Enterprise Skills: What Are They and Do You Have Them?

Enterprise skills are sought after by employers and yet many candidates overlook their importance and fail to talk about them during their job interviews.

What does enterprising mean?

The definition of enterprising is “having or showing initiative and resourcefulness”. It’s all about being able to spot opportunities and then make the most of them. Any business is unlikely to be successful if they don’t have enterprising leaders to drive them. They need employees who can spot gaps in the market and come up with new ideas to improve processes and results.

Enterprise skills encompass a number of things including:

  • Commercial awareness
  • Decision making
  • Innovative and original thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Prioritisation
  • Strategic thinking
  • Working independently
  • Being able to communicate professionally

Possessing these things makes you an asset to any company you work for.

How to develop your enterprise skills

Enterprise skills stem from having business knowledge and commercial awareness. How much do you understand about the way that businesses are run and work?

The best way to develop your knowledge and enterprise skills is to undertake work experience that is preferably relevant to your chosen career path. If you’re really struggling to secure work experience or an internship (keep trying it certainly isn’t easy) then you can always conduct some online research into your chosen industry and career field.

How to show employers you have enterprise skills

1. With your CV

The first opportunity you have to show off your enterprise skills is on your CV. Think about what you have done that involved using enterprise skills. This could be completing an internship or being involved in a business project.

Outside of business, you may have developed and used certain skills by being involved in a university team or society. Were you involved in organising an event? Did you change the way your society marketed itself to students? You may also have been involved in charity fundraising. There are so many ways that you can use your enterprising skills and if you haven’t done so yet, it’s not too late!

You don’t need to run off and set up your own business. Simply getting involved with some volunteering and coming up with fresh ideas to benefit your extra-curricular activities or part-time job will demonstrate your skills.

2. During interviews

Many graduate recruiters and employers will ask particular interview questions to test your commercial awareness. For example, they may ask you about your knowledge of the marketplace.

You can also be proactive in talking about your enterprising qualities in relation to questions about your skills and strengths.

3. At work

Once you’ve secured a graduate role, if you want to make an impact and impress your new employer then be sure to use your enterprising skills at work. Do your best to think creatively, use your initiative to solve problems and make the most of opportunities that arise.

Bringing it all together

Enterprise and entrepreneurial skills are valuable to any business and they will help you to progress throughout your career. Start developing them now and they will soon become second nature to you.

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