While there are many lists of these ’employability’ skills, at Oxford we focus on the key eight skills – based on the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)’s report, Future Fit.

This page focuses on Leadership. To read more about the other seven employability skills, click on the links below.


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These ideas are ways to start thinking about leadership. You’re unlikely to use these as evidence of leadership skills in a written application, but they might be things you reference in conversation at interview.

  • Suggest activities to do with your group of friends and make it happen. Don’t just be responsive
  • Read biographies, listen to/watch shows, podcasts, TED Talks etc. featuring leaders you admire
  • Attend lectures/webinars with people who are leaders in their fields when they visit Oxford – at the Oxford Union, your department, college, societies etc. 

There aren't many "short-term" activities that you can do, as most leadership roles require commitment. However here are some ways you can start developing leadership skills, that you could refer to in applications.

  • Organise a team to enter a competition, or a charity run
  • Become a “parent” for Freshers in your college/department
  • Organise a holiday for yourself and a group of friends
  • Propose and facilitate events/conferences 
  • Supervise others during a part-time job or vacation work
  • Volunteer with youth organisations
  • Take part in  The Oxford Strategy Challenge and become a team leader.
  • Take a position of responsibility in your college Common Room or department. If you are Research Staff, Oxford’s Research Staff Society
  • Become president of a student society/sports team, or take a senior role where you work with and lead others 
  • Produce or direct a play or other creative events
  • Take an editorial position for a publication 
  • If you’re a researcher or professional services member of university staff, you can join the IDEA Board Experience Programme and apprentice with a University of Oxford-linked company for up to a year. 

Check out the 'CareerConnect EVENTS'  tab below to see upcoming events from the Careers Service where you can build on this skill.

CareerConnect EVENTS

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Check the CareerConnect platform for all our upcoming events and opportunities, book appointments, find jobs and internships, and more.

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