Looking to land a great job after college? Unfortunately, just having a degree isn’t enough to guarantee you anything. Sure, having a great resume that outlines all of your achievements is nice, but there are certain intangibles that employers look for in a new hire.

Many of these in-demand skills are a result of the changing work environment. Workplaces are more diverse, competitive, and rapidly changing than ever before. We’re seeing an increase in the number of companies hiring overseas, which creates another new challenge for people entering the work force.

The skills below will help you become more employable and a much more valuable asset to employers.

Related: 4 Skills for Surviving Freshman Year


Companies want employees who want to come into the office every day. This is why you see “self-motivated” in so many job listings today. Even though companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple are making the workplace much more enjoyable, if you’re not able to motivate yourself, employers don’t want you.


Competition is heavy in pretty much every industry. Companies are constantly looking for innovative minds to push their businesses further. If you have the ability to think outside the box and come up with profitable ideas, you will be much more attractive to employers. Innovation shows employers that you enjoy your job and are looking to help the company.

Ability to Adapt to Change

Companies that stay the same don’t last very long. Therefore, successful companies (the ones you should try to work for) introduce new initiatives and changes throughout the year. The goal is to improve productivity and ultimately increase profits. Applicants that are open to change and able to adapt are much more employable.


Being able to make efficient use of your time is a great skill. You may be asked interview questions about time management or how you prioritize your day. These questions are designed to see if you know how to use your time efficiently. The more efficient you are, the more you can get done per day. When you’re able to get more work done per day, the employer is getting more bang for their buck.

Related: Balance School and Play with These Time Management Skills

Problem Solving

Do you remember those critical thinking questions you used to have to answer in high school? Those questions are given in order to make you think deeper than you normally would. Companies love employees who can encounter a problem and come up with the best solution with the given resources.

Whether you’re negotiating deals, creating a marketing plan, or part of a development team, you’re going to be faced with some sort of decision at some point. The people who are able to make decisions typically move up and those who can’t tend to stay put.

Tech Savvy

Not only are companies requiring employees to come to the table knowing about a wide range of technology, they also need you to be able to learn new ones quickly. Learn the industry-standard software for your particular field.

Any type of creative position will require knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite; financial positions might require QuickBooks and Excel. Take a look through different positions in your industry and see what type of technology they have in common.


Companies want to employ people who want to do what’s best for the team, not just themselves. If you can’t interact with co-workers, lower team morale, or only care about yourself, most companies won’t want anything to do with you. It’s okay to have personal goals that you want to attain, but make sure they align with the organization’s goals.


Most companies don’t hire people with the intent of them staying in the same position forever. Complacency is not a trait that employers look for. Exhibiting leadership skills lets employers see that you have the potential to move up within the company and can take the reins when needed. Certain elements of leading can be taught, but there are other elements such as likability and respect from your peers that can’t be taught.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Have you come across job descriptions that say “Must have great communication skills- written and verbal?”

Being able to clearly communicate with managers, co-workers, and clients is an expectation in today’s workplace. Communication skills are also important when it’s time to create reports or give presentations. Interpersonal skills will also help you grow and get ahead in the company. People generally prefer to be around personable and welcoming people.

Personal Development

Just because you graduate college does not mean you’re finished learning. More and more companies are beginning to realize the importance of employee development. This includes paid training, tuition reimbursement, paid seminars, and other investments that will help employees grow.

In order to take advantage of these benefits, you have to be willing to grow and develop beyond college. You should try to take in as much information you can and constantly try to take yourself to the next level.

RelatedThe Ultimate Workforce Goal is to Make Employers Seek You


Image: Greg Marshall