find that films, S slides & videos are particularly significant in helping you learn? To what extent do you enjoy speakingW formally in public? To what extent are you an easy person P to get to know? To what extent do you get angry or I badly frustrated when you fail or things go wrong for you? To what extent would you enjoy N working in some form of environment/nature related career? To what extent can you easily identifyM composers by just listening to the music? To what extent can you concentrate & K sit still for long periods? To what extent are you interested in L science or solving science related problems? To what extent are you good at judging S spaces and distances between things? To what extent are you good atW explaining things logically to others? To what extent would you consider P yourself to be a person who easily takes good advice from others? 19/39
  • Questions 1 2 3 4 5code To what extent do you prefer to think I through your own problems, rather than seek advice from others? To what extent are you informed about N global environmental issues? To what extent is music important inM your life? To what extent do you prefer physical K leisure activity to non-physical? To what extent do you take a L systematic, step-by-step approach to solving problems? To what extent are you creative in a S visual way, e.g. art/photography/design etc? To what extent are you a convincingW speaker? To what extent do you consider yourself P to be a sociable person? To what extent is thinking problems I out alone more important than talking them out with others? To what extent do you relax and unwind N outdoors? To what extent do you discuss or listenM to music in the company of others? To what extent do you enjoy physical K movement as a form of relaxation? To what extent do you always look for a L logical explanation of things? To what extent are you observant & see S things others do not notice? To what extent are you good at verballyW explaining things to other people? To what extent can you take the lead in P discussion with groups of people? To what extent do you look for unique I or unusual ways to solve personal problems or achieve personal goals? To what extent can you identify the N differences between plants? Do you have a strong liking for theM sound of certain instruments or groups? To what extent do you enjoy any form K of travel, even bus and train journeys? 20/39
  • Questions 1 2 3 4 5code To what extent are you good at L budgeting with money? To what extent can you visualize how S things look from different perspectives? To what extent do you enjoyW expressing your ideas in writing? To what extent can you make people P feel comfortable and at ease with you or each other? To what extent do you like to do things I by yourself? To what extent are you concerned with N environmental issues?Now you can begin scoring your responses. First, add up the total scoreallocated to questions in each of the eight recurring code categories. Themaximum score possible for any of the eight categories is 50.Write the total scores for each category in the spaces below.M K L S32 39 34 37W P I N29 35 34 37Next, rank your scores, with the highest at the top, in the column below. Code 1 K 39 2 N 37 3 S 37 4 P 35 5 L 34 6 I 34 7 M 32 8 W 29 21/39
  • The eight intelligence areas identified by Gardner are: Code Type of Intelligence W Linguistic L Mathematical/Logical S Visual/Spatial K (Kinesthetic) Bodily/Physical M Musical P Interpersonal (Social) I Intrapersonal (Inner) N Environment/Nature relatedGardner has claimed that the eight intelligences rarely operateindependently; they combine and overlap. Most of us therefore have someaptitude in all eight areas, although we tend to incline more, or areinterested in, at least one of them. In graduate work you may be required todisplay intelligence in almost all of these ways; however over the next fewpages are descriptions of the eight which can help you decide which you wantto focus on throughout your career. 22/39
  • THE EIGHT INTELLIGENCES:Remember, most of us will have some aptitude or interest in some aspects ofall of these. But it is likely that you are particularly inclined to at least oneof these eight intelligences.LINGUISTIC INTELLIGENCE:The ability to use language in an advanced way.You are likely to be tuned-in to the meanings, power, rhythms and influenceof words.You are likely to be interested and proficient in one or more of:  Learning languages  Verbal arguments/debating  Crosswords, word puzzles  Letter/report writing  Form filling  Research  Creative writing  Giving clear explanations  Giving instructions  Essay writingCareers:There are very few careers that will not involve the use of words!However, what we are emphasising here is an advanced application of thisskill in the work place.Authors, actors, advertisers, journalists, poets and politicians are obviousexamples of people with linguistic intelligence and who have decided to applythis skill in particular ways.Other relevant careers include publishing, library & information services,teaching, translating, sales, public relations and marketing. 23/39
  • LOGICAL/MATHEMATICAL INTELLIGENCEThe ability to reason and calculate, to think things through in a logical,systematic and quantifiable manner.It also involves the ability to detect patterns and make connections betweendifferent phenomena or activities and to understand relationships betweenactions. It involves both inductive and deductive reasoning skills and acritical-creative approach to problem solving.You are likely to be interested in one or more of:  Budgeting  Accounts  Planning  Calculating  Strategy  Logic  Estimating quantities  Managing/planning time  Mathematics  Statistics  ComputingCareers:These are the kinds of skills highly developed in economists, accountants andall numerical related careers, members of the legal profession, plusengineers, computer programmers and scientists.ENVIRONMENTAL INTELLIGENCEThe ability to recognise and categorise flora and faunaand other features or elements of the natural world.You are likely to be significantly interested in one or more of:  Biology  Ecology  Horticulture/gardening  Wildlife/nature  Environment/conservation  Animals/animal welfareCareers:Farmers, botanists, horticulturists, conservationists, biologists,environmentalists, environment campaigners and animal welfare workerswould all apply this intelligence. 24/39
  • VISUAL-SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE:The ability to visualize a creative result in relation tophysical space and/or animate or inanimate forms.It includes the ability to think inthree-dimensional ways and to convert these ideasinto some form of tangible creative form.It also includes the ability to work with a rangeof tools or resources to produce a finished object.But you also use this skill if you have a good sense of direction and therelationship of objects to space and distance.You are likely to be interested in one or more of:  Art & design in all forms, including photography  Visual planning  Creative activities involving material objects  Crafts  Decoration  Body & hair care  Imagery: use of mental imagery for all creative or observational activitiesCareers:Architects, artists, designers, photographers, beauty therapists, hairdressersand strategic planners have all decided to apply this skill; but it is alsorequired of pilots, navigators, professional drivers and surveyors. 25/39
  • BODILY/PHYSICAL INTELLIGENCE:The ability to use and synchronise your body deftly, skilfully or creatively tomake things, or solve physically related problems; to test yourself againstothers physically; or to present ideas, moods and emotions.You are likely to be interested in one or more of:  Sport  Dance  Athletics  Manual & craft work of all kinds  Walking/outdoor pursuits  Remedial physical work, e.g. massageCareers:This ability is most obviously displayed in athletic pursuits, dancing, acting,crafts, building and construction, medical/physical remedial careers and awide range of outdoor-manual jobs.MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE:The ability to make or compose music, sing well, keep rhythm, or understandand appreciate music.It can also involve being sensitive to the nuance, emotion or mood expressedby or related to sounds.It can also connect with a particular interest you may have in audio or audio/visual forms of communication.Careers:It is a skill applied obviously by musicians, composers, recording & soundengineers and others with a related interest in sound and especially music.Speech and hearing therapists are also likely to have an interest in thisparticular intelligence. 26/39
  • INTERPERSONAL (Social) INTELLIGENCEIt is concerned with the capacity and ability to understand the motivationsand actions of others. It is applied in an ability to work effectively withothers, to relate well to other people and help others develop.This is a vital human intelligence displayed byproficient teachers, facilitators, therapists, politicians,religious leaders and sales people.You are likely to be interested in one or more of:  Team work/group work  Leading others  Mentoring others  Managing/supervising others  Helping others with problems  Teaching/training others…and the wide range of socially oriented jobs that connect with this skill.INTRAPERSONAL (Inner) INTELLIGENCEThis involves the ability for self-analysis and reflection,including honestly assessing ones accomplishments,reviewing own behaviour and innermost feelings, makingrealistic plans and setting clear goals.You are likely to be interested in one or more of:  Planning your own time  Understanding your own or other people’s feelings & moods  Understanding other people’s motives or behaviour  Setting personal goals  Keeping a personal diary or journal  Creative writing  Looking for wider connections between things that happenCareers:This ability is increasingly relevant and necessary in many jobs involvingclose interaction, supervision or observation of others, and reflection on selfand the motives of others, and particularly so in the case of counsellors,psychologists, writers and artists.Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligences are often closely related. 27/39
  • YOUR MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE RESULT Some questions to ask yourself.  Can you think of future work opportunities that allow you to combine intelligences you are particularly drawn to?  Are there other intelligences you feel Gardner has neglected in his overall categorisation? If so, what other intelligences should have been included?  Is there a connection between this result and the results from the two previous exercises?Take a moment to write down your thoughts here:There is a clear connection between these results and the VARK resultswhich suggest that I prefer the kinaesthetic work and learning.This would suggest that I am best at having bodily/ physical intelligence.This would lead to different career opportunities such as athletic pursuits,dancing, acting, crafts, building and construction, medical/physical remedialcareers and a wide range of outdoor-manual jobs.I have already been heavily involved in the building and constructionindustry and outdoor manual jobs such as farm work.The exercises so far have focused on your own perceptions of your skills.But what skills are employers looking for from graduates today? This is thesubject of the next section. 28/39
  • SECTION 4: WHAT SKILLS DO GRADUATE RECRUITERS WANT?In the previous exercise you reflected on which skills you wanted to developin the future. However, it is important to bear in mind the skills mostemployers seek of graduates today.In 2008 over 334,890 people graduated from first degree courses in the UK.This figure is set to rise. 189,415 of these graduates had first or uppersecond class honours degrees, (source: HESA). Because of this employersuse the fact that you have a degree, and a degree at a particular level asonly the starting point in recruitment. Most employers recruit based on coreskills. Employers’ surveys consistently find that graduate recruiters requirethe same core skills, regardless of career area. The skills most often citedby employers are: communication, team working, problem solving andnumerical ability. Employers also call these ‘competencies’ and these are thethings they recruit against. So whilst most employers will ask for a minimumstandard of degree classification and other qualifications, they differentiatebetween applicants by looking at these core skills.For example:IBM (UK) state they look for: “foundational competencies, whichcomplement our values and identify the skills youll need to succeed. Theseinclude teamwork, adaptability, drive to achieve, creative problem solvingand first class communication skills”McDonalds state applicants need to: “be confident in approaching anddealing with diverse groups of people. Friendly, courteous and helpfulbehaviour will come naturally to you and you’ll work well as part of a team.Effective communication skills such as attentive listening, face-to-face verbalcommunication and eye contact are a must. You’ll also need to understandthe importance of maintaining high standards of quality and service as wellas cleanliness. The ability to maintain high energy levels whilst working bothefficiently and productively is essential”.Whilst Bentley Motors UK ask that you: “have well-developed problemsolving and analytical skills, possess good interpersonal skills, technicalability, initiative and the enthusiasm to achieve.”Whilst these jobs are very different, they are asking for the sametransferable core skills. 29/39
  • MEASURING UPSo how strong are you in each of these areas, please note that these skillsare the minimum in most advanced level jobs. These are listed in thesections that follow. Tick the column and category for each skill that appliesto you. You may end up with a lot of ticks in the ‘Yes’ boxes, as many arebasic skills, so that’s fine if you do.COMMUNICATION: WRITING SKILLSHow do you rate yourself in the following writing skills? Tick the relevantcolumn. Yes: Reasonable: No: Confident and Nothing special A weak spot! competent and would like to Need to improve improveSpell correctlyExpress myself clearly andconcisely in writingWrite well-structured essays,reports etcGood command of EnglishgrammarTake good notes fromlectures and seminarsClear and legible handwritingWrite formal letters wellUse a wide vocabularyWrite quickly, conveyingclear messagesWhat evidence could you give an employer who was assessing your writingcompetency via this interview question: “Tell me about a time when youhave communicated in writing effectively” Write in the space below.I have got a poem published in a book called poetic voyages when I wasaged 9 30/39
  • COMMUNICATION: VERBAL SKILLSHow do you rate yourself in the following verbal skills? Tick the relevantcolumn. Yes: Reasonable: No: Confident Nothing special A weak spot! and and would like to Need to competent improve improveUse the telephone effectivelyfor business and other formaloccasionsMake an audience or grouppay attention to what you aresayingGive easy and fluentpresentations to others in agroupGive spontaneous and quickanswers to questionsUse the right words to saywhat you meanAsk questions in public at alecture or other public meetingAppear relaxed when talking inpublicContribute your ideas to groupdiscussionsSpeak slowly/clearly whentalking in publicWhat evidence could you give an employer who was assessing your verbalcommunication skills via this interview question: “Tell me about a time whenyou have had to overcome communication difficulties.” Write in the spacebelow. When dealing with customers delivering eggs for my family business I would have to ask for money if it was due and sometimes they would try to leave it till the next week so I occasionally would have to be more firm in showing the need to have the money paid the week that I was expectedABILITY TO WORK IN A TEAMHow do you rate yourself in the following social skills? Tick the relevantcolumn. Yes: Reasonable: No: 31/39
  • Confident and Nothing special A weak spot! Need competent and would like to to improve improveWork well withothers in a teamAccept reasonablecriticism fromothersPersuade others tomy point of viewListen to theopinion of othersMake easyconversation withpeople I have justmetDeal effectivelywith conflict andargumentPut people at theireaseGet on with peoplein authorityWhat evidence could you give an employer to demonstrate at least one ofthe skills you have ticked in the ‘yes’ column? Write in the space below. Example: Give an example of an occasion when you worked as part of a team. What did you do to ensure that the team worked well together? Playing rugby is such a team orientated sport. During colts there is two age groups merging together to create one team. I was on of the main players in the team not only for my individual skills but mainly for my team work skills. I was able to fit into almost every position and fit in well with the team.Communication: Writing SkillsCommunication: Verbal SkillsNUMERICAL SKILLSHow do you rate yourself in the following numerical skills? Tick therelevant column. Yes: Reasonable: No: Confident and Nothing special A weak spot! Need competent and would like to to improve improveUse a calculatorfor all basic 32/39
  • arithmeticalpurposesWork outpercentagesInterpret graphsWork out averagesInterpret piechartsDo accuratearithmeticalcalculations inyour headUse simpleequationsUse fractions incalculationsUnderstand ratiosWork with decimalnumbersWhat evidence could you give an employer to demonstrate at least one ofthe skills you have ticked in the ‘yes’ column? Write in the space below. Due to me working with money I needed to be able to accurately calculate numbers in my head.ANALYTICAL/PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLSHow do you rate yourself in the following Analytical/Problem Solvingskills? Tick the relevant column. Yes: Reasonable: No: Confident and Nothing special A weak spot! Need competent and would like to to improve improveGrasp ideasquickly and 33/39
  • accuratelyAssess thestrengths andweaknesses of anargumentResearch andgather informationor dataConcentrate on atask withoutdistractionCritically evaluateevidence put toyouThink logicallySummarise keyissues fromreportsOrganiseinformation intological categoriesKeep to the pointin discussionsThink quickly tosolve immediateproblemsWhat evidence could you give an employer to demonstrate at least one ofthe skills you have ticked in the ‘yes’ column? Write in the space below.In the essay for social inclusion in structure and governance I had to organize information into logical categories of different points that I had to talk about. I had to do this because I was expected to expand on the points with information on every point so I had to keep each one separate to make it easy to collect all the relevant information together.SKILLS SOUGHT BY EMPLOYERS– A SUMMARYInformation Technology SkillsWhilst IT skills aren’t often specifically requested by employers any more,this may be because there is an assumption that you are IT literate and it isno longer a differentiating factor. How do you rate yourself in the followingInformation Technology skills? Tick the relevant column. 34/39
  • Yes: Reasonable: No: Confident and Nothing special A weak spot! competent and would like Need to improve to improveProduce a smart lookingreport using a wordprocessorUse the internet tosearch for informationSend messages via emailCreate tables in adocumentFind files in a computerdirectory/folderCopy filesAlign and indentparagraphsChange page sizes andmarginsInsert Headers andFootersUse PowerPoint or otherpresentational softwareUse data manipulationsoftware such as SPSSManage data in an ExcelfileWhat evidence could you give an employer to demonstrate at least one ofthe skills you have ticked in the ‘yes’ column? Write in the space below. I can use powerpoint for presentation because for my graphic product course at a level I had to use PowerPoint to compile a portfolio of all the work from research to final finished product made.Go back over the six skill areas and pick out the main skill or individualactivities you felt you were confident and competent at. Summarise theseinthe spaces below. 35/39
  • Now think about skills that you feel need some improvement. Summarisethese in the space below and say how you will go about doing this. I feel confident and competent in these skills:Information technology skillsNumerical skillsAbility to work in a teamcraft workphysical workFinally, list or summarise the skills you feel that you must improve and sayhow and when you will do this:Communication By being at university I will have to I intend on working on thisskills verbal would like to make some improvement while at university. The main I improve my communication skills in these skills: because I will be with people I don’t time this will happen is in the Skills: know Iso I will to do this: that way. How intend improve it accommodationto do this: When I intend where I will be spending most time with peopleCommunication I will book an appointment with the I intend on going to the helpskills written help zone to help me structure essays zone with in the first semester and other ways of writing that I will so I will be able to get the Weak spots! I must try and improve these skills: need to use for university. good grades on my Skills I must improve: How I intend to do this: assignments. When I intend to do this: 36/39
  • SECTION 5: PULLING IT ALL TOGETHERThis final section pulls together the results of all the exercises in thisworkbook. Go back over the exercises and summarise the main points orresult from each. Exercise 1 Exercise 2 Exercise 3 Exercise 4An overview of the Skills audit for my Deferent Saying how you canskills I have in strongest skills like intelligence skills I you the skills to getcareer, academic keeping fit and my scored most highly a job. I scored welland social. weaker skills like on the kinaesthetic in most of the verbal then the visual and sections but a fewCareer- good communication nature. I scored like the writtenworking physically lowest in the communicationwith my hands etc linguistic section needed to be a bit though higher.Academic- usingquotes to back up apointSocial- go atorganising smallthing with friendslike meeting up fora night out ectIs there a common denominator or thread running through all yourresponses to the exercises in the workbook? If so, what is it? I am good at physical kinesthetic work. I also am better at understanding thing visuallyFinally, are there any particular aspects of yourself that you would really liketo change or develop? If so: I would like to improve my written skills because I feel that is a weak point.What? 37/39
  • I would like to improve my written skills because university depends soWhy? heavily on written skill and even after university it is still a key skill in everyday life.How & I will do extra classes to help me in this area. I have looked at books whichWhen? explain how to write essays as wellRemember that your skills are only one aspect of what matches you to aparticular occupational area; you should also consider your personality andinterests. The next workbook in the series can help you to do that.Other Topics in the SeriesThere are several topics in the Series of Futures workbooks looking at self-assessment, job selection methods and effective communication withemployers. They are available to download fromwww.leedsmet.ac.uk/careers/siteindex 38/39
  • Assessing Your Skills Further Your Selection Personality Methods and values Decision Making and JobInterviews Problem Skills Solving CV’s and Job Letters to Search Employers Work Experience 39/39