Your Personal & Professional Traits

Employers look for a variety of things when filling job vacancies. Of course, they want someone who can do the job, but there is much more to it than that. A specific position entails more than the basic tasks required to accomplish certain duties. It requires a wide assortment of personal and professional traits.

There are bound to be situations that arise which are unforeseen and/or difficult to handle. An employee who is adept at coping with unexpected events will be more valuable than one who does not.

Defining your professional and personal traits
can add a great deal to your job success.
Again, if an employee has a variety of other traits (or even experiences) which complement the job skills required, that person will be of far greater value than someone who can merely do the job.

What kinds of personal and professional traits complement job skills? Look at the list below to get an idea of the professional characteristics that employers are seeking to fill open positions.

  • Ambition
  • Communication skills
  • Success-driven
  • Enthusiasm
  • Reliable
  • Determined
  • Goal-oriented
  • Level-headed
  • Flexible
  • Confident
  • Detail-oriented
  • Loyal
  • Problem solver
  • Honest
  • Poised
  • Self-controlled

When reviewing your personal history, reflect on your job duties in terms of what you brought to the position simply because of your individual (personal) traits. There are a variety of qualities which you possess. Make a note of them and keep them ever-present in your mind as you prepare your resume and cover letter. More importantly, remember them when it comes time to interview.

These are the personal and professional traits
that employers are most interested in.

Most employers, if they were given a choice, would prefer to find someone with these traits and train them, than to find someone who could do a job, but have nothing more to offer the company.

In saving one of the most powerful and most needed characteristics for last, you will be able to realize its importance in the workplace and why it was singled out.

One of the greatest strengths a person can possess is taking the initiative to do something when no one else will – or when he/she sees something that needs to be done. Instead of saying, "That's not my job," Or "I'm not doing that," they do what is in front of them regardless of what it is.

No matter how many of these characteristics you have, you can make the most of them by focusing on them during the job search process. One way to truly solidify their importance is to think about a time when you exercised one or more of these traits in a real-life situation.

For example, maybe your car broke down on your way to work, but instead of calling in and saying you could not make it in, you borrowed a friend’s car. You are reliable, a problem-solver and determined.

When you are able to select at least a half dozen of these traits and make them your own through real-life examples like the one just demonstrated, you will be well ahead of your competitors. In an interview, when you are asked if you are level-headed, honest, poised, flexible or any of the other qualities mentioned above, you will not only be able to respond clearly and quickly, but you will be able to provide concrete examples.

It may seem like a lot of time to devote to thinking about yourself, but it is well worth it in the long run. All of those people who don't will be making less than you, working at jobs you passed up – or – better yet, working FOR YOU!

If you have finished reading Professional Traits, you can click here to return to the Career Planning page

You might also be interested in reading about Professional Conduct

Click here to learn how to make a Great First Impression 

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