Monday, January 19, 2009

Employers want communicators!

I teach communication at Carnegie Mellon University and I am always telling my graduate students that they can increase their chances of finding a good job, or rising through the ranks at their current jobs, by becoming good communicators. I share with them some of the information I have collected on this over the years. And now I share it with you.

On September 22, 2004, recruiters shared with the Wall Street Journal the attributes they were seeking in job candidates. In the article, entitled, "How to Get Hired," recruiters in the survey cited "Communication and interpersonal skills"(89%) as the most sought after student attribute. It was followed by "Ability to work well in a team," (87%) "Personal ethics and integrity," (85%) and "Analytical and problem solving skills" (84%).

A 2005 report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers: Job Outlook 2005-Student Version listed "Communication Skills (Verbal and Written)" as first among the "Top Ten Skills Employers Want." That was followed by "Honesty/Integrity," "Interpersonal Skills," and "Strong Work Ethic."

And, Fiona MacKay, in an article on the web entitled "What Employers Want - the Top Ten "Soft" Skills Employers Are Seeking" cites "Communicate Effectively" as the first most wanted soft skill. That was followed by "Commit to the job" and "Learn new tasks willingly." You can find this at

As I said in an earlier post, I am proof that good communication skills can differentiate one employee from another - and lead to good jobs and advancement. I used my two degrees in English to propel myself through an executive marketing career. Of course, I read every book I could find on marketing and attended a number of classes after college to increase my marketing know-how. But, learning never ends. However, if you want to succeed, build a good communication foundation and your path to success will be easier!

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