Woman in a coffee shop writing in her notebook

Especially when you are at university, it’s great to spend some time at the beginning of each year assessing what skills you’ve got and where you can improve. Use our blog ‘What skills do I need as a graduate?’ to help you understand the skills that you need and what you’ve got. 

Once you’ve a basic understanding of the skills that you need, you can then draw up a quick spreadsheet or table like the one below to assess them.

Skills valued by employersI've no experience of thisI can improve thisI'm very good at this
Problem Solving   x  
Team Working   x  
Self-management     x
Business & customer awareness x    
Application of IT   x  
Application of Numeracy & Data Analysis   x  
Leadership x    
Positive Attitude     x
Enterprise, Creativity & Innovation x    
Resiliance, Perservance & Motivation   x  
Research & Use of Info x    
Global Awareness x  
Working under Pressure   x  
Presentation   x  
Written Communication      x

Use our blog ‘What skills do you gain at uni?’ to think about what skills you’ve got and you could have gained them before uni as well. You could also ask your friends and family as they might have a better understanding, and might be able to explain how and where you are good at things. 

Once you’ve an understanding of the skills you currently have and where you need to improve you can then devise an action plan to help you develop those skills over the course of the year. Remember that you don’t need to gain all the skills you need to improve in one year, and skills you need depends on where you are in your university journey. 

  • First Year: Gain a generic skillset useful to all employers.
  • Penultimate Year: After you’ve a better understanding of the career you want to go into, develop a skillset based on this. This could also include specific skills, such as learning a programming language, or taking up the marketing and events role in your society if you are interested in a career in marketing.
  • Final Year: Hone and refine your skillset so that you can talk to employers about them with confidence and have enough examples for interviews.
Skill to be developedAction to be taken
Leadership Take on a leadership role in the Netball Team
Global Awareness Apply for a study abroad programme for year 3

Once the academic year is up, you’ve then got the chance to reassess your skills for the following year. You’ll still have some skills that need work, especially when you’ve more of an idea of what you want to achieve after uni, but they’ll be others where you feel as though you’ve developed enough confidence and experience.