The academic qualifications of graduate applicants are less important than personal qualities and transferable skills, according to a new survey.

GRADdirect found that 62 per cent of employers see the ability to work as part of a team and to communicate as very important characteristics in a graduate candidate.

Of the respondents, 42 per cent said appreciation of the perspectives of others was a vital trait, while the ability to grasp complex information was named as a key attribute by 68 per cent.

In contrast, just 27 per cent of those employers surveyed said they thought a graduate candidate’s academic ability was very important.

Nick Griffin, head of graduate services at GRADdirect, said: "In today’s competitive climate and in the face of the escalating war for talent, recruiters have to work harder and smarter to find their ideal candidate."

Figures from the Association of Graduate Recruiters show that vacancies for graduate level positions have grown by 11.7 per cent over the last year.