As the world of work changes and employees are expected to take responsibility for their own performance, organisation and planning skills are seen as increasingly important.
In the workplace organisation skills are about the capacity to:
- Allocate appropriate amounts of time and resources to each task you are working on
- Organise your own workload and prioritise different tasks simultaneously
- Monitor your own performance and review progress
- Set achievable and realistic goals and implement a systematic and organised strategy to achieve them
- Plan ahead in order to anticipate issues and challenges
The following examples of organisation and planning can be developed as part of your degree, part-time work, sandwich placements, voluntary work, hobbies, clubs and societies:
- Setting and meeting deadlines and project dates
- Writing project plans
- Using Gantt charts or project planning software
- Delegating/allocating tasks to the most appropriate person
- Planning a gap year
- Organising social, charity or sporting events
- Checking, monitoring and reviewing progress of plans to gain insight for the future
Employers are always hungry for hard evidence. A lot of selection and interview practice is competency based. Basically that means that employers score the evidence they find from your application form, interview and other selection procedures to come up with a final assessment of your suitability for the post.
You will need to be reflective in the way that you describe the examples you have developed. The STAR approach where you explain the situation, task, action and result will help you to articulate your evidence in a convincing way. Identify examples of your organisation skills in the Identifying Skills work sheet.
Examples of competency based questions used by graduate recruiters relating to organisation skills:
- Give an example of a time when you successfully organised and led a project (Kellogg's)
- Describe a situation when you have had to change your priorities due to an urgent request (Gist Logistics)
- Give an example of when you were involved in a multi-task situation. How did you manage it? (Deloitte)
The following sources of information will help you to develop your confidence in this area:
- The Selling your skills on paper section of our website will help you articulate the skills you have developed
- You can view a 20 minute DVD about online applications from the secure resources section of our website
- You can also hear from employers themselves about what they like to see in applications and interviews by coming to the relevant events on campus
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) - What employability skills do you have?
- Use My Ability - Self management