The ability to identify and investigate a range of sources to discover relevant facts, ideas and opinions

Behavioural indicators include:-

  • Clarify the objective of the research.
  • Develop a plan and manage the time resource available.
  • Build a list of potential sources including written, electronic, human etc.
  • Specify the range and value of the variety of possible sources.
  • Use a variety of information gathering tools and techniques appropriately.
  • Establish contacts with relevant human sources to use the experience of others.
  • Know when to bring information gathering to a conclusion.
  • Understand and interpret the information accessed in a manner fitting the objective.
  • Evaluate the accessed information against the objective.
  • Filter the accessed information against the objective.
  • Structure the material logically and appropriately.
  • Formulate reasonable conclusions from the information.

Do I Have This Skill?

You'll need to be able to prove to employers that you actually have the skills they want for the job. In applications and interviews they will ask 'competency questions' that begin with phrases such as 'tell me a time when ............. ' or 'give me an example of .............. ' Your answers are the evidence that you have what it takes.

To find out how well developed your skills are already you could try this simple exercise:

Rate yourself on each of the behaviours:

  • 1 = I do this very well. I am consistent and successful in it
  • 2 = I am good at this. With some practice I can make it perfect!
  • 3 = I am getting better, but still need to work on this a bit more.
  • 4 = I am not particularly good at this - yet!

Revisit this exercise several times through your years of study - you'll want to have as many skills as possible at 1 and 2 before you apply for graduate jobs.

And, think about all the life situations you've been in - university, work, leisure, travel, social - and identify incidents and examples from them that show that you have already used the skill.