Say you had the opportunity to go back,to have another chance at writing the
killer cover letter for snagging that dream job.Would you emphasize certain
basic skills and qualities that every employer wants? Is there anything you could
have done to make yourselfa more attractive candidate? In figuring out the
“bottom line”skills that employers are looking for,take a look at some recent
data from the National Association ofColleges and Employers (NACE):
• What qualities do employers want most from the college students they
consider candidates for employment? Communication skills,honesty and
integrity,and teamwork skills are at the top ofthe list,according to
respondents to a survey conducted by the National Association ofColleges
and Employers (NACE).
• Employers responding to NACE’s Job Outlook 2003survey were asked to rate
the importance ofcandidate qualities and skills on a five-point scale,with five
being “extremely important”and one being “not important.”Communication
skills (4.7 average),honesty/integrity (4.7),teamwork skills (4.6),interpersonal
skills (4.5),motivation/initiative (4.5),and strong work ethic (4.5) were the
most desired characteristics.
• The majority ofthe respondents ofthis survey (52 percent) were service-
sector employers.36.4 percent were manufacturers,and 8.2 percent were
government/non-profit employers.(An additional 3.4 percent could not be
classified by sector.)
To find out more about the NACE
Job Outlook 2003
survey,please see the resource section
at the end of this guide,or visit www.naceweb.org.
Effective self-promotion begins with understanding an employer’s vision ofan
attractive candidate.Your cover letter and resume must communicate your ability
to deliver the desired goods.What do you have to tempt an employer? Ifyou
don’t know,it’s time to learn how to assess and articulate your particular strengths.
On Your Mark