The types of qualities employers are looking for varies but I would have thought that being hard working and reliable are pretty obvious ones and actually really good qualities to have. As a Brit living in NZ I subscribe to a great magazine called ‘The Week’ and I read a short story with amusement in the 30 January 2010 issue about a recruitment consultant who placed an advert in the local Jobcentre which stated the qualities required were ‘hard working’ and ‘reliable’. The Jobcentre said they couldn’t display the ad as it discriminated against unreliable workers! The Jobcentre has since relented.
So, the employer does want to see you are hard working and reliable even if the qualities for a graduate job may be described in other words such as flexible with a ‘can-do’ attitude or good problem solving and team working skills. And don’t forget to always match your key skills to those the particular job description highlights.