What Employers Want

Preparing for a successful career is more than simply meeting your degree requirements. Think about what will set you apart from others with the same educational background and how you will market yourself to future employers.

The following survey data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) can help you to prioritize and seek experiences that are most valued by employers (on average). NACE regularly surveys employer members about their hiring plans and other employment-related trends to project the job market for college students and recent graduates.

Influence of Attributes (Experience to acquire and demonstrate on your resume)

ATTRIBUTE2023 AVERAGE INFLUENCE RATING*2022 AVERAGE INFLUENCE RATING*2021 AVERAGE INFLUENCE RATING*
Has completed an internship with your organization4.54.44.5
Has internship experience in your industry4.34.34.3
Major3.73.83.8
Has general work experience3.73.73.6
Has held a leadership position3.53.63.6
Has been involved in extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, student government, etc.)3.33.53.4
Has no work experience3.23.33.2
High GPA (3.0 or above)2.93.13.2
Has done volunteer work2.72.72.8
School attended2.32.62.5
Is fluent in a foreign language1.82.12.1
Has studied abroad1.82.01.8

Source: Job Outlook 2023, National Association of Colleges and Employers. *5-point scale where 1=No influence at all; 2=Not much influence; 3=Somewhat of an influence; 4=Very much influence; 5=Extreme influence.

Attributes Employers Seek on a Candidate’s Resume (Skills to acquire and demonstrate on your resume)

ATTRIBUTE% OF RESPONDENTS
Problem-solving skills61.4%
Ability to work in a team61.0%
Strong work ethic52.4%
Analytical/Quantitative Skills50.4%
Communication Skills (written)50.0%
Technical skills50.0%
Initiative48.0%
Detail-oriented47.6%
Communication skills (verbal)46.3%
Computer skills44.7%
Flexibility/Adaptability43.9%
Leadership43.9%
Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)39.8%
Organizational ability33.3%
Strategic planning skills24.4%
Creativity17.5%
Tactfulness15.9%
Friendly/Outgoing Personality14.6%
Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker9.3%
Fluency in a foreign language3.7%

Source: Job Outlook 2023, National Association of Colleges and Employers