MK2025 Employability and Professional Development 2010/11
I will discuss in this report what employers want from graduate recruits and provide a critical evaluation and assessment of my existing employability skills and capabilities. I will continue to discuss what steps I have taken to analyse my current skills and capabilities.
What is employability?
Employability is having a set of skills, knowledge, understanding, and personal attributes which make a person more likely to chose and secure occupations in which they can be satisfied and successful. (Dacre Pool & Sewell, 2007)
Employers look for applicants who already have the relevant skills, confident, and are competent in getting the job done with minimum training and direction.
Bright and Earl (2007) recommends that when applying for jobs, candidates should always keep in mind ‘an employer’s WIIFT’. WIIFT stands for ‘What’s In It For Them?’ The more knowledge you have about the company the more you can identify which skills the employers is looking for and what benefits you can bring to the company.
Leaving university with a good degree is a pre-requisite in the graduate employment market, but this alone is not enough to secure a place on the graduate programs being offered. There are a set of attributes, skills and knowledge that all participants in the labour market should possess to ensure they are capable of being effective in the workplace. This should benefit themselves, their prospective employer and the wider economy.
Personal Development Planning
As we have just seen most jobs graduates want require a range of qualities and skills that take time, support and good planning to develop. In Britain, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) required universities to provide PDP and progress files for all undergraduates. This consists of:
A Personal Development Planning Process
Personal records of learning and achievement
A formal transcript provided by the institution
PDP is a process in which you review, build and reflect on your personal and educational development. It encourages you to take a step back and reflect on what you have achieved on a structured way. It also identifies what your goals are and how to accomplish these goals.
Benefits of the PDP
Many employers now expect employees to understand their own performance. Whilst some employers offer training, it is now more typical to expect graduates to arrive ready to manage both their own performance and other peoples.
Evaluation of my skills
I have utilised different models to be able to evaluate my skills and give me an understanding of myself. These are the models that I have utilised:
Improving Personal Performance
From these results I have been able to analyse my personal performance and highlight all the stages in which I have approached in improving performance. I am now able to breakdown what I was trying to improve and the obstacles and issues I faced throughout the process. I am also able to understand what problems I faced and how I would approach this in future.
In this model I have analysed what I think are my strong qualities and have given examples of where I have developed this skill. I have thought about where I have demonstrated this quality throughout my life. I have been able to analyse how this skill in particular will benefit me in my career and how a prospective employer would value this particular quality.
In this model I was given the chance to highlight which aspects in the questionnaire were relevant to me and if I felt I was able to carry out the certain tasks. I feel this task has allowed me to understand and test myself. This has also shown me which areas I know I have weaknesses in and that need improvement.
Priorities for Personal Development
This tool involved me in thinking about what aspects that I felt I wanted to develop further in regards to skills and my career. I feel this was a very helpful tool as it allowed me to think about my future and really have an understanding of what I needed to do to kick start my career. It also gave me the opportunity to highlight which areas I felt were more important and give them a rating thus prioritising when thinking about my career. Not only was I able to give importance to each activity I was also able to give myself a timeline of when I was thinking of achieving this and how I would go about it.
In regards to this report I now feel the full benefits of being able to analyse my skills, qualities and personality traits. Before I may have found it hard to fully understand myself and would not have given a critical evaluation of myself. It would not have been a true reflection of me and thus not helping in enhancing myself. Now I am able to understand at a much more critical level my strength and weaknesses and be able to populate a plan in how to enhance my career and my skills to make me successful within the job market.
Do I need personal development planning?
For each of the following statements, rate your responses as outlined below. Note that ‘agree’ carries no score.
Insert your score in the box then check your rating below. Please note you will be taken to another page to validate your results.
0 = ‘agree’
1 = ‘sort of agree’
2 = ‘disagree’
3 = ‘don’t know’
Top of Form
I know what personal development is
I have good personal records of my life and achievements
I have clear life goals
I know what job I want to do
I know what courses I need to take to get the job I want
know what extra-curricular activities I need to do to help me get the job I want
I know what skills are required by employers for the kind of career that interests me
I have an up-to-date record of education and training
I have an up-to-date record of my employment history and work experience
I have an up-to-date profile of my skills and personal qualities
I know my personal qualities
I can easily give examples of where I demonstrate my personal qualities
I am confident about all aspects of applying for a job
I know what is meant by a competence-based job application
I have detailed personal records of my key competences
I know what my priorities are for personal development
I have an action plan for my personal development
I know the PDP opportunities that are open to me
I regularly monitor my own performance
I regularly undertake a formal evaluation of my performance
I am good at ‘structured reflection’
I am clear about the range of services offered by the careers advisory service
I have a good understanding of health and safety issues
I have a good understanding of equal opportunities issues
I know where to go for more information about PDP
Bottom of Form
Score = 2
Double your score to get a percentage.
Interpreting your score
Although this is only a rough guide, you now have a personal development ‘needs’ score.
Zero: you don’t appear to need PDP at present. However, this is likely to change within a few months or even weeks, as your circumstances change.
0-30%: you have some PDP needs. How essential is it to you to address these PDP issues?
30-60%: PDP is likely to be of use to you – the higher your score, the more likely it is that you need to undertake personal development. This website can help you explore this further.
60-100%: this is a high score. Your PDP needs appear to be high. This website can help you get started but it is probably a good idea to speak to a careers adviser sooner rather than later.
I feel this report and the course in general will give me the skill to be able to understand and evaluate myself at a more critical level. Throughout the course I would like to further develop the skill of self evaluation and highlighting my strengths and weaknesses in regards to my qualities and skills. I also feel that the skills gained will allow me to start to prioritise and manage my career at a much more professional level. By also having a structure in analysing my strengths and weaknesses, this will make it much more easier to evaluate my progress and areas in which need improvement.
I also feel the course will give me a greater understanding of what employers want from graduates and the process of recruitment. By understanding the criteria and skills that employers are looking for, I am able to adapt my CV to highlight the areas of importance and show that I am the best candidate for the job. I am confident the course will make me more aware of the recruitment process and prepare me for the future and in my career.