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How to develop your skills

How to develop your skills

How to develop your skills

I came here to study and for the experience - why worry about skills?

Hundreds of thousands of graduates enter the job market every year.   In such a competitive market, it is essential that you have more to offer a potential employer than degree alone; employers look for evidence of well-rounded individuals with the potential to succeed in their organisation - this is where skills come in. 

The good news is that developing the skills employers want does not have to be at the expense of your university experience - in fact, getting involved in all aspects of university life will help you develop the very skills and attributes which employers value and therefore stand out during the application process.

You have a huge range of opportunities open to you as a student at the University of Leeds, and probably more opportunity to try out a whole range of things than you will have at any other time of your life. By making the most of these opportunities you will not only have a great time, develop valuable skills and make new friends, you will also be investing in your future - what are you waiting for?

What can I do?

There is so much on offer to you at Leeds that we cannot possibly list everything, but we have outlined below some great starting points to help you begin to explore opportunities.

  • Get a part-time job: Earn while you learn! Not only will part-time work provide you with a bit of cash, but it is a great way to develop, and evidence, useful transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, time-management and more.
  • Investigate clubs and societies: Leeds University Union has over 300 clubs and societies covering all sorts of interests; why not check some out to see what you could get involved with, or even set up your own? Employers particularly value positions of responsibility within clubs and societies so look out for such opportunities.
  • Explore Leeds for Life: Check out the hundreds of opportunities to develop skills - both school-specific and university-wide. Make use of the 'Living CV' function to keep track of all the skills you are developing. Trust us, this will be invaluable and save you lots of time when you come to apply for jobs. Want to undertake a specific project to help others? You may be eligible for a grant from the Leeds for Life Foundation.
  • Get some work experience: Having relevant work experience always comes near the top of graduate recruiters' wish lists. As well as developing your skills, it can be a great way to help you explore career options and ideas, as well as develop useful contacts.
  • Volunteer: Not only is volunteering a great way to give back to local communities or help others, it is a fantastic way to develop and demonstrate skills which will be valued by future employers.  You can find opportunities through the University of Leeds Volunteering Hub.
  • Study abroad: Each year over 900 University of Leeds students study abroad. Living and studying in another country will broaden your horizons, improve your confidence and your cross cultural experience will be valued by employers.
  • Career development modules: We offer a range of career development modules to help you with your career planning and decision making.
  • Skills@library: Can help you with specific skills such as communication, presentation, numeracy, time management and more. See what they have to offer

Find out more

Working towards your future a joint publication by NUS and CBI on making the most of your time at university.