Work Studies Module 2: Preparing Job Applications

What employers want


This module focuses on assisting you to incorporate your work-related achievements into your job applications.


Name:                                                               Date:                                                                                   

Take some time to explore the ‘What employers want’ section of the Youth Central website:


From what you have seen in the video or understood from the quiz, what are your thoughts on what employers want?














Employability skills

Employability skills are generic skills that are transferable to the ever-changing work environment. These skills are developed throughout a person’s life and in multiple settings, including work and life settings and educational contexts.

Combined with discipline-specific skills, employability skills are essential in every workplace and are highly valued by employers.

Employability skills can be documented in résumés, cover letters, TAFE/university applications and/or scholarship applications to enhance an applicant’s claim to a job or course placement.

Review the employability skills framework on the following pages. Discuss as a class the eight employability skills and their meanings. Complete Student Worksheet 1: Employability skills (Source: ReCaP).






Employability skills framework


Personal attributes that contribute to


Personal presentation

A balanced attitude to work and home life

overall employability


Common sense

An ability to deal with pressure


Honesty and integrity

Positive self-esteem




A sense of humour







Element (facets of the skill that employers identified as important, noting that the mix and priority of these facets would vary from job to job)


Element (facets of the skill that employers identified as important, noting that the mix and priority of these facets would vary from job to job)


Listening and understanding

Planning and

Managing time and priorities setting time lines, coordinating

that contributes

Speaking clearly and directly


tasks for self and with others

to productive and harmonious

relations across



Writing to the needs of the audience

Negotiating responsively

that contribute

to long- and short-term

Being resourceful

Taking initiative and making decisions

employees and


Adapting resource allocations to cope with contingencies

Reading independently

strategic planning



Speaking and writing in languages other than English Using numeracy

Understanding the needs of internal and external customers

Persuading effectively Establishing and using networks Being assertive

Sharing information


Establishing clear project goals and deliverables Allocating people and other resources to tasks

Planning the use of resources, including time management

Participating in continuous improvement and planning processes

Developing a vision and a proactive plan to accompany it

Predicting weighing up risk, evaluating alternatives and applying evaluation criteria

Collecting, analysing and organising information Understanding basic business systems and their relationships





Working across different ages and irrespective of gender,


Having a range of basic IT skills

that contributes

race, religion or political persuasion

that contributes to

Applying IT as a management tool

to productive

Working as an individual and as a member of a team

effective execution

Using IT to organise data

working relationships


of tasks

Knowing how to define a role as part of the team

Being willing to learn new IT skills

Applying teamwork to a range of situations, eg futures planning, crisis problem-solving

Identifying the strengths of the team members

Coaching and mentoring skills, including giving feedback



and outcomes


Having the OHS knowledge to apply technology

Having the physical capacity to apply technology, eg manual dexterity


Developing creative, innovative solutions


Managing own learning

that contributes

Developing practical solutions

that contributes

Contributing to the learning community at the workplace

to productive

Showing independence and initiative in identifying problems

to ongoing

Using a range of mediums to learn mentoring, peer support


improvement and expansion in employee and company operations and outcomes

and solving them

Solving problems in teams

Applying a range of strategies to problem-solving

Using mathematics, including budgeting and financial management, to solve problems

Applying problem-solving strategies across a range of areas

Testing assumptions, taking the context of data and circumstances into account

Resolving customer concerns in relation to complex projects and issues

and networking, IT, courses

Applying learning to ‘technical’ issues (eg learning about products) and ‘people’ issues (eg interpersonal and cultural aspects of work)

Having enthusiasm for ongoing learning

Being willing to learn in any setting on and off the job Being open to new ideas and techniques

Being prepared to invest time and effort in learning new skills

Acknowledging the need to learn in order to accommodate change


Having a personal vision and goals

Initiative and

Adapting to new situations

that contributes

Evaluating and monitoring own performance


Developing a strategic, creative, long-term vision

to employee

Having knowledge and confidence in own ideas and visions

that contribute

Being creative

satisfaction and

to innovative

Articulating own ideas and visions Taking responsibility

Identifying opportunities not obvious to others Translating ideas into action

Generating a range of options Initiating innovative solutions




Extract from Employability Skills for the Future, 2002.

Student Worksheet 1: Employability skills


Employability skills are those generic skills that employers expect employees to have, along with job-specific technical skills. These skills are also prerequisites for self-employment.

They are developed during your schooling years and they are further developed when you leave school.

Work through this list of employability skills and identify the skills that you enjoy doing or are good at.

Think of examples from your own life. If necessary, get someone who knows you well to prompt you. Many of your examples may relate to home.



Enjoy doing

Good at










Enjoy doing

Good at










Enjoy doing

Good at










Enjoy doing

Good at









Planning and organising

Enjoy doing

Good at










Enjoy doing

Good at










Enjoy doing

Good at









Initiative and enterprise

Enjoy doing

Good at









Using the lists above, record five employability skills that you have identified as being important in your current activities.

It may be important for you to explain to an employer when you are seeking work that you have gained these skills, and you may wish to mention the context in which you have demonstrated these skills.






Personal attributes

Read through the 13 personal attributes listed in the employability skills framework. Consider the questions below.


Why do you think a person’s personal attributes are important to employers?







Identify characteristics of each of the personal attributes sought by employers. Discuss as a class and make notes below.







Select six personal attributes and describe how you have demonstrated them. Consider the contexts of school, workplace and community.









Create a short script introducing yourself, explaining what makes you unique and describing the employment-related skills and/or attributes you possess. Also comment on your strongest skill and one that needs further development.

Here is a sample:

Hi, my name is Jude. I'm quite an outgoing and social person who loves sport. Basketball is my favourite. Some of the employment-related skills I have are teamwork, communication and technology. I demonstrate

teamwork in a community context through playing weekly basketball games. I demonstrate communication in the workplace in my job as a Customer Service Assistant at Big W. I demonstrate technology skills at school through my use of my laptop to process and store my schoolwork. My strongest employment-related skill is teamwork, as I work very well with people in a range of situations. Technology is the skill I could further improve just because there is always so much more to learn. I am an enthusiastic and motivated person who will try new tasks and aim to do them to the best of my ability.


Your script:








Make a video of your script. The class could review your video and provide helpful feedback on how classmates can further ‘sell’ their skills to an employer.

What helpful feedback did you receive? What are the things you did well? What are the things that you need to be mindful of?