Employers Seek Team Work



By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

As students look for their first entry-level job or internship, they would be wise to emphasize the ability to work in teams.  A new study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) shows more organizations look for that trait on the resumes of applicants than any other characteristic.  

NACE surveyed more than 200 companies during the spring and 80%-plus listed teamwork as a desired criterion.  Closely following were problem-solving skills and analytical/quantitative skills.   

There were some notable differences in what employers are looking for between this set of results and the results from a similar survey last year. Verbal communication moved up from seventh last year (69.6%) to fourth this year (73.2%), and written communication was also highly desired (72.7%).  On the other hand, work ethic fell from third last year to tenth this year.  

The director of UofL’s University Career Center, Bill Fletcher, said students can use the listing for guidance as they revise and tailor resumes before applying for positions. “Students should emphasize internships and part-time jobs as well as specific academic knowledge and coursework that indicate teamwork, the ability to solve problems, and analytic skills. It is crucial students carefully edit their resumes to ensure clear, concise writing since that is always something employers examine carefully.”

Here is a full listing of NACE’s desired resume traits. 

NACE Resume Attributes