Experiences and Skills Employers Seek

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)

Has completed an internship with your organization 4.5 4.4 4.5
Has internship experience in your industry 4.3 4.3 4.3
Major 3.7 3.8 3.8
Has general work experience 3.7 3.7 3.6
Has held a leadership position 3.5 3.6 3.6
Has been involved in extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, student government, etc.) 3.3 3.5 3.4
Has no work experience 3.2 3.3 3.2
High GPA (3.0 or above) 2.9 3.1 3.2
Has done volunteer work 2.7 2.7 2.8
School attended 2.3 2.6 2.5
Is fluent in a foreign language 1.8 2.1 2.1
Has studied abroad 1.8 2.0 1.8

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)

Problem-solving skills 61.4%
Ability to work in a team 61.0%
Strong work ethic 52.4%
Analytical/Quantitative Skills 50.4%
Communication Skills (written) 50.0%
Technical skills 50.0%
Initiative 48.0%
Detail-oriented 47.6%
Communication skills (verbal) 46.3%
Computer skills 44.7%
Flexibility/Adaptability 43.9%
Leadership 43.9%
Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 39.8%
Organizational ability 33.3%
Strategic planning skills 24.4%
Creativity 17.5%
Tactfulness 15.9%
Friendly/Outgoing Personality 14.6%
Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker 9.3%
Fluency in a foreign language 3.7%

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