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Despite widely assumed that a candidate’s experience is the most favoured factor in recruitment, it may actually be their personality that is valued most by employers, according to a new study.

The University of Law Business School, which analysed over 700 keywords from popular job specifications, found that just two of the top 10 most desirable skills sought by employers are related to job capabilities.

IT skills (40%) and problem-solving (37%) were the only skill-based traits, while communication skills (90%) and relationship building (83%) were the most valued. The University of Law Business School said it proves that a person’s ability to communicate well, bond with colleagues and build professional relationships is more favoured than their existing skillset, experience and ability to understand certain job processes.

The study also found that skills and requirements appear in job specifications less frequently. Although students and recent graduates lament the required level of experience for many positions, the study found that ‘past experience’ appears in just 3% of job specifications.

Jo Lozinska, employability manager at The University of Law Business School, said: “It’s really interesting to see what employers consider to be the most valuable when it comes to the candidates they are interviewing, but what’s particularly surprising is that past experience is the least desirable skill for a prospective employee to have.

“Many people believe that they cannot land their dream job without a wealth of previous experience, so it’s very encouraging that employers in the business world are seemingly favouring personality traits over experience. This will give recent graduates and people with little experience in the business industry hope that they can land a great job in business without having to worry about what they have done previously.”