Careers and Employability Centre

What recruiters want

A key element of all applications is being able to describe your experiences and skills in a way that makes them relevant and useful to someone. The most productive applications occur where the skills that you highlight in your application clearly and concisely match the needs of the recruiter whom you are writing to. This applies whatever you are applying for, whether it is voluntary or paid work or further study.

At the heart of all recruitment processes are these questions. You need to be able to answer them:

Q. What have you done? 
Q. What does this mean for your competence, confidence and experience? 
Q. What skills do you have as a result?

and most importantly, recruiters want to know

Q. What can you do for us [how do these skills fit our need] now, and in the future?

In setting out to answer these questions there are a number of things that you can do to provide better answers and responses!

  • Have a well developed understanding of the skills and competencies that you possess with clear evidence of where these have been developed.
  • Ensure you are talking about the correct skills and abilities for the target audience concerned.
  • Structure your answers and materials to make them easy to understand and meaningful using relevant language.

Applying for Jobs

Look at the jobs description and the organisations website if possible talk to people at the organisation or in similar positions.

Look at researching the role and the job as much as possible e.g. look at overview job profiles at:

Skills Sessions

Employers often visit Sussex to run skills-based sessions for students. Recent events have included presentation skills, networking, commercial awareness and assessment centres. These are a great opportunity to find out firsthand what employers are looking for.

See our events listing for details of what’s coming up.

Applying for Further Study

  • Research the course looking at the course description and modules
  • Research the people teaching and the areas of specialist research
  • Be clear about what the end results of the course might be work or more study/specialism

If you need more help, come and see a Careers Consultant.

See also