As a global business student, you know that business acumen is important to nearly every successful career endeavor. That makes it one of the most versatile higher education pursuits that can also lead to lucrative careers in multiple fields.

To launch your journey, you’ll need the skills that employers are looking for on the resume of a new college graduate. We’ve compiled resources to help you advance these sought-after skills. 

1.  Problem-solving skills are crucial to employers

Nearly 86% of employers say they want proof that prospective employees have solid problem-solving abilities, according to a Job Outlook 2022 Survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). 

The annual survey forecasts employers’ hiring intentions in their considerations to hire recent graduates. Survey respondents ranked problem-solving proficiency as the top skill they are looking for on student resumes. 

As a business student, how do you gain experience in problem-solving? Ask your instructors if they can include problem-solving activities in their teachings, so you can learn this skill and add it to your resume. 

Resources for building problem-solving skills:

  • Outback Team Building & Training offers 17 team building, problem-solving activities you can perform with your fellow business students. 
  • Hays features tips for improving problem solving skills.
  • Wrike offers problem-solving methods and related activities. 

2.  Analytical and quantitative skills

 According to the NACE Job Outlook survey, 78% of respondents cite analytical and quantitative skills as the second most important set of skills they want to see on the resumes of recent graduates. 

Resources for building analytical and quantitative skills:

  • Zety includes a list of analytical skills, the types of jobs that may require them, and other helpful information.
  • Enhancv offers examples for how to demonstrate analytical skills on your resume, along with relative words to integrate.
  • Indeed (Australia) has advice for presenting analytical skills on a resume with examples. 
  • offers recommendations for college students who want to build their analytical skills.

3.  Abilities to work as a team member

Proven abilities to work as part of a team came in as the third most important skill (76.3%) respondents plan to look for on the resumes of recent graduates. Being able to work as part of a team is among the soft skills that employers are looking for.

Resources for building team-working skills:

  • Atlassian has strategies for mastering seven essential skills for leveling-up teamwork skills.
  • Indeed offers seven examples of important teamwork skills from a senior digital marketing leader.
  • MasterClass explains why teamwork is important and the value of working toward a common goal.  

4.  Written communication skills

About 73% of survey respondents report communication skills, particularly written communication, as the fourth most important skill they are looking for on the resumes of new college graduates. 

The first and strongest indicator of your written communications skills may be the resume and cover letter you submit to prospective employers. It may also be the manner in which you respond to emails from employers. 

Resources for developing written communication skills:

  • Indeed offers ways to highlight and demonstrate your communication skills in a resume.
  • Zety offers 20 effective communication skills you can include in your resume.
  • Zippia lists communication skills for workplace success and how to improve them.
  • RMS Recruitment offers tips for writing business correspondence by email.

5.  Showing initiative

Nearly 73% of NACE survey respondents say that showing initiative is important in job candidates and they want to know you have it by looking at your resume.

Resources for developing initiative:

  • Resume Worded lists ways to exhibit initiative and drive on a resume.
  • Forbes offers three ways to demonstrate initiative on a resume.
  • Indeed explains the importance of demonstrating initiative skills to guide your career.
  • MindTools defines and offers ways to develop initiative in yourself.

Other in-demand skills

Other skills that employers say are important to see in new-graduate job candidates, according to the NACE survey, (listed in order of importance) include:

  1. Strong work ethic (71%)
  2. Technical skills (64.9%)
  3. Flexibility and adaptability (63.4%)
  4. Detail-oriented (62.6%)
  5. Leadership (60.3%)
  6. Verbal communication skills (58.8%)
  7. Interpersonal skills, relating well to others (56.5%)

Now you know what prospective employers are looking for in newly graduated job candidates. You can begin honing these skills and adding them to your resume to improve your chances of getting an interview. You should also check out this complete business interview guide to further help you attain the role you’re after.

Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University can help you find your path in business.


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