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Finding career ideas

Identifying and developing your skills

Many students change their mind about their planned career while they are at university. Sometimes thinking about what skills you have as well as your personality strengths and weaknesses can point you towards a career you hadn't considered.

Students and recent graduates can find it a challenge to identify and express these skills on CVs and applications. There is software available that can help you identify strengths and weaknesses.

Don’t forget to speak to lecturers on your course for advice or look on myCourse at the unit descriptors for units you have taken. Skills development forms part of the learning outcomes for each unit.

  • Once you’ve identified your strengths it will be easier to display them on your CV and articulate them at an interview.
  • Once you’ve identified any weaknesses you can look into programmes at Solent that can help to fill any skills gaps - mentoring, being a course rep, volunteering for example.

Skills are developed through life, work and study experiences. Many of these skills are likely to be transferable to different parts of your life, such as time management, leadership and applying initiative. You may already possess, and will continue to acquire, specialist knowledge linked to the work you do.

Many students and recent graduates find it difficult to identify the skills they already possess which means they may not apply for jobs they are qualified for.

Careers self-assessment

Do a self-assessment to help you identify all the key information about yourself.

As well as generating career ideas, doing this will help you provide valuable examples to demonstrate these skills on your CV or at interviews. It will also enable you to benchmark your employability, flag up any gaps and ensure you keep on track with the type of opportunities that are right for you. In effect, it prepares you to run an effective job search campaign. If you have a clear idea of your strengths and weaknesses based on solid evidence, this will probably improve your confidence.

So how do you go about conducting a careers self-assessment?

Here are two self awareness tools (there are many more out there):

  1. Do the skills health check produced by the National Careers Service.
  2. Visit the Self Awareness section of CareerBox, which is on Solent Online Learning. 

Employability self evaluation test

This test is designed to help you reflect on different aspects of your employability.

At the end of it you will get a graph showing how you rated yourself. The main purpose is to encourage you to become aware of the various aspects of employability and to think about how you might develop in each of the different areas.

You will find the resulting graph more helpful for your future planning if you take your time when answering. 

There are 48 questions altogether. The test should take about 10-15 minutes.

Take the employability self evaluation test now

If you are an academic and would like to know how this test could be used to measure employability confidence at course level, please contact


Page last updated on Tuesday 30 May 2017 at 3.34pm.


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