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What Employers Want

A NEW mind-reading tool is giving job seekers the chance to know exactly what employers want.

Recent statistics have unlocked a secret formula to help bag that top job whether you are looking for a graduate position or are already in the workforce.

But be warned, talents sought by employers can vary between industries, companies and even those hiring within organisations with some looking specifically for good grades while others want to see hands-on experience and further education.

The good news is that while a specific set of skills is needed to perform a particular position in each industry, there are certain characteristics that employers search for during each and every interview.

Armed with this secret list of wanted abilities, the job market is your oyster, and there is still plenty of time to improve on these skills through the summer break with the help of university careers services and professional development mentors.

So now is the time to tweak your resume, cover letter and interview skills to showcase how you have mastered all the skills every boss wants.

Interpersonal communication skills are most sought by employers, with nearly 75 per cent rating this as one of their most important selection criteria according to a survey conducted by Graduate Careers Australia.

Drive, commitment and industry knowledge was the next most frequently identified quality, nominated by nearly half of employers followed by analytical, problem solving ability.

Employers’ top 10 skills and attributes according to Graduate Careers Australia:

  1. Interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral).
  2. Drive and commitment/industry knowledge.
  3. Critical reasoning and analytical skills/technical skills.
  4. Calibre of academic results.
  5. Cultural alignment/values fit.
  6. Work experience.
  7. Teamwork skills.
  8. Emotional intelligence (including self-awareness, confidence, motivation).
  9. Leadership skills.
  10. Activities (including intra and extracurricular).

Analysts warn that bosses will also have their own set of requirements despite valuing the above attributes. Traditionally medicine and engineering students will be chosen based on grades, while other institutions value work experience and proof of a strong work ethic.

In order to get a step ahead, researchers suggest graduates should investigate companies before applying for positions or even contact someone who already works there for an insight into the culture of those hiring.

The good news is that these top ten skills can be acquired without any previous career experience. Universal skills can be taught across academic disciplines and in any job where you are working with others, be it tutoring students or waiting tables at a busy restaurant.

Being involved in the community also provides plenty of experiences and a legitimate opportunity to show employers you have exactly what they want. The trick is to communicate this clearly in your cover letter, resume and interview.