Skills & Qualities Employers Are Seeking in College Graduate Hires

Dec 11, 2014 7:45 AM ET

The Skills & Qualities Employers Want in New College Graduate Hires

Employers considering new college graduates for job openings are looking for leaders who can work as part of a team and communicate effectively, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

When employers participating in NACE's Job Outlook 2015 survey were asked which attributes they look for on a candidate's resume, the biggest group of respondents (77.8 percent) chose both "leadership" and "the ability to work in a team structure." (See Figure 1.)

These skills/qualities are followed by "written communication skills," "problem-solving skills," "strong work ethic," and "analytical/quantitative skills."

Further evidence that having leadership skills can make or break a hiring decision is that when employers are forced to choose between two equally qualified candidates, they will choose the one with experience in a leadership position over the other. (See Figure 2.)

A student's academic major and a high GPA are also key determining factors.



Visit our blog post on the topic to learn more about the Job Outlook Survey and results.