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 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

The ability to be self-disciplined and meet deadlines. Setting priorities for your university work, anticipating needs, setting and achieving targets for your academic development.

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

Working under pressure and meeting tight deadlines, as well as group work or individual research projects. Having to reorganise your work plans and take a new approach to make a project work. How you successfully planned and executed an individual piece of work.

Extra-curricular

You may be juggling part-time work or family commitments with your university course. How have you managed conflicting deadlines? Have your organised others in a sporting or work context, or through your volunteering work? How did you allocate tasks and ensure things happened on time? Describe a situation where things did not go according to plan on your placement or summer job and how you re-planned your strategies.

Action words for your CV

approved, arranged, catalogued, categorised, charted, classified coded, collected, compiled, corrected, corresponded, distributed, executed, filed, generated, incorporated, inspected, logged, maintained, monitored, obtained, operated, ordered, organised, planned, prepared, prioritised, processed, provided, purchased, recorded, registered, reserved, responded, reviewed, routed, scheduled, screened, standardised, submitted, supplied, systematised, updated, validated, verified.

Having the drive and ability to see possibilities and be enterprising in starting tasks. Being creative, searching for new ways of working, or solutions.

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

Being creative in your work or when undertaking research, identifying your own resources. Voicing innovative theories or solutions. Deciding to take a new direction when your research or creative work was not going well.

Extra-curricular

Taking an active role as Course Representative, and making positive changes.In your part-time or summer job, have you offered to take on a new piece of research, or suggested new ways of working more effectively? Have you set up any sort of small business or developed a freelance work portfolio?

Action words for your CV

analysed, appraised, assessed, attained, consolidated, co-ordinated, created, decided, developed, directed, established, evaluated, executed, generated, implemented, improved, increased, initiated, judged, led, managed, motivated, offered, organised, originated, oversaw, pioneered, planned, prioritised, produced, reassessed, recommended, reorganised, replaced, scheduled, searched, set up, suggested, supervised, surpassed, took responsibility for, voiced, volunteered.

The ability to express your thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in words. Expressing your argument and ideas in a logical way. Using questioning techniques in order to elicit information or to seek clarification. Listening to and acknowledging others' views. Adapting your 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

Presentation of your work and ideas in tutorials or during group work. Active participation in seminars. Group presentations and peer assessments.

Extra-curricular

You may have given a presentation in your part-time or summer job, or shown prospective students around the university. Are you involved in Sussex University Drama Society or debating societies, or University Radio Falmer? Examples where you have had to persuade people - for example, to fund a charity event, or to adapt and improve working practices at your place of work.

Action words for your CV

acknowledged, addressed, advertised, arbitrated, arranged, articulated, challenged, clarified, collaborated, communicated, composed, conferred, consulted, contributed, conveyed, convinced, debated, defined, developed, directed, discussed, drafted, edited, elicited, enlisted, explained, expressed, formulated, influenced, interacted, interpreted, interviewed, involved, joined, judged, lectured, listened, marketed, mediated, moderated, negotiated, outlined, participated, persuaded, presented, proposed, publicised, questioned, reconciled, reinforced, reported, resolved, responded, solicited, specified, spoke, suggested, summarised, synthesised, translated, wrote.

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

Developing your own style, demonstrating an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice or deriving evidenced conclusions from your own research or investigations for a dissertation. Finding an innovative solution to an issue, such as a group exercise where your team was not working successfully together.

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 an ensemble or band, have you analysed your performance and recognised areas that could be improved?

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.

The ability to relate well to others, and work successfully with them in a team or as their leader. Negotiating with others. Managing and leading people. Being open to ideas that are different from your own. Networking and maintaining contact with people of relevance to your degree.

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 have used negotiation skills and diplomacy as part of a team. Recognised how your studies have helped you to acknowledge the validity of different points of view. Managing others during group work. Delegated tasks or shared responsibility on group tasks. Encouraged and supported others.

Extra-curricular

If you supervise others in your paid employment, vountary work or band you will have examples of negotiating with them over their duties or details of their performance. If you do any structured or informal counselling through your volunteering or employment, you will have dealt in a sensitive, caring way with clients or other staff.

Action words for your CV

accommodated, adjusted, advised, agreed, allocated, arranged, assisted, consulted, contributed, cooperated, counselled, directed, discussed, enlisted, facilitated, guided, influenced, initiated, inspired, managed, mediated, modified, motivated, negotiated, networked, organised, persuaded, provided, questioned, reconciled, represented, respected, supervised, valued.

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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