Top 10 Skills Employers Look For in Business Graduates

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Earning a business degree opens up a world of career opportunities, but not all graduates are created equal in the eyes of employers. When reviewing recent business grads for open positions, hiring managers look for much more than academic credentials. There are key skills that set standout candidates apart from the pack. 

We’re outlining the top 10 skills employers seek when recruiting business graduates straight out of college. From communication abilities to the ability to work on a team, the following capabilities are highly valued across industries like marketing, finance, and HR. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top 10 Skills Employers Look For in Business Graduates

In the challenging job market, a varied skill set becomes crucial. Let’s examine the essential skills that distinguish business graduates in the professional arena.

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1. Communication Skills

Effective workplace communication is pivotal for success. In today’s dynamic business world, clear articulation is a cornerstone for collaboration and innovation. Strong communication skills transcend mere verbal exchanges. 

They underpin successful collaboration and relationship-building within teams, propelling career growth and contributing to organizational success.


Clear communication fosters collaboration, ensuring ideas are conveyed seamlessly. Employers, recognizing its significance, deem communication skills indispensable in prospective hires.


  • A study highlights the pivotal role, with 77% of employers deeming communication skills “very important.”
  • Enhances collaboration and teamwork, crucial for modern work environments.
  • Establishes a foundation for effective negotiation and conflict resolution.

2. Problem-Solving Skills 

In the dynamic business realm, adept problem-solving is non-negotiable. This skill consists of unraveling complex situations into smaller and more manageable problems. Then, a great problem-solver must be able to find an easy and efficient solution to each situation.

Problem-solving skills are required in almost every job application across industries, and as a result, this skill is in extremely high demand, and it should be worked on before considering applying for a job.


Business landscapes are rife with challenges; problem-solving skills aren’t just desirable. They are also essential, influencing job performance and efficiency.


  • Jobs requiring problem-solving skills boast an average pay scale of 14% higher, as revealed by a comprehensive study.
  • Critical for informed decision-making, these skills foster innovation and adaptability.
  • Real-world examples highlight how problem-solving directly enhances job performance.

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3. Teamwork 

The essence of effective teamwork in achieving organizational goals cannot be overstated. Teamwork skills consist of being able to coordinate a group and to work together to achieve a common goal.

In teamwork, adaptability is crucial, and effective teamwork becomes a cornerstone of success.


This skill is extremely valuable to any employer as the employees should be efficiently working together. If, instead, the employees cannot work together and everyone tries to prevail over others, you can end up in a hostile working environment.


  • Forbes Insights emphasizes that 89% of executives believe teamwork is crucial for a company’s success.
  • Strong teamwork fosters innovation, improved collaboration, and job satisfaction within the workplace.

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4. Written Communication Skills

In the dynamic landscape of business, clear and professional written communication is a linchpin for success. Written communication skills encompass all the communication channels that businesses might adopt. 

From emails and CRMs to informal messaging apps, you need to know how to write in various styles before getting hired by a company.


Mastering the art of written communication is crucial for navigating the complexities of a business setting. It ensures that ideas are clearly expressed, leaving no room for misinterpretation.


  • 70% of employers actively seek graduates with robust writing abilities.
  • Effective written communication positively influences job performance.
  • It creates a pathway for career advancement, setting you apart in the competitive business realm.

5. Initiative

Initiative is a quality that sets you apart in the eyes of employers. It consists of going the extra mile and progressing even when a situation is at a standstill.


In the dynamic landscape of business, employers highly value graduates who don’t merely follow the path, rather they look for someone who can pave the way. Taking initiative is a testament to your proactive approach, showcasing that you’re not just a passive observer but an active contributor to the success of any endeavor.


  • A notable 67.5% of employers actively seek candidates who demonstrate initiative. 
  • Taking initiative can lead to increased job responsibility, indicating that you’re ready to take on challenges beyond the norm.
  • It opens doors to leadership opportunities, allowing you to guide and influence outcomes within your professional sphere.

6. Strong Work Ethic

Regardless of your field, a strong work ethic is one of the most important characteristics you should have. Each job consists of written and unwritten rules that must be followed to correctly achieve the goal and maintain a proactive work environment.

A strong work ethic is the skill that sets apart diligent workers from the ones who are willing to cut corners just to finish the job sooner. A strong work ethic serves as a compass guiding you toward comprehensive career success, constructing a narrative of dependability and achievement.


A robust work ethic extends beyond mere time investment; it embodies a commitment to excellence, discipline, and unwavering dedication. Employers, recognizing its transformative impact, actively seek candidates who naturally embody this trait.


  • A substantial 71% of employers highly value and actively seek candidates with a strong work ethic.
  • A diligent work ethic lays the foundation for heightened job performance, showcasing your commitment to achieving goals.
  • It’s the bedrock of reliability, assuring employers you can be counted on to meet deadlines and exceed expectations.

7. Technical Skills

In a world where digital proficiency is paramount, possessing technical expertise has become synonymous with career preparedness. Technical skills encompass all the textbook techniques, expertise, and tricks that one can learn over a career.


Proficiency in technical skills serves as your gateway to a realm of heightened job opportunities and promising avenues for career growth. Even if many soft skills are important, technical ones are the founding principle of the job.


  • The professional arena exhibits a palpable demand for individuals well-versed in technical acumen responding to the surge in the need for digital proficiency.
  • A substantial 64.9% of employers underscore the importance of technical competency, acknowledging it as a crucial attribute in the job market.

8. Flexibility and Adaptability

In the ever-shifting terrain of today’s business world, adaptability is indispensable. It allows workers to continue to perform their best even if some significant factors about the job change.


From an employer’s point of view, adaptability and flexibility are fundamental skills to look for as a “jack of all trades” could be a long-term key component of the business, as opposed to someone who only knows how to perform a very specific job.


  • Amidst the perpetual flux of the business environment, adaptability emerges as a beacon of resilience. It enables you to adeptly navigate the complexities of evolving trends.
  • A substantial 63.4% of hiring managers actively seek candidates showcasing adaptability. They recognize it as a pivotal attribute that fosters a responsive and forward-thinking work culture.

9. Self-Motivation

Self-motivation is like fuel for your professional engine. It is no secret that a professional career is full of challenges, so having the inner motivation that helps a worker plow through them is key.

Initiative and self-motivation aren’t just admirable traits, they’re pathways to expanded job opportunities and a successful career. By embodying these qualities, you will be able to impress employers and set the stage for your own professional triumph.


Employers appreciate graduates who take ownership, embrace challenges, and consistently stay motivated, recognizing the intrinsic value in such qualities.


10. Commercial Awareness

Understanding the ins and outs of how businesses operate is a game changer. Even if you are a back-end engineer for an e-commerce website, understanding how the sales are made and how the business generates profits will help you achieve a better result, even in what might seem insignificant details to you.


An employer’s goal is to build a strong team on which they can rely, so even a programmer should be aware of how the company’s finance department operates. By doing so, teamwork is enhanced, increasing efficiency and profitability.


  • A study by the ACCA reveals that graduates with commercial awareness are 27% more likely to secure employment.
  • This statistic highlights this skill’s concrete advantage, making it indispensable in today’s fiercely competitive job market.

People Also Ask

What Skills Should I Put On My CV?

When listing skills on your CV, you should tailor the list to the ones required by the job proposal. Because of this, it is always important to carefully scan the proposal and then add all the relevant ones that might give you an edge over other candidates.

What Soft Skills Do Graduates Lack?

Most graduates lack extremely important soft skills such as time management, active listening and, leadership skills, which might cause poor performance on the job.

What Are the Hottest Skills Every Business Professional Needs Today?

In the dynamic business landscape, professionals need a mix of technical proficiency, adaptability, and commercial awareness. These skills enable them to thrive in today’s competitive and rapidly evolving job market.


Our exploration of key skills employers desire reveals the recipe for success in the competitive job market. These skill sets not only boost employability but they also lay the foundation for a thriving career. Continual learning is vital for staying ahead in the dynamic business landscape.