Make yourself employable

Everyone talks about 'employability' but what does it actually mean? Basically it's about making yourself attractive to employers, both as a new graduate and throughout your career. Skills, knowledge, personal attributes and the ability to convey them effectively all contribute to employability. Employer requirements vary in detail and there's no single blueprint for being employable but, with around 300,000 students graduating a year, it's important to make your future applications stand out. You can do that by gaining knowledge, skills and experience from early in your degree.

The information in this section of our website will help you focus on the skills that graduate recruiters are looking for, suggest strategies for how you can make yourself more employable and identify further information resources.

Will employers really value my degree?

Students on non-vocational courses often worry that all the jobs are in engineering and IT but approx 60% of graduate vacancies welcome all degree disciplines. If your course is not closely related to any particular job, employers will probably be more interested in the skills you've gained than the detailed subject content.

If there isn't a single obvious career path from your degree, plan ahead to get the knowledge and skills that will convince employers of your suitability for their professional area. This could be through sandwich placements, work experience, work shadowing or voluntary work. You'll impress employers if you can say: 'I've tried this job and know I enjoy it and can do it well'. The Prospects Options series introduces opportunities for degree disciplines. To find out what past graduates from your course have done go to What do Brunel graduates do? or visit the Placement and Careers Centre to talk to a Career Consultant.

Employers have cited that relevant work experience is on the top of their list when recruiting graduates. View our sandwich placements page for more information about these opportunities.

The Higher Education Achievement Report

The Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) is designed to replace the existing transcript. It is being introduced in over 90 Universities and Colleges and reflects the belief that a degree classification alone cannot do justice to the knowledge, skills and experience gained by Brunel students, although the degree classification will continue to be of significance. Employers and postgraduate admissions tutors are interested in a much wider range of graduate capabilities than those captured purely in marks and grades, although these will remain an essential element of the HEAR. There are lots of activities you can get involved with at Brunel which will be accredited and included in your HEAR and you can find detail of these on the HEAR web pages.


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Page last updated: Thursday 04 September 2014