7 things hiring managers value much more than your education

We pay a lot of money for a good education in hopes that it will lead to a good job in the future.

But as it turns out, most hiring managers don’t really care about where you went to school or the degree you earned.

According to Christine Romans, CNN chief business correspondent and author of “Smart is the New Rich: Money Guide for Millennials,” skills such as integrity and professionalism are among the qualities that employers value the most.

“These used to be called ‘soft skills,’ but workplace experts and human resources managers say there is nothing soft about them at all,” Romans writes in her new book. “The hard truth is that companies need talent that can collaborate and lead. These skills are critical, and you can’t get a degree in them.”

Romans cites a survey conducted by staffing firm Express Employment Professionals, which has a total of 700 franchises in the US, Canada, and South Africa. The survey asked employers to rank eight top qualities of job applicants.

Here is the ranking, from most to least important:

1. Attitude

2. Work ethic / integrity

3. Credible work history

4. Cultural fit

5. Specific skills

6. Job experience

7. References

8. Education

Romans quotes the staffing firm’s CEO, Bob Funk, saying that applicants shouldn’t just rely on their résumé when it comes to getting hired.

“Even the best education is no substitute for a good attitude,” Funk says. “Of course education is important, but while employers can teach their employees new skills, it’s much more difficult to teach things like integrity, work ethic, or attitude.”

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