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Welcome to the Transferable Skills Training Portal for Post Graduate Students

What skills do Employers look for in PhD students?

Along with your motivation/organisational fit, graduate recruiters focus particularly on your ‘employability skills’ – commonly known as ‘transferable skills’ as they can be adapted to different contexts.

Major recruiters use rigorous methods in assessing skills e.g. some identify and compile the skills profile needed for each job within the organisation and to what competency level. They devise then a list of up to ten questions related to each skill identified, which interviewers can pose to candidates for jobs to elicit their capability in the skill/demonstrate how they developed it. It is vital therefore that you reflect on and become aware of your skills and competencies, how you developed these, and how they relate to the employer’s requirements. Skills sought will vary from post to post. Of particular importance are; 

  • Teamwork – being a constructive team member; contributing to its success
  • Leadership – able to motivate and encourage others, while taking the lead
  • Confidence – able to relate to people at all levels; friendly open and honest in communication
  • Initiative – able to see opportunities and to set and achieve goals
  • Problem-solving – able to analyse issue logically so as to identify/resolve key issues; often involves creative thinking
  • Planning and organising-commitment/motivation in pursuing projects
  • Commercial awareness – knowing what makes/saves money can be especially important for business jobs
  • Relevant work experience

For further information please visit UCD Career Development Centre 

Also, please see the Career Planning Workshops available in 09/10.