You Want a Job. What Do Employers Want?

Job searching for students can be very difficult and discouraging at times. Your relevant experience is often limited, yet employers seem to expect a lot of experience for entry-level jobs. How can you overcome this? Think SKILLS!

No matter what field or industry you are interested in, employers across the board are looking for candidates with a similar skill set.

According to respondents to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Job Outlook 2013 survey…

“When it comes to the importance of candidate skills/qualities, employers are looking for team players who can solve problems, organize their work, and communicate effectively.”

Now you may be thinking “I have those skills!” Great! Or maybe you are thinking “I really don’t think my skills are very strong in those areas….” If that is the case, now is the time to start thinking about HOW to gain or improve your skill set!

My blog next week will focus on the HOW, but let’s get back to the WHY employers are looking for these skills.

Employers are looking to hire candidates who will be able to contribute to the success of their organizations. To many employers, this means their employees are willing and able to learn the necessary information about their specific clients, products, services, goals, mission, etc. What employers cannot teach, or prefer not to have to teach, are “soft skills.” The top ten soft skills/qualities employers seek are in the info-graphic.

info graphicEmployers seek employees with these skills because no matter what position you may be hired for or what industry you are interested in, you will NEED these skills. That is also the reason why your academics include general education courses, group projects, writing intensive courses, report writing, developing and giving presentations, and participating in class discussions. Think about it… is there one skill on this list you don’t think is important? I didn’t think so!

So, what’s next? How do you plan to share with employers you possess the skills they want? Be sure to review your resume and add these skills if you have not already done so! Can you add any of these skills in your MavJobs profile? If you have a portfolio, have you included samples of your work that exhibits the skills you can bring to an organization?

Remember, if you need help with applying these suggestions, the Career Development Center is here to help! Check out or website for tips or meet with one of our staff for some one-on-one assistance.


– Deenna Latus, Assistant Director

Deenna Latus

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