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Employability skills and its Importance

What are the Employability Skills?

Employability skills meaning lies in the construction of the word itself – ‘employ’ and ‘ability’, i.e. the ability to be employed. This measure is based on different factors that include a person’s education, skill set, knowledge of the field, etc. Though this is just a layman’s version of the definition, it highlights a crucial point about the word, that employability is a score of your potential.

Employability skills are not a score that is kept by the government or even companies, it is a personal score that is never calculated but is reflected in your work history. Your history, which shows how many jobs you have had, how long did you stay in each of them, what was the reason for exit, etc. These questions help the hiring team to select candidates that best match their type.

In simple terms, employability is just a measure of your chances to secure a job on the basis of your skills, talent, education and experience.

Employability skills and what does your employability depend on?

As mentioned above, your employability is generally calculated from your past/history. The main components a

Your Education

This information helps companies understand your passions as a child. Through a study of your education choices, companies can make judgements about the type of career you envisioned in your school days and compare it with the requirements of the job you seek today.

Your Skills

This information helps companies decipher how you used your education and your knowledge of the working of things to your benefit. How much of your time did you divert to bettering your skills. In simple terms, your skills are measured against what you know and how you used that to better yourself.

Your Attitude

This is one of the biggest metrics used to measure your employability. Your attitude is what you display to the world at all times. Companies generally look for people that have a visionary attitude, and those that have strong decision making. Weak attitudes, like anger

and short temper, are often viewed as negative attitudes that make working with the individual tougher. Thus, one must paint a good picture of their attitude as a serious, hardworking and an honest candidate.

What is meant by career?

While a job is a work that you are currently pursuing, career is generally used as a border term for a path that you have taken in your work life. It refers to a longer job path that contains offers for promotions and upgrading to higher levels.

Career EDGE Model

Created by two researchers Pool and Sewell, the EDGE model provides the summary of the four essential elements that aid in the employability of people:

E- Experience

This includes your work and personal experiences that have helped you develop a wide array of skills that may be attractive for the hiring team

D- Degree of Subject Knowledge

This includes the depth to your education, the level of your knowledge. As mentioned above, skills are developed from the knowledge one has. Thus, improving knowledge can help improve or build skills.

G- Generic Skills

This includes the skills that come pre-requisite with a job in the social world- good communicator, good writing skills, good attitude, basic courtesy, etc.

E- Emotional Intelligence

This is a hard one to measure as well as describe. In a broad sense, emotional intelligence is the ability of the individual to take control of their emotions for calmer and more informed decisions, not ones that lead out of panic.

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Why are employability skills important?

Employability is not just securing one job and feeling nice about your employability status. It encompasses a broader range of traits and factors that decide on the skill of retaining or hiring employees. This, along with the following, are the reasons why employability is important:

Competitive World

In a world, where engineers with the same education material are getting pumped out in large numbers, every year, where is the individuality of the candidate? Many might say that where you completed your education is what is individual to different candidates. Though that is true in some sense, the larger point is that the basic education for every candidate is the same. Even good colleges can just offer good jobs to their students, retaining that job defines the employability of that student. Thus, it is employability that is the unique factor in each candidate.

Adapt to changing situations

Work-life is extremely fickle. As they say, the market can change every second, so can the insides of an office. Not just in terms of emotions, the real change comes in the form of changes to job descriptions. Over time, you will ascend through the ranks of the company, and you will be required to do various jobs that are needed at different stages. Employability helps you gather and retain these traits so you can use it later on.

Helps you explore self

The best thing about employability is that it is entirely in your hands, and only you can find your true employability. Thus, exploring yourself urges you when you try to become employable. You try to learn new things, you retain more information for future use, you experience different work lives to finally select the one that works for you.

Return on Investment

As costs for completion of higher education are getting steeper every year, students are walking out of colleges with large debts and are in need of a job to recuperate the costs. This is why maintaining employability is important to fresh graduates.

A degree is not enough

Truthfully, in today’s day and age, even students from well-reputed colleges are lacking job opportunities because they have not developed their skills in different areas to increase their employability. Having managerial skills, even in non-business related fields like medicine, greatly improves your employability as you can be considered for a post of manager at a hospital.

What is meant by employability skills?

The definition of a skill is ‘ability to perform actions to achieve a determined set of results’. Both the words, ‘action’ and ‘results’ are important here. While getting up from your seat is also an action, but an action with a determined result is a skill. Different type of skills that you might use for your next interview can include:

  1. Communication Skills
  2. Leadership Skills
  3. Computer Skills
  4. Customer Relations Skills
  5. Problem Solving Skills
  6. Time management Skills

Examples of Employability Skills

Apart from your professional skills listed above, there needs to be a wholesome approach to your personal skills and attitude too. Here is a list of the top skills that build your overall character, thus increasing your employability:


skills for job

Creativity is required from people not in the form of art decorations, but creative solutions to problems, or creative ideas for the future of the company. Bosses are always on the lookout for employees who have a creative mind and can pitch good ideas for the company. These creative ideas do not need to be revolutionary, even small ideas, that better the flow of work, are always received well.


This is one of the most important skills to have. Companies expect their employees to be fluent in the writing skills and manage effective and accurate conversations with partners and other firms. Not just speaking, the communication process also asks one to become a good listener. These two traits help immensely in making yourself employable.

Personal all-round Development

Company professionals are always looking out for the employees who do exceptional activities, not just in the office but outside the office too. Those who follow a hobby and are good at it, companies always like to promote such people. It also shows you in good light, as an employee who strives to achieve more.


Even if someone is working at the lowermost level, in a team, every company wants to hire people who can lead. These leaders are not just leaders of college groups, but leaders of work teams that are tasked with assignments and deadlines. Employability of individuals increases many-fold if the company sees leadership qualities in the candidate.

Organisation Skills

Every professional wants everyone in their company to be professional too. Same goes for offices. Companies always want people who know how to manage different facets of life. From time to day planning, people who excel in these skills are greatly benefitted in the eyes of the company.


Work-life, as mentioned above, is extremely fickle natured. One small problem is bound to cascade into bigger issues. Thus, the employability of candidates is based on the factors of the adaptiveness to changing situations. Their presence of mind, ability to spot opportunities, all contribute in bettering their employability stance in front of their company. One of the highly regarded employability skills.


All companies want employees who show initiative to do work, moreover doing extra work. Showing initiative to take charge of some activity, or just initiative to show interest in a task goes a long way in your character file. People who take initiative are generally strong-willed and leaders who take their teams to fruition.

Tech Savvy

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The digital age has shown us immense possibilities. What once was only magic, now can be accessed through the click of a button. In this fast-paced world, digital gadgets change faster than the speed of light. But evert digital gadget has a significant appeal to people. Either in the form of a new laptop or new software like Photoshop. Having the skills of these technological software shows you as a self-sufficient candidate, greatly increasing your employability.

Problem Solver

One of the most important employability skills. A crisis is the only thing that is certain. However, the kind of crisis will always be different. Thus, companies keep problem-solvers extremely close to their hearts. They are valued employees who can turn the table for the company in times of need. Thus, this skill is referred to as the most important skill to have in a professional environment.


The world is changing every day, opportunities arising every day. Employers seek people who are aware of the market they operate in. John Scully, who was the youngest VP of Pepsi-Cola, had personally gone to different bottling plants to understand the process, even though he was from the marketing department, but he wanted to be aware of the process.

This awareness is extremely necessary in a market that is extremely fragile. Employees who can make sense of trends and insights that arise from market research are treated very valuably and involved in the strategy meetings of the company.

Emotional Intelligence

As mentioned above, in the EDGE model, the final component, Emotional Intelligence, is one of the most important employability skills one can develop in a professional setting. As there will always be problems, but one who keeps a calm mind is often referred again when a different problem arises, compared to someone who panics and further spoils the issue.

Emotional Intelligence also leads to professionalism as people become aware of the social responsibility they are expected to carry. Employers want candidates who are always committed to delivering the best standards to the work, keeping calm and composed, even in times of distress or conflicts.


“To be employed is to be at risk, to be employable is to be secure.”

These words encapsulate the true essence of employability. It is not the measure of how many jobs have you had in the last three years, rather it is a holistic overview of the traits and skills you’ve developed in the past three years that have had a positive change to your personal development.

Now, you can enhance your employability skills with Chegg by earning and learning at the same time.

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