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Do You Wonder What Employers Are Looking For in Job Candidates?

If you're motivated and able to communicate and work well with others, be sure to mention that in job interviews. Employers rate communication, motivation and teamwork as the top three qualities they look for in a jobseeker. Compiled from recent employer surveys, here are the requirements on everyone's list:

Basic Skills Critical Thinking Skills Interpersonal Skills
Reading Know how to Learn Work on Teams
Writing Reason /analytical skills Sense of humor
Arithmetic Think Creatively Teach Others
Mathematics Make Decisions Serve Customers
Speaking Solve Problems Leadership skills
Listening Organizational skills Negotiate
Computer skills    
Know how to Allocate Personal Qualities Top 4 criteria influencing hiring decisions by hr executives:
Time Individual Responsibility Interview well
Money Creative Relevant experience
Materials Confident Good references
Space Self-Management Add diversity to the workplace
Staff Sociability  
  Relates well to others  
  Strong work ethic  
  Flexible, adaptable  

Chart adapted from Evergreen Valley College: and University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering Student services "What Are Employers Looking for?" posted May 6, 2003

Human Resources top criteria found in: Ronald Fink's July 1, 2003 article on, "What Employers are Looking For."

How about Education Requirements? Here are the top degrees currently in demand by employers:

Bachelor's Degree:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration/Management
  • Economics/Finance
  • Computer Science
  • Information Sciences and Systems
  • Marketing/Marketing Management
  • Computer Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering

Master's Degree:

  • Master's in Business Administration
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Computer Engineering

Employers want graduates with associate degrees too:

Almost one-third of employers reported that they planned to hire associate degree graduates in 2005-06. Associate degrees in demand fall primarily into three categories: business degrees, technology-related degrees, and engineering-related degrees.*

Who is hiring two-year grads? The government and nonprofit sector reported 40% of employers planned to hire associate degree grads in 2005-6. Service sector employers are next, 30% planned to hire two-year graduates. Who are these employers? They are primarily insurance, engineering/surveying, and hospitality industry employers.

* Excerpted from—Career development and job-search advice for new college graduates by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

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