Careers and Entrepreneurship

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 identify, record, summarise and present verbal and written information accurately.This may involve: accurately identifying issues that need researching; reviewing and summarising evidence from both primary and secondary sources; structuring verbal and written arguments logically and coherently.

You can evidence your attention to detail 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

Identifying, collating and recording information and data accurately from a variety of sources. Summarising and presenting information accurately. Organising your work into logical categories to present it coherently and concisely. Citing and referencing accurately.

Extra-curricular

If you have organised an event or activity for a USSU society how did you identify appropriate venues? In your part-time or summer job have you been required to undertake a task requiring a methodical or detailed approach?

Action words for your CV

catalogued, collected, detailed, described, detected, documented, established, extracted, found, highlighted, identified, listed, ordered, précised, presented, proposed, proved, quoted, read, referenced, reconsidered, reviewed, searched, studied, summarised, surveyed

Being self-assured about your personal judgement and ability, without being overbearing. Being confident about your own views and opinions. Feeling sure of yourself. Being able to take criticism on board without over-reacting or taking this personally.

You can evidence your self-confidence 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

Your active and positive participation in discussions during seminars or tutorials. Taking on responsibility, such as managing others during a group task. Giving presentations clearly and without embarrassment. Learning from constructive criticism of your work by lecturers.

Extra-curricular

Accepting suggestions for improvement in your work style during staff appraisals. Involvement in acting or making presentations in your hobbies. Taking on challenges such as: running a marathon; finding a job or placement in another country.

Action words for your CV

accepted, acted, adapted, agreed, analysed, assisted, attained, attended, challenged, changed, collaborated, consolidated, contributed, convinced, co-operated, debated, decided, demonstrated, developed, discussed, encouraged, enhanced, established, facilitated, felt, improved, increased, influenced, judged, liaised, listened, managed, motivated, multi-tasked, negotiated, organised, participated, planned, presented, prioritised, questioned, reconciled, reflected on, represented, resolved, showed, strengthened, supervised, supported, taught, volunteered

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 written communication 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

Being adaptable in changing circumstances, able to work competently and achieve goals despite upheavals. Accommodating other people's views or strategies.

You can evidence your flexibility 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

Adapting your research when things have not gone according to plan, or when new research findings are published that have a bearing on your theories or results. Showing flexibility in accommodating other students' views, ideas or shortcomings during group tasks. Achieving your academic goals despite changes to your course structure or staffing.

Extra-curricular

Perhaps you have demonstrated your flexibility in volunteering with groups of school students in a classroom setting. If you have a part-time job, have you examples of being flexible in your job? For example: when working with clients or the public, particularly if this involves customer service. when working with colleagues.

Action words for your CV

accepted, adapted, adjusted, advised, agreed, approved, arbitrated, arranged, attained, chaired, changed, communicated, developed, directed, discussed, enabled, expedited, explained, generated, guided, informed, initiated, listened, mediated, multi-tasked, negotiated, obtained, organised, persuaded, pioneered, prioritised, reconciled, resolved, restored, spoke, spearheaded, succeeded, understood, solved.

To study relevant material thoroughly, in order to present your findings in a detailed, accurate manner. Identifying, collecting and recording information. Processing, interpreting and presenting information. Bibliographic skills.

You can evidence your research 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

Identifying, recording and evaluating appropriate primary and secondary sources. Designing your own research methodology for a project or a dissertation. Citing and referencing appropriately and avoiding plagiarism.

Extra-curricular

If you are hoping to work in a field related to your degree or in another area of work, have you researched the careers available in this field? Have you carried out a research-based task in your employment? what did this involve? If you have organised a large social event, you will have experience of researching venues, suppliers, ideas for decor, costs and so on. How successful was the event, and how did you measure this?

Action words for your CV

adapted, analysed, applied, calculated, clarified, collected, compared, conducted, critiqued, designed, detected, determined, developed, devised, diagnosed, evaluated, examined, extracted, fabricated, gathered, interpreted, interviewed, investigated, judged, located, organised, planned, presented, read, reasoned, researched, reviewed, solved, studied, summarised, tested, utilised, weighted, wrote

The ability to be a constructive team member, and contribute positively to the group's success.Being open to ideas that are different from your own, putting others's skills to good use or organising the group's activities.

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

Project work and other group tasks where you have identified your own goals and the goals of the group, evaluated your performance and results as an individual and as a team member, developed your appreciation that there may be more than one solution to a problem.

Extra-curricular

You may be team captain for a particular sport, play in a band, or have organised a charity event on campus with some other students. How did you motivate and lead the others? What was the result? Are you part of a team in a Student Mentoring project, part-time or summer job, or a Sports Team? What role do you play? How does the team work together?

Action words for your CV

assisted, articulated, arranged, briefed, clarified, coached, collaborated, communicated, competed, confronted, contacted, convened, coordinated, corroborated, delegated, demonstrated, discussed, elicited, encouraged, endured, enlisted, exchanged, explained, facilitated, followed, fostered, guided, helped, influenced, initiated, inquired, instructed, interpreted, intervened, interviewed, introduced, listened, mediated, motivated, negotiated, organised, participated, persuaded, presented, represented, resolved, respected, responded, shaped, shared, solicited, summarized, supported, volunteered

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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  • Search for jobs - use our jobs database
  • Applying for jobs - use your degree, personal skills and work experience to create winning applications