what employers want: candidate skills + qualities

Each year, NACE asks employers to rate the importance of certain skills/qualities when hiring possible job candidates.1 Each year, without fail, strong communication skills come out on top. (See Figure 38.)

What Employers Want

In this year’s survey, employers were asked to distinguish betweenverbal and written communication skills, and results indicate that employers place far more emphasison verbal communication skills thanon written communication abilities and all other skills. (Interestingly,NACE’s 2010 Student Surveyfound that, overall, students whoused the career center’s practice interviewing program—where the focus is on verbal communication—fared better in the job market than their peers who didn’t bother to polish their skills this way.) Using a weighted average calculation this year, a strong work ethic, teamwork skills and analytical skills also topped the list, having ratings above 4.5, indicating they are highly prized in candidates by employers.

1Although employers are provided with a list, they also have the opportunity to add other skills/qualities.

NACE reviews the “others” each year and adds them to the list as warranted.