Advising & Career Services

Top Qualities that Employers Seek in College Grads

Employers taking part in the Job Outlook 2013 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges & Employers rated applicants' solid knowledge of their field (good GPA and internships) as important hiring criteria. 

"Soft" skills also topped the list of qualities employers seek in new college grads whom they hire.  How do your skills rate?


Top "Soft" Skills/Qualities

  • Verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Decisive & good problem solver
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Decisive & good problem solver
  • Ability to plan, organize & prioritize work
  • Ability to obtain & process info
  • Ability to analyze quantitative data

Skills Candidates Lack

When asked which skills candidates commonly lack, employers cited communication skills as the number one deficiency among new college grads.


Employers noted either verbal or written skills equally, and they often credited students' inadequate writing skills to their frequent use of text-messaging and emails.  Additional communication skills employers identified as lacking included presentation, teamwork, and overall interpersonal skills.


The second-largest response identified lack of a good work ethic, including poor time management and inability to multitask in order to meet deadlines.  Related to work ethic, employers said that students do not have realistic expectations of their new positions related to the demands of the job.  They cited grads who are not committed to the organization and who lack patience, wanting to "climb the ladder overnight."


Another large group identified lack of professionalism among new grads.  Specifically, employers noted a lack of maturity and business etiquette, including how to dress appropriately in a business environment.


Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations may review Policies & Procedures