Careers Service

Build your commercial awareness

Employers expect applicants to show evidence of commercial or business awareness. Find out how to develop this.

Part of being commercially aware is simply understanding what the job involves – what you’ll be doing, and how your role fits in to the organisation’s structure.  

Recruiters also look for a broader understanding of how the company operates and how it is influenced by external factors. Keeping up to date with trends and current issues in the sector, and the wider economic and political landscape, will help with this. Follow our advice to develop this understanding and keep it current: 

Explore jobs, sectors and employers 

Employers don’t expect you to have lots of experience in “commerce” or “business”, but they expect you to recognise commercial aspects of your own experiences. How can you do this? 

  • In your part-time work, what are your employer’s aims and how does your role contribute towards meeting them? 

  • In your student society, or volunteering role, have you been involved in marketing an event? Or launching a service? 

  • In your hobbies and interests, can you identify emerging trends? 

Find out more about how to develop commercial awareness, and examples of the questions recruiters use to assess it.  

Video: Top Tips: Commercial Awareness
Information and advice on how to build your commercial awareness, or business awareness, to help you make strong applications.

Commercial awareness tips for graduate job hunters - TARGETjobs

How to become more commercially aware University of Edinburgh login required