According to Mike Thomas, Yahoo Network Contributor, employers look for the following traits in job applicants:
    1. Communicative - many employers rank the ability to communicate at or near the top of the desired traits.  Poor speakers and bad writers severely limit their career options, no matter their discipline.  Truly successful employees learn to be bilingual.  This doesn't necessarily mean they know French, Spanish or American Sign Language, though it could.  Rather, they know how to speak the language of their position and how to translate it so lay people, management, marketing, and others know what they're talking about. 
    2. Leadership - Managers manage things and events; leaders lead people.  Knowing how to lead people means you know how to get things done.  If you've never had a leadership nor management title, you can still demonstrate your leadership skills by leading from within - part of a team.  Chairing committees, initiating programs and counseling co-workers (even supervisors) shows you've got what it takes.  This experience is both good resume and interview fodder.
    3. Persistence - Will Rogers once said, "even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."  Finding a job, starting a company, marrying a dream spouse and earning a million dollars all take persistence.  So does succeeding on the job.  Proving to employers that you're persistent shows you've got what it takes to stick with something through to its penultimate.  "Giver-uppers" typically have lesser careers and make less money.  How do you develop persistence?  By forcing yourself to stick with the projects you already have on your plate.  Will things to get done.  Will yourself into a job.  Will your fledgling company to a success. 
    4. Entrepreneurial - Many people want to start their own business.  Luckily, many employers like people who have entrepreneurial tendencies who don't own their own business.  Why? Businesses exist to make money.  And by developing multiple revenue streams, company income is not only diversified, but increased.  Those are good things.  By showing how you've added another revenue stream, developed a system to save your employer money, or even discovered a way to improve a process, you can show your entrepreneurial streak.
    5. Honesty - It's difficult (though not impossible) to explain away violating company Internet policy.  It's nearly impossible to explain pilfering from company coffers, lying on your resume or other dishonest acts.  Why?  Employers will assume that if you've done it once, you'll do it again.  They will assume it's part of your character - a weak character, at that.  Employers look for trustworthy employees they can count on.
    6. Flexible - Rigid people are left in the dust by the flexible.  Kentucky Fried Chicken made its mark by doing one thing (chicken) and doing it right.  But Colonel Sanders also knew his company had to grow with the times.  So did McDonald's founder Ray Crock.  Who would have envisioned that salads and yogurt would be found under the Golden Arches 20 years ago?  Both franchises continue to thrive because they've adapted.  Employers like flexibility in employees, too.  Being able to change and adapt as new challenges are presented is the hallmark of successful professionals - no matter what profession they're in.
    7. Focused - Being focused allows you to be flexible as long as you know where you want to go.  Say you're driving from Macon, GA to Seattle, WA and you're using a comprehensive map - the kind you can see all the other roads in the area.  There are bound to be detours, road closings and other travel annoyances.  But since you're focused on Seattle, you'll be able to find alternative routes.  You will get there.  Perhaps not the way you thought you would at the start of your journey, but you will get there.  Ditto with work-related matters.  Demonstrating your focus goes hand-in-had with showcasing your flexibility.  All journeys have bumps in the road.  Employers know this.  Your job is to show them how you remained focused in the face of adversity.
    8. Happy - The chronically glum are shy on friends (Eeyore is the exception) and employers.  Whether vying for a job or a promotion, happy people have a leg up on the miserable.  How does one become happy?  It often comes from many sources; happy people typically have several sources of happiness.  Sadfolks:  They usually have more one-dimensional lives.  The lesson?  Expanding your horizons will increase your satisfaction with life.
    9. Successful - Success begets success; failure begets failure.  Ahmad Rashad, the former Minnesota Vikings receiver, once told a story about their Super Bowl XI experience against the Oakland Raiders.  The Vikes fell behind and many of the veterans (who had played and lost the Big Games three times before-wore their despair on their faces).  Rashad kept saying "c'mon guys!  We've been down before and come back?  We can do this?"  Unfortunately, he pointed out, they had lost the Super Bowl before and assumed that they'd lost this one too.  Which they did.  By 18 points.  Contrast that with the San Francisco 49ers during the Joe Montana era.  They assumed they would win - even if they were down by three touchdowns with two minutes left.  Why?  Because they had successful mindsets.
    10. Organized - Ever walk by a co-worker's desk where there's a stack of paper, a can of soda and unsorted mail?  Most  workplaces have at least one person like this, and they're not seen as quality employees.  They may be competent, but the perception of disorganization is that the person is a slob and is a sloppy worker.  Bring your organizational skills to the fore on your resume and in your interviews.  In fact, every good interview should contain at least one short anecdote where organization was needed and the job candidate was the person who made it happen.