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14 Common Qualities Employers are Looking For

January 27, 2020

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Throughout the interviewing process, it’s imperative that you use your life experiences and anecdotes to show that you have the strengths that companies are looking for. Hard skills, otherwise known as technical training or education, are important to possess, but once you’ve gotten an interview, employers are looking for more. They’re seeking people that will become valuable members of their team, and that possess key characteristics or soft skills.

Soft skills are all about how you function at work and on a team. They are personal traits that directly influence what kind of worker and person you are.

In this article, we’ll review 13 qualities that employers look for. We’ll also discuss ways for you to communicate that you possess these qualities both during and after the hiring process.

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Qualities employers look for

You can consider highlighting these skills in your resume and interviews:

  • Communication skills
  • Honesty
  • Loyalty
  • Dependability
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility
  • Self-reliance
  • Eagerness to learn
  • Confidence
  • Work ethic
  • Determination
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Positivity
  • Ambition

Communication skills

Employers understand the value of effective communication and actively look for this skill in potential employees. It’s important to show your competence in this area verbally, physically and through written communication. When corresponding via email, double-check the message before sending to ensure that you are being clear and concise. Another key component to good communication is the ability to actively listen and provide thoughtful feedback, so be sure to stay engaged.

Honesty

Honesty is a key quality that employers want in their staff. Some applicants are tempted to exaggerate their qualifications to secure a job, but this is inadvisable. Though it may help you progress through the hiring process, if your potential employer discovers your dishonesty you will never recover their trust. 

Honesty is also an important characteristic to have beyond the interviewing process. An employee that admits mistakes and learns from them is an asset to any company.

Loyalty

Honesty and loyalty are two traits that can’t be taught, which is why they are key attributes that employers look for. Prove yourself trustworthy and committed to the success of the company, and you will be invaluable.

Dependability

The ability to consistently follow through is an important work trait that employers seek, and one that you can prove you have throughout the interviewing process. Show a commitment to following deadlines by completing tasks as they’re assigned.

Teamwork

Though not every job requires collaboration, the ability to work effectively and harmoniously in a group is a strength that employers want their employees to have. In fact, they will likely ask you how you function in a team during the interview process, so come prepared with an anecdote that highlights your ability to compromise and collaborate.

Flexibility

The ability to adapt is an important quality that employers want. Prove to them you can tackle tasks and changes as they come. You can also show this skill by addressing improvements that need to be made and developing systems or solutions to the issues.

Self-reliance

Being proactive is an important characteristic that employers look for and one that is easy to show. In the interviewing process, ask specific questions about the duties you’ll be performing in the job. This will show that you’ve given thoughtful consideration to the position. You can also prove you’re self-motivated by recognizing needs and taking initiative on projects.

Eagerness to learn

Employers value employees that actively seek to better themselves, so it’s important to communicate that you enjoy learning new things. Love for education demonstrates that you are dedicated and humble, recognizing that there is always more for you to learn. During the interviewing process, be sure to mention if you are an avid reader or continuing your education.

Confidence

Being self-assured is a key characteristic that employers look for. They seek people to join their team that are confident in their abilities and that know what they want. Confident employees are friendly, engaging, and have a clear (and honest) idea of what makes them a valuable asset.

A key component of confidence is having clear goals. Communicating your dreams to potential employers will prove that you are striving for something bigger, and not just looking for a job to pay your bills.

Work ethic

Another top quality that employers look for is a good work ethic. Employees that work hard are always on time and on target. Take pride in your work and others will take notice.

Determination

Persistence is an important work trait, and employers often ask a question to gauge the determination of applicants in an interview. Be equipped with a story that shows how you overcame a challenge and highlight the tenacity that it took for you to accomplish your goal.

Problem-solving skills

Employers are looking for more than brainless drones to do their bidding. They want people on their team that can pinpoint a need and address it, so be sure to recount instances when you recognized an issue and developed an effective solution.

Positivity

A work environment can be dramatically altered by one person’s attitude, which is why positivity is a quality that employers look for. Positive people create healthy work environments and are often valuable members of a team. A positive attitude usually signifies resilience, and an ability to overcome setbacks.

Ambition

Ambition is a key trait that employers look for because of what it communicates about the worker. It means that they have something they’re working towards, and they are on a path of betterment for both themselves and their circumstances. Don’t be afraid to share your big dream with potential employers. It’s likely that they’ll find value in it, and it will positively impact your worth.

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