What are employability skills?

Illustrative representation of What are employability skills?

Employability skills are the essential skills, personal qualities and values that enable you to thrive in any workplace.

These are also called ‘enterprise skills’, 'communication skills' or ‘workplace skills'.

Employability skills include things like:

  • Good communication
  • Motivation and initiative
  • Leadership
  • Reliability/dependability
  • Following instructions
  • Team work
  • Patience
  • Adaptability
  • Emotional control
  • Resilience

You can build your employability skills through participation in:

  • paid work
  • unpaid work and volunteering
  • sport and other hobbies
  • community or other group activities.

How do you demonstrate these skills to employers?

All employers value these skills. In your job application you should highlight examples of when you used these skills. You should also explain how these skills can benefit the business and make you the best candidate for the job.

For example, you might outline how you pride yourself on your excellent time management and organisational skills. You could explain that this means that all your school work is delivered on time and completed to a high standard.

You can also demonstrate your employability to employers through how you conduct your job search. Here are some examples of your employability skills in action:

  • When you contact employers about jobs you are demonstrating your communication skills and showing initiative and motivation.
  • When you you show up to an interview prepared and on time it demonstrates your reliability and ability to follow instructions.

Use our workbook ‘Profile your employability skills’ to learn more about these skills. This workbook also includes more ideas of how you can include them in your job application to meet the employer’s needs.

These tools can help you:

…Or you can browse Job Jumpstart for other ideas and suggestions of what to do next.