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What do employers look for when they are seeking new college graduates to take on jobs?

According to NACE’s Job Outlook 2016 survey, they are looking for leaders who can work as part of a team.

More than 80 percent of responding employers said they look for evidence of leadership skills on the candidate’s resume, and nearly as many seek out indications that the candidate is able to work in a team.

Employers also cited written communication skills, problem-solving skills, verbal communication skills, and a strong work ethic as important candidate attributes.

In terms of attributes heading the list, current results are largely consistent with those posted in last year’s survey. Respondents to the current survey gave slightly greater weight to verbal communication skills than was the case last year, and slightly less weight to analytical/quantitative skills.

Top 6 Attributes Employers Seek on a Candidate’s Resume

Attribute Percentage of Employer Respondents
Leadership 80.1%
Ability to Work in a Team 78.9%
Communication Skills (written) 70.2%
Problem Solving Skills 70.2%
Communication Skills (verbal) 68.9%
Strong Work Ethic 68.9%


If you have any questions about how to develop these important skills while you are at UNC or how to market your skills to employers, please make an appointment with one of the UCS career counselors at

Chad Collins
University Career Services

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