What employers want most in new college grads aren't programming skills, according to The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a Pennsylvania non-profit that connects college career placement offices with employers. Rather, the most important ability a new hire can display is a capacity for teamwork, Forbes reports.
Following teamwork, employers ranked the ability to make decisions and solve problems as the second most vital asset. The full list is as follows:
1. Ability to work in a team
2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
3. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
4. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
5. Ability to obtain and process information
6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
7. Technical knowledge related to the job
8. Proficiency with computer software programs
9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports
10. Ability to sell and influence others
One of the salient takeaways from this survey is that employers are highly interested in the sort of "soft skills" that can lead to success in any role, regardless of the industry.
However, when considering a new hire without a large amount of work experience, it can be difficult to ascertain these traits. Some experiences to look for in such a candidate are class projects, internships and volunteer work, in addition to their resume and cover letter. It's also advisable to consult with a professional during this process — with a partner well-versed in hiring, you can better identify the graduates who have the skills most important to you.