BETHLEHEM, PA—Employers considering new college graduates for job openings are looking for strong team players who can solve problems and possess strong communication skills, according to results of a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
When NACE asked employers participating in its Job Outlook 2017 survey which attributes—beyond a solid GPA—they look for on a candidate's resume, three-quarters or more said they seek candidates who demonstrate strong teamwork (78 percent), problem-solving (77.3 percent), and written communication skills (75.0 percent). (See Figure 1.)
A good work ethic (72.0 percent) and solid verbal communication skills (70.5 percent) are highly valued as well.
Employers also noted that when choosing between two equally qualified candidates, academic major, leadership skills, participation in extracurricular activities, and a high GPA have the most significant influence on their decision. (See Figure 2.)
Figure 1: Attributes employers seek on a candidate’s resume
Figure 2: Influence of attributes on hiring decision
About the Job Outlook 2017 Survey: The Job Outlook survey is a forecast of hiring intentions of employers as they relate to new college graduates. Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveys its employer members about their hiring plans and other employment-related issues in order to project the market for new college graduates for the current class and to assess a variety of conditions that may influence that market. The survey is conducted in two parts: fall and spring. This release is based on data gathered in the fall. Data were collected from August 5, 2016, through October 4, 2016, for the Job Outlook 2017 survey. A total of 169 NACE-member organizations participated—a 17 percent response rate. By region, 13.6 percent of respondents were from the West, 26.6 percent were from the Northeast, 25.4 percent were from the Southeast, and 34.3 percent were from the Midwest.
About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit http://www.naceweb.org. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media at www.naceweb.org/press-releases.aspx