By Louise Loxton - Head of Department, Employer Relationships

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The deal at The Manchester College

The Deal at Work: 7 behaviours for Amazing Employability

When you joined The Manchester College, you were asked to sign up to The Deal; a commitment to professional standards and behaviour to help you thrive during your studies.

The Deal incorporates 7 behaviours which are also essential for improving your employability skills. Adopting and living the values described can prepare you for interviews, work experience, paid work and generally stand you in good stead for life after College. 

So let’s have a look at how each behaviour applies to work-readiness:


There’s an old saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. So, always make sure you arrive punctually for an interview, wear clean and appropriate clothing and have any documents and relevant paperwork to hand. This preparedness is all part of cultivating a professional image and attitude and will stand you in good stead at the workplace. It starts at College where we expect you to show up on time, wear ID and generally be ready to start the day. This kind of approach will make you stand out to employers when doing work experience too.


Remembering to say “thank you” and being inclusive and kind to others is a positive and respectful way to live, work and study. Cultivate an attitude of appreciation for what you learn and the people you interact with. Listen more than you speak and listen to others without working on your response; this communication skill shows respect and will help you build relationships in business, for example at networking events. People do business with people they like and people will go that extra mile for you if they know you respect them.  


Practise being collaborative in your learning environment by sharing ideas and working in a team whenever you can. Take the same approach to problem-solving and ask others what they think so that you can work towards a solution together.
It can take longer to accomplish a task if you work purely on your own. Employers look for team players - people who are ready to contribute and share – as teams built on collaboration are more effective.


Don’t be passive and re-active to situations. Instead, take control when there’s an issue. Always plan in advance for appointments and tasks. This will help you stay organised and avoid chaos. Be pro-active about your employability: Think about what you can do now to build a career path, like speaking to a Careers advisor, finding a mentor or applying for work experience. Don’t sit around waiting for things to come to you – chances are they won’t. 


Employers want people who will take their organisation’s goals and mission seriously. So make sure you know what they are and what they mean to your work. A team of committed individuals will always get things done and finished on time.
Be committed to your own employability journey and your own personal development. You could also talk about the seven behaviours of the Deal in an interview situation to evidence your commitment to your studies and your own personal development, prior to starting work.


It’s good to be a team player but also look for opportunities to lead a team or an activity. This will show employers you have the potential to take responsibility for a task and are someone interested in developing themselves further. Show a can-do attitude i.e. look for ways to make things happen and set about implementing them. Employers want positive people who get things done and are role models for others.  


Set goals for yourself and be committed to achieving them. Think about goals which are outside your comfort zone. For example, if you’re not so good with figures, think about doing a course or volunteering for a task which involves you to use or produce them. Ambitious people are clear about their strengths and weaknesses and are determined to improve on them. Having ambition shows self-confidence and self-esteem. Be proud of what you have achieved but keep striving to be amazing in all that you do.  

Master this set of behaviours and not only will you get the most out of your time at College, you will also improve your work-readiness and employability. A good way to start the New Year!