Careers and Employability Centre

Building your skills and experience

Build your skills and experience while you are at Sussex. You will gain transferable skills and it will help you with your career decision-making. You will develop many new skills from your course, but you can also look outside your degree. The Careers and Employability Centre advertises lots of part-time, vacation and summer internship opportunities throughout the year. And there is the chance to take a placement year as part of your course.

There are many other extra-curricular opportunities at Sussex, such as volunteering or getting involved with student societies. Having a broad range of experience can also help you when it comes to filling in application forms for graduate jobs and having interviews.

Skills from Your Degree

Here are some key skills developed on your degree and how to use them in applications and interviews. You may also be developing flexibility, critical thinking, presentation skills, research, written communication and more. Skills may come directly from your degree or from extra-curricular activities while you are here. You can develop your study skills through a range of workshops, tutorials and online resources.

The ability to examine and appraise your own or others' work based on careful analytical evaluation. This may involve: analysing written work or a verbal presentation; examining, assessing and judging information presented to you; learning from constructive criticism to improve your work.

You can evidence your teamwork through real examples from your degree. Think about all the things you do when you are not working on your course, too.

From your degree

Gathering and integrating several sources of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses. Analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including published books or reports. Analysing and adapting your own research and reports. Using others' constructive criticism to help assess and improve your research.

Extra-curricular

Adapting your working style in a paid job following a performance review. If you have work shadowed through the Sussex Plus, this may have made you reassess your career goals. If you have set up a USSU Society, you will have had to give a critical assessment of the Society's aims and purpose in order to gain funding.

Action words for your CV

accepted, adapted, amalgamated, analysed, assessed, attained, changed, classified, commented, compiled, computed, condensed, decided, developed, enhanced, examined, explained, facilitated, gavefeedback, generated, implemented, improved, investigated, judged, learnt, liaised, listened, monitored, overhauled, presented, produced, realised, remodelled, reported, researched, retrieved, reviewed, solved, strengthened, summarised, surveyed, updated, validated, wrote

Having the incentive, drive and positive will power to achieve your goals. Wishing to undertake work and complete it successfully, overcoming any obstacles along the way. Motivating others through your enthusiasm and encouragement.

You can evidence your teamwork through real examples from your degree. Think about all the things you do when you are not working on your course, too.

From your degree

You may feel you have evidence of completing an individual assignment successfully, and gaining a good grade for this or motivating others to get involved in a group project, and to work well together. Undertaking extra research in your enthusiasm about your subject.

Extra-curricular

Have you acted as a peer mentor? Are you a member of a USSU Society or a sports team? Have you acted as a course representative at Sussex, or have you been promoted in your job? What motivated you to go for this position? What have you achieved while in this role?

Action words for your CV

achieved, applied, challenged, collaborated, communicated, completed composed, continued, co-ordinated, decided, emphasised, encouraged, engineered, enthused, gained, initiated, invented, involved, led, managed, motivated, overcame, persevered, persuaded, pioneered, presented, prioritised, publicised, realised, recommended, set up, supervised, undertook

The ability to express your ideas clearly and succinctly on paper or online. Being able to write reports and assignments. Developing your argument in a logical way. Being able to summarise the content of your work succinctly. Avoiding jargon and plagiarism. Adapting your writing style for different audiences.

You can evidence your teamwork through real examples from your degree. Think about all the things you do when you are not working on your course, too.

From your degree

Written work such as project proposals, assignments, essays, surveys or research reports. Describe a written task where you have researched and analysed material from several sources and summarised this. If you have had any work published (for example a research paper) or presented a poster display at a conference, give details.

Extra-curricular

Have you organised an event for which you needed to put together a written proposal to gain funding? Describe a written proposal, data collection and dissemination exercise or report you have completed for a part-time or summer job. Perhaps you have contributed to The Badger or Pulse at Sussex, or to another magazine or journal.

Action words for your CV

analysed, assessed, cited, clarified, compared, conducted, critiqued cross-referenced, determined, drafted, edited, emphasised, evaluated, examined, experimented, explained, explored, expressed, extracted, formulated, gathered, interpreted, interviewed, invented, listed, located, organised, persuaded, publicised, published, quoted, researched, reviewed, searched, surveyed, summarised, tested, translated, wrote

The ability to analyse an issue and determine the best course of action as a solution to the problem. Defining the problem. Analysing the problem. Generating possible solutions. Assessing the solutions. Selecting the best solution from these. Planning your next course of action.

You can evidence your teamwork through real examples from your degree. Think about all the things you do when you are not working on your course, too.

From your degree

Problem-based learning or projects where you have been tasked, as an individual or a group, with solving a problem. what were the difficulties you faced? how did you plan what you were going to do? did you solve the problem successfully? If so, how? what would you do differently next time?

Extra-curricular

If you have worked, you will have been given tasks to solve by your managers describe the steps you took in solving the problem given to you. Are you involved in sport? have you overcome a problem in your training, or a team issue that has emerged? Perhaps you have sorted out an issue in your personal life that took some organisation to solve, and is suitable to disclose to an employer.

Action words for your CV

analysed, applied, calculated, clarified, collected, compared, concluded, conducted, decided, described, detected, determined, diagnosed, discussed, evaluated, examined, experimented, explained, explored, extracted, formulated, gathered, generated, identified, interpreted, invented, investigated, judged, located, measured, organised, planned, presented, prioritised, proved, researched, reviewed, searched, selected, solved, summarised, surveyed, tested

The ability to think outside the box, examining, evaluating and acting on information gathered.Assessing, interpreting and evaluating evidence gathered from research. Formulating conclusions and innovative solutions to problems.

You can evidence your teamwork through real examples from your degree. Think about all the things you do when you are not working on your course, too.

From your degree

Analysing and debating topical and controversial issues. Forming evidenced conclusions from your own research. Finding an innovative solution to an issue. For example, where your research makes you question your original suppositions and theories.

Extra-curricular

In paid or voluntary work, you may have come up with a suggestion to enhance the work of your team which was taken on board by the organisation. If you are part of a sports team, have you analysed your performance and found solutions to improve your results? If you have travelled for an extended period of time, did you experience difficulties for which you found solutions?

Action words for your CV

adapted, analysed, argued, assessed, calculated, clarified compared, considered, critiqued, debated, decided, developed, derived, discussed, evaluated, evidenced, examined, formulated, identified, informed, interpreted, investigated, measured, organised, reconciled, researched, reviewed, searched, solved, specified, summarised, synthesised, tested, thought, validated

An understanding of yourself, your behaviour, feelings, how you react to others and how you are perceived by them. Being aware of your own views and opinions, and any bias within these. Understanding how you come across to others. Learning from constructive criticism.

You can evidence your teamwork through real examples from your degree. Think about all the things you do when you are not working on your course, too.

From your degree

Discussing and analysing your views on contentious issues: how did such discussion help you to understand yourself and your reactions? Group work tasks where personality clashes or differing work styles have emerged. How did you react to this? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about how others perceive you?

Extra-curricular

If you are involved in a group activity such as playing in a band, or sport: have there been disagreements within the team? what did you do? what did you learn about the role you take on in a group? Perhaps you have had staff appraisals at work, and adapted your working style to good effect as a result.

Action words for your CV

accepted, adapted, advised, appraised, arbitrated, articulated, calmed, changed, clarified, coached, collaborated, communicated, considered, conveyed, counselled, decided, demonstrated, detailed, developed, discussed, explained, facilitated, felt, guided, increased, influenced, learnt, listened, improved, mentored, negotiated, observed, participated, perceived, persuaded, reacted, realised, reconciled, referred, represented, researched, resolved, responded, sensed, solved, specified, tried, volunteered, understood, worked on

See also

  • Skills typically developed at Sussex [PDF 92.05KB] - Having a clear idea about the skills you have developed at Sussex will help you find work that suits you. It will also help with your CV and at interviews. Think about how you have demonstrated these skills in different areas of your life, too
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  • Applying for jobs - use your degree, personal skills and work experience to create winning applications