6 ‘must have’ employability traits

The Truth; finding your place in the world of work, if you have recently graduated, competing with thousands of other new grads, is a hard task. It possibly feels overwhelming.

The Dare; focus on quickly learning these 6 ‘must have’ traits that employable people enjoy:


  1. Develop skills in something specific. It doesn’t mean you have to be an expert. It means you offer some degree of value to a solution that solves an organisation’s problem. Discipline-specific knowledge can bring great value. Recognise your strengths, skills and limitations.
  2. Demonstrate generic skills. Organisations favour applicants who can demonstrate a range of skills and enjoy extra-curricular activities like sports, community work, drama and music groups. It demonstrates time management, communication, problems solving, teamwork and a range of other useful skills.  Define what you want to do and what you don’t want to do.
  3. Become emotionally intelligent. How well you understand and manage your emotions has a huge impact on how you manage yourself and your job search. Handling tough situations and getting along with others is critical. Coping with job search rejection and resilience is equally important as what’s in your cover letter and resume.
  4. Reveal your self-confidenceBecome more motivated and positive about your future.  Set yourself personal and professional goals. Break down an amazing audacious goal into smaller goals and start now. Show initiative and self-discipline in all you do.
  5. Adapt to change as you reflect on your past experiences.  Keep doing what worksand change what isn’t working. Make more informed decisions about your personal and working life because of what experience has taught you. Adjust what you do in the face of ongoing challenges.
  6. Choose to be a life-long learner. Be genuinely curious to learn. Be well-organised and interested in other people, things and places. Career management is a lifelong dedication not a once off experience.

 Truth; It is highly unlikely there is a ‘dream job’ waiting for you.

In Strengthening the connection between education and employment, ICEF Monitor, a market intelligence resource for the international education industry highlights the need for more alignment between higher education and labour market needs. Higher education institutions in the UK, including University of Edinburgh concur; ‘a degree is no longer enough’ to be employable.

Dare; Step up to the challenge of finding meaningful work. It is an effortful goal worth aiming for.

Rita Holland is the founder and Director of Job Search Matters and Employability and has forged her career as one of Sydney's most successful practitioners and thought leaders in career transition. The dream emerges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *