University of Bath

Choose a career: develop your employability

Find out what employability is and the things you can do to make yourself more employable.

Introduction

Developing your employability starts from day one at university. There are many things you can do to make yourself more employable and lots of help is available to support you during your time at the University of Bath.

What is employability

  • It's a set of achievements, skills, attitudes and personal attributes that make you more likely to be employed and to stay employed.
  • It's something you build on and develop at University through your studies, work experience and extra-curricular activities.
  • It's something to work at throughout your career so you can grow and develop and hopefully achieve the level of success you want.
  • It's something you need to be able to market yourself to potential employers.

Valuing your degree

  • Acquiring subject knowledge is important but so are the other skills you learn from the study of your subject.
  • Think about the way you study your subject and whether this has taught you any of the top skills employers look for below.
  • Make sure you know and can articulate the key skills your subject has taught you in your CV and at interview.
  • Remain focused on the reasons you enjoy your subject and what skills you are developing, even if you don’t want to use your subject knowledge in your career.

Developing your CV and the Bath Award

  • Take advantage of the many University clubs, societies and volunteering activities on offer and enrich your employability skills.
  • Keep a record of what you have done so when you apply for jobs you don’t forget your achievements and the skills you've gained.
  • Take part in skills events run by the Careers Service and the Students’ Union.
  • Give yourself an edge with the Bath Award. Get accredited for skills you have developed and the Award will appear on your degree transcript.

Gaining work experience

  • Make yourself aware of placements, internships, part-time jobs, voluntary work, short courses, insight days or work shadowing.
  • Find part-time, term-time work through Joblink.
  • Read our Finding work experience guide.
  • Start early in the academic year if you want to get a place on some top graduate recruiters' courses, internships and placement schemes.
  • Keep checking MyFuture for opportunities.
  • For sandwich placements, get to know your departmental placement office team.

Researching your career options

  • Think about what is important to you in a job; know your strengths, interests, skills and values, and what you have to offer an employer.
  • Do you know what jobs might suit you? To learn about and access online guidance tools, read our find out what you want page.
  • What types of work could you do, who do you want to work for? Learn how to find out about occupations in our find out what you want page, to expand your knowledge.
  • Use Bath Connection to get realistic information and advice about what jobs involve. Make your own contacts too. Read networking advice in the How to look for work experience chapter of our Finding work experience guide.

Top skills and attitudes employers look for

These are the skills top graduate recruiters look for:

  • Teamwork, communication, customer care, emotional intelligence.
  • Problem solving, creativity, enterprise, commercial awareness.
  • Leadership, time management, IT and digital literacy skills.
  • Make sure you can demonstrate them in applications and interviews.

These are some of the attitudes you need to demonstrate which can persuade an employer you are the right fit for them:

  • Passion, energy, can-do approach, flexibility, resilience.
  • Self-reliance, respect for others, focus on personal development.

For further guidance see the Career choice and Development section of our resource catalogue.

Job search strategies

Our vacancies advertised in MyFuture cover a good range but not all types of jobs. Get to know the appropriate strategy for your chosen career, where jobs are advertised (if at all), and how you might network your way to a job. Company culture, size and desired location will also affect how you search. Read our Finding work experience guide.

With our knowledge of recruitment, we can advise and support you through your job-hunting. Timing is crucial so start at the beginning of the academic year for work experience or graduate jobs, or you might miss early deadlines.

Learn enterprise and commercial awareness skills

Relevant to all employers including the not-for-profit and public sectors.

Enterprise

An ability to demonstrate an innovative approach, creativity, collaboration and risk-taking. Bath is a great place to gain experience through the Students' Union's ENACTUS and Bath Enterprise. Look out on campus and online for business competitions e.g. in MyFuture.

Commercial awareness

An understanding of what makes an organisation successful and the factors that influence success. Keep up to date with business news and the sectors you aim to work in. Develop opinions about what you have read.

Application and interview success

Be prepared to spend time and effort on your applications and interviews. It's a crowded market place; however if you get the right advice you stand an excellent chance of success.

  • Our team are the experts and we have a wealth of resources on our website.
  • Attend workshops bookable through MyFuture.
  • Follow up with some personal help from our team to make sure you get it right.
  • Aim for fewer well-focused applications rather than many generic non-targeted ones.

Develop and manage your digital identity

  • Can you manage your online image and reputation?
  • Can you keep separate your personal and professional online activity?
  • When you Google yourself are you happy with what others see about you? Employers may be checking you out before an interview so will they like what they see?
  • Can you communicate your ideas effectively through a range of digital media?
  • Do you know how to use Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging to build your online identity as well as to network and job-hunt?

If you are not sure about any of these questions check out our web page on digital literacy.

Other pages on choosing a career