Skills that show you’re Work Ready

Many students don’t realise just how many skills they have. Especially the ones they have learnt whilst at University doing everyday activities.

Here is a handy guide to help you fill in your CV by showing you what skills your everyday activities require or have helped you build over the past few years.

Balancing work and social life
We all do this. Going to lectures during the day, meeting up with friends in the evenings and weekends, generally making the most of your time while you can, is all skill building!

Time management, that is what you are doing whilst having the time of your life, getting your essays written on time, planning your exam revision, is you demonstrating your ability to assess the time needed for a piece of work and ensuring you plan and finish your task to a deadline. You are also assessing which piece of work takes priority. Dissertations and exam preparation are a great example of this, especially in combination with commitment to sports, societies, volunteering or a job.

  • Time management
  • Prioritising work in order of importance

​Being a part of a Sport or Society
Yes, you are making friends, doing something you love and getting more involved in things outside your course,  but you're also building your communication skills.

Taking part in an activity alongside a group of people requires clear, concise and accurate communication skills, especially in Sports. Any team outing, gathering or meeting will require you to listen to what is being said, take notes and act on the information.

As a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Social Secretary, or another key role in an Activity, you will need to take (sometimes) complex information and relay it to the rest of your team. You will need to minute meetings, give clear instructions and ensure accuracy on all information given. A key tool in any organisation!

  • Communication
  • Minute meetings
  • Clear Instructions
  • Accuracy

Volunteering or working
If you have a job or you're volunteering with regular hours this shows you are capable of accepting additional responsibility and an ability to work in different environments.

It demonstrates an ability to work with other people, sometimes people you may not get along with, introducing skills such as compromise, dealing with challenging situations, understanding others work differently to you, dealing with criticism from a customer, working well under pressure. You get the picture.

  • Compromise
  • Dealing with challenging situations
  • Working under pressure
  • Attention to detail
  • Adapting to different situations
  • Adapting communication styles

Take note of everything you do whilst in this role, what are you responsible for? Handling cash makes you trustworthy, filling in paper work shows your attention to detail, talking to different people can demonstrate an ability to adapt to different situations and enable you to alter your communication skills to suit an audience.

Essentially these two things are a goldmine for skill building!

Attending Workshops
Obviously this will help you gain skills in whatever your workshop is aimed at, so that’s easy, but it also shows initiative. Booking onto anything like this shows that you are aware of any gaps in your knowledge and are willing to do something about it. Employers love employees who aren’t scared to admit they need training in certain areas, confidence and willingness to improve and learn are key skills here.

  • Self-awareness
  • Initiative

Arranging a trip – anywhere.
If you’re the ‘organiser’ of your friend group, you will know just how stressful it can be to actually make any plan come to fruition. So here are where the skills come in, the main one being organisation.

Finding a date to suit everyone will no doubt require you to use some online diary, provide a number of options and then chose the one to suit the most people. Here you are teaching yourself to use online tools and make the best decision.

Having everyone agree on a place, usually this just requires either making a decision and having that additional responsibility or ensuring each aspect of the trip is agreed by the majority of people.

Arranging transport, if you’re lucky enough to have everyone leaving from one area you still need to find trains, planes, cars and plan how long it will take to get there, times to set off etc.

Relaying all the decisions made to everyone in a clear way, finding the best way to provide the information to everyone.

Basically the whole thing is a nightmare so let’s hope you’re planning a trip somewhere like a spa.

  • Decision making
  • Responsibility
  • Organisation
  • Using tools effectively
  • Inclusive
  • Firm but fair
  • Clear communicator
  • Patience


Hopefully this article has been useful to help you analyse everyday situations and identify skills you may not be aware of!

Find out how you can make your CV stand out to employers here.