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Survey says: What employers are really looking for in job candidates

Topping the list – the ability to work as part of a team.
Topping the list – the ability to work as part of a team.
Microsoft

Did you ever wonder what employers are really looking for when interviewing new hires? Well, when it comes to the importance of candidates' skills and qualities, employers are looking for team players who can solve problems, organize their work, and communicate effectively.

According to results of a new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE):

“Employers are seeking evidence of the soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace in the college students they’re recruiting,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE’s executive director.

Working with a 5 point scale, where:

  • 1 = Not at all important,
  • 2 = Not very important,
  • 3= Somewhat important,
  • 4 = Very important, and,
  • 5 = Extremely important,

… employers responding to NACE’s Job Outlook 2014 survey rated the following skills and qualities in the following order of importance.

Skill / Quality - Weighted Average Rating

Ability to work in a team structure: 4.55

Ability to make decisions and solve problems: 4.50

Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work: 4.48

Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization: 4.48

Ability to obtain and process information: 4.37

Ability to analyze quantitative data: 4.25

Technical knowledge related to the job: 4.01

Proficiency with computer software programs: 3.94

Ability to create and/or edit written reports: 3.62

Ability to sell or influence others: 3.54

NACE will release the complete Job Outlook 2014 report later this fall.

New college grads would be well advised to punch up the skills and qualities above on their resumes.

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