Skills and Competencies

Competencies (an image of a scenic walk and path with fields stretched out in front)

We worked with a range of employers to identify a list of the most desirable skills for graduates to be able to demonstrate. For each skill, you will find a brief definition and a link to opportunities at City which offer the chance to develop them.



Links to relevant opportunities at City

Building Relationships

Being open to new ways of thinking; having a client focus and understanding customer needs; treating people well. This can be demonstrated through networking and partnership working.

Opportunities to meet employers

Opportunities to meet other students

Commercial Awareness

If you want to get a job with a particular employer, or in a particular field, it’s crucial that you are able to show that you have an understanding of the key issues that affect their field and what are the current political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors that might impact on it.

Opportunities to develop commercial awareness


Though you might take it for granted, in work settings there are different forms of communication that are appropriate at different times, and it’s valuable to understand them and reflect on whether our communications are having the desired effect. You may want to break this down into different subsets of skills, such as: written communication, interpersonal verbal communication, active listening, public speaking etc.

Develop your communication skills

Creative Problem-Solving

Analysing facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and then identifying and implementing appropriate solutions using the resources available.

Develop creative problem-solving skills


An enterprising approach can be about starting a business, project or charity, or it can be about using your initiative to come up with a new way of doing things.

Explore City’s enterprise activities.

Ethical Behaviour

Applying sustainable and safe solutions. Being transparent and following honest practices. This can be demonstrated through adherence to health and safety policies; behaving in accordance with personal and corporate values.

Explore opportunities to make a difference.



There are many attributes, skills and characteristics associated with leadership and if you want to become a great leader, it’s one of the things that’s best learned through experience and taking on a leadership responsibility. Key characteristics you should be able to demonstrate include taking responsibility, co-ordinating and delegating, motivating others, setting targets, making decisions and developing teams.

Develop your leadership skills.

Personal and Professional Development

Being able to self-manage and take personal responsibility for one's own future is one of the most valuable things we can do for our careers. Effective self-management and development relies on the following skills: taking responsibility, using initiative, resilience, assertiveness, time management and flexibility.

Explore opportunities for personal and professional development.

Planning and Organisation

How well do you make use of your time? Can you demonstrate that you have thought ahead about a range of possible outcomes and taken steps to ensure the right outcome? How do you schedule tasks to ensure you reach your goals?

Develop your planning and organisation skills.


How well can you demonstrate your commitment to achieving a shared goal as part of a team? Teamwork can be broken down into the following skills: co-operating; contributing ideas; persuading and negotiating.

Develop teamwork.