125 Positive Words and Adjectives To Describe Yourself

Updated July 31, 2023

Interviewers may ask you to describe yourself throughout the interview process to learn more about your life experience and personality traits. The words you use to describe yourself and your work experience during an interview can help human resources professionals decide if they want to move you forward in the hiring process. Choosing the right positive words to define yourself and your talents can help you make the best first impression with a hiring manager, recruiter or human resources professional.

In this article, we list words and adjectives you can use to describe yourself when communicating with a prospective employer and provide tips for using descriptive terms throughout the hiring process.

Related: Interview Techniques to Ace Your Next Interview

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Why is it important to effectively describe yourself?

Making a strong first impression during an interview is an important step in your job search process. Describing yourself effectively in job applications or during an interview gives hiring managers a sense of who you are as a professional.

Using accurate and engaging word choices to define your key traits also helps prospective employers determine if you fit into the company culture and whether you can thrive in the new workplace. It's also important to use positive language as you share your strengths with hiring professionals.

Planning how to describe yourself for an interview also makes it easier to answer common questions like "tell me about yourself," or "use four words to describe yourself." Even if a recruiter or hiring manager doesn't directly ask you to describe yourself, it's a good idea to share strong adjectives and terms that help the interviewer understand more about your skills, professional attitude and personality.

Use descriptive words to share your most marketable traits, linking your skills to the prospective job. Take the opportunity to elaborate on each term as you describe yourself throughout the interview.

Related: 8 Types of Positive Verbal Communication for Interviewing

Words and adjectives to describe yourself professionally

The words you choose to define yourself and your abilities during an interview help create a lasting impression and give prospective employers the opportunity to assess your potential as an employee. Use positive terms to describe your best qualities, focusing on the most marketable professional words related to the job.

Choose words you think are closely related to important qualities and skills necessary for the open position. Below are lists of words from several categories that you can use to describe yourself to a potential employer during an interview:

30 words to describe your work ethic

How you approach your role in the workplace says a lot about who you are. Use these words during an interview to define how you complete your job tasks and responsibilities within an organization:

  1. Dedicated

  2. Curious

  3. Persistent

  4. Resilient

  5. Disciplined

  6. Practical

  7. Ambitious

  8. Tenacious

  9. Resourceful

  10. Organized

  11. Bold

  12. Open-minded

  13. Respectful

  14. Cooperative

  15. Self-motivated

  16. Adaptable

  17. Reliable

  18. Loyal

  19. Inspiring

  20. Hard-working

  21. Proactive

  22. Attentive

  23. Thorough

  24. Responsible

  25. Insightful

  26. Engaging

  27. Committed

  28. Focused

  29. Punctual

  30. Reflective

Related: Employers Virtually Interviewing Now

32 words to describe your attitude

Defining your professional attitude helps hiring managers learn how you interact with others in the workplace. Here is a long list of words to describe your work attitude as you speak with potential employers:

  1. Confident

  2. Kind

  3. Empathetic

  4. Patient

  5. Considerate

  6. Courageous

  7. Genuine

  8. Humble

  9. Dynamic

  10. Independent

  11. Enthusiastic

  12. Direct

  13. Generous

  14. Intelligent

  15. Friendly

  16. Witty

  17. Passionate

  18. Truthful

  19. Straightforward

  20. Sociable

  21. Clever

  22. Considerate

  23. Joyful

  24. Thoughtful

  25. Easygoing

  26. Sincere

  27. Humorous

  28. Tactful

  29. Assertive

  30. Self-reliant

  31. Tolerant

  32. Teachable

Related: Tips to Help You Improve Your Interviewing Skills

20 words to describe your professional abilities and experience

It's important to use descriptive words when discussing your past experience as a professional. Use any of the following words to talk about your expertise from previous jobs while interviewing:

  1. Skilled

  2. Professional

  3. Experienced

  4. Knowledgeable

  5. Creative

  6. Analytical

  7. Detail-oriented

  8. Adept

  9. Communicative

  10. Strategic

  11. Entrepreneurial

  12. Data-driven

  13. Collaborative

  14. Accomplished

  15. Qualified

  16. Precise

  17. Proficient

  18. Responsive

  19. Technological

  20. Visionary

Related: How To Succeed in a Panel Interview: Tips and Example Questions

43 words to describe your personality

Describing your personality lets prospective employers see beyond your work persona to get a glimpse of your intrinsic attitudes and how you relate to the world. Choose from the words below to give more details about your personal side during a job interview:

  1. Adventurous

  2. Happy

  3. Pleasant

  4. Introverted

  5. Extroverted

  6. Honest

  7. Cheerful

  8. Bright

  9. Warmhearted

  10. Intuitive

  11. Optimistic

  12. Helpful

  13. Loving

  14. Gentle

  15. Energetic

  16. Understanding

  17. Vibrant

  18. Artistic

  19. Balanced

  20. Imaginative

  21. Approachable

  22. Charismatic

  23. Authentic

  24. Wise

  25. Fun

  26. Original

  27. Uplifting

  28. Trustworthy

  29. Outgoing

  30. Upbeat

  31. Inventive

  32. Mature

  33. Philosophical

  34. Traditional

  35. Studious

  36. Pragmatic

  37. Judicious

  38. Meticulous

  39. Meditative

  40. Industrious

  41. Goal-oriented

  42. Fearless

  43. Diplomatic

Related: The Best Questions To Ask In an Informational Interview

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Tips for describing yourself in a professional situation

Leave your interviewer with a positive impression of your traits and professional expertise by choosing the right way to express yourself. Pick the strongest words to convey your fit for a prospective job while you interview for a new position. Here are some tips to help you choose terms to effectively describe yourself to a potential employer:

Show confidence

Boldly share details about yourself and your accomplishments with pride. During an interview, keep eye contact with your interviewer and maintain a strong, clear vocal tone to appear more confident. Balance honesty with self-assurance to share your most marketable skills, proving to potential employers that you can meet and exceed their expectations.

Choose unique words

Selecting interesting and unique words to describe yourself can make an impression on employers and help your interview stand out from other candidates. Choose less common words and avoid general terms that don't clearly describe your particular skills and personality. Try to use synonyms for overused terms to keep your word choice original.

Provide clear examples

As you use descriptive words, give examples of how these qualities made a positive impact in your previous roles. Explain how your traits helped a former company or co-worker. Give insight into why your qualities made an impact on the success of the organization.

For example, if you describe yourself as resourceful, share a story about a time when you created a presentation for a client in an hour by piecing together information from a previous slideshow for another customer. If you can, link terms to concrete evidence like an increased sales percentage or numeric lead volume.

Match terms

Prepare for an interview by reviewing your resume and cover letter, paying attention to the descriptive words listed under your summary, skills and experience sections. Use some of the same words that appear in your resume and cover letter to remind your interviewer about your professional history.

An interview gives you the opportunity to share more details about your professional accomplishments to convince a potential employer you are the right candidate to fill the position. Successfully completing an interview takes a combination of preparation and quick thinking to connect with your interviewer and answer questions clearly.

Frequently asked questions

Why do employers ask you to describe yourself?

An employer may ask you to describe yourself during an interview or in your application. They may do this to learn more about you and the strengths you see in yourself.

What if I don't know how to describe myself?

If you find it difficult to describe yourself, consider asking your friends, family and colleagues to list the three words that most describe you. This may help you identify the most common and inspire you to generate more ideas for describing yourself.

What's the most professional way to describe myself?

When describing yourself professionally, consider focusing on the traits and skills that most apply to your role and industry. For example, you may be a great rugby player and very competitive on the field, but that may not be the best descriptor if you want a role as a nurse practitioner.

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