What is commercial awareness?

Commercial awareness is an understanding of how industries and businesses work. It’s about knowing what’s going on in the world and analysing the way it might impact on your chosen sector and company. Here's our Marketing Manager Ben to tell you a little more about commercial awareness and Bright Network's weekly update.

Commercial Awareness is possibly the most vital skill for graduate roles in banking, accountancy and finance, but it’s relevant for all applications you complete regardless of sector.

If you’re thinking about Law for example, you’ll need to know how the legal sector operates, who the major players are, what recent economic, political or regulatory changes might have impacted the industry and what emerging challenges or opportunities for the industry might be.

If it’s marketing, advertising or media in which you’re interested, you’ll need to know the latest advertising deals, success of recent campaigns and movements within the industry.

Why is Commercial Awareness important?

Leading graduate employers expect you to have a strong Commercial Awareness. On application forms and at interview, firms are likely to test your knowledge of the sector and the environment the company works in. The strongest candidates will have a clear understanding of how the changes in the business world impact on the firm. Plus, fully understanding their challenges and the marketplace they operate in isn’t just useful during the application – it will give you the upper hand when starting at the firm.

A recent survey by the Associate of Graduate Recruiters found leading firms believe Commercial Awareness was the number one skill graduates lacked the most. If you feel you need to improve your Commercial Awareness, read our four top tips to help you get ahead.

You can also stay up to date with the most important business and political stories each week by signing up for our Commercial Awareness updates.