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11 Employability Skills to Develop during COVID–19

By Husam Helmi Alharahsheh
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

When it comes to employment during or after your educational journey, research shows even during COVID-19, there are still some key skills which graduates can develop.

Smiling student with laptop

There are several key skills for students to focus on during their studies to enhance their chances of finding a job.

The main graduate attributes can be identified as the following:

  • Knowledge and information management: A graduate should be able to evaluate, analyse and apply current and relevant information to enhance:
    • Understanding of particular situations
    • Problem solving and enhancing
    • Innovation and creativity in the workplace with an ability to execute tasks effectively.
  • Results: Graduates should have the ability to be:
    • Results-focused
    • Allocate and organise available resources
    • Find solutions based on findings
    • Apply logical and critical thinking towards effective problem solving.
  • Innovation and creative thinking: A graduate should have imaginative thinking to be able to think out of the box and find creative solutions based on the available resources. They should have the ability to analyse and plan to meet the demands of the challenging and changing environment. They should be an initiator, planner, and have organisational skills to contribute to innovative solutions.
  • Expertise: Graduates should understand the fundamentals of their discipline (Theories and Concepts) and demonstrate ethical learning skills to ensure continuation of improvement (personal and professional development).
  • Communication: A graduate should:
    • Have well spoken and written communication.
    • Be able to demonstrate effective listening, speaking, and reflecting skills.
    • Be able to demonstrate understanding of technical and graphical communication.
    • Have the ability to communicate with different audiences selecting different communication techniques depending on the situation and culture.
  • Teamwork: Demonstrate the ability to:
    • Work within a team with effective collaboration and cooperation to maximise the outputs of the whole team.
    • Work with different gender, age, cultures and religion.
    • Work with a level of knowledge or experience.
    • To resolve conflicts.
  • Managing and leading: A graduate should be able to lead, control, organise, plan teams effectively, initiate projects, inspire others, take full responsibility and accountability plus engage with teams to achieve shared goals.
  • Autonomous: A Graduate should be able to learn and develop themselves, continue to improve skills and competences, self-management and be able to learn from previous experience.
  • Quality: A graduate should be able to be the best version of themselves (a good citizen) plus have ethical awareness, commitment and compassion.
  • Adaptability: A graduate should be able to manage and anticipate change, work within different demanding workplaces, cope with unexpected situations, adapt and be part of a diverse community/workplace.
  • Learning and reflection: A graduate should demonstrate the ability to reflect on their own learning and experience plus revise behaviour based on constructive feedback, given from their own reflection or from others.


We are experiencing a shift from face-to-face to online delivery due to the spread of COVID-19 and it is highly valuable for students to use this as an opportunity.

You could develop your online communication and information technology skills, as well as enhance your own ability to work remotely which requires high levels of teamwork, time management, and flexibility.

COVID-19 has changed the way recruitment processes are undertaken. 

  • Online platforms are being used to conduct online job interviews instead of face-to-face interviews.
  • Employers are testing knowledge and skills remotely.

Therefore, it is vital for graduates to train themselves further and to equip themselves with the required home-based IT infrastructure. This can help provide a smooth transition into secure employment, even during the global disruption caused due to COVID-19.

Do you want to improve your employability and make your CV stand out, with no exams involved?
Read more about our CertHE Skills for the Workplace course on the course page.

About the Author

Husam Helmi Abharahsheh is an expert in student skill development. He is a BA Business Management lecturer and CertHE Programme Coordinator at UWTSD London.

Source: Helmi, H., Pius, A. and Guenane, I. (2018). UK Higher Education Institutions Role in Students’ Skills Development for. Journal of advances in education and philosophy, [online] 2(3), pp.85-88.