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6 Personality Traits Employers Search for in their Candidates

As companies seek qualified employees for the job, they also look to see what extra value one can bring to their role. Today, one’s character is just as important to one’s job fit as is their expertise and skill. While hiring for skills assures one can complete the job, hiring for personality helps one succeed. 

Angela Duckworth, CEO and Founder of the Character Lab claims that success is determined by one’s passion and perseverance for the job. With passion and perseverance as two traits leading to success, here are six more personality traits’ employers might be looking for during the hiring process.  

1. Love of Learning 

Harvard Business Review suggests companies should hire for life-long learners. Studies show these employees are an “economic imperative” to a company’s success as they are constantly seeking the latest trends and discovering how they can apply them to their role.

Those looking to improve their performance, might want to take on the role of a student again. Being a student doesn’t mean going back to school, but could be accomplished through participating in webinars, attending training programs, or picking up a book on a topic that interests you.     

Not only do life-long learners bring excellent value to the company but it helps one’s health by keeping their minds young. Resumes are a great place to highlight a love of learning by listing courses you have taken and programs you have participated in. 

To be considered a lifelong learner, show that you are curious, engaged and striving toward success.    

2. Try to Bring a Unique Perspective

For those that have an untraditional path to their current career, don’t view your lack of experience in the field as a hindrance to being successful. View your unique perspective as an asset to the job.  

As workplaces bring in more diverse groups of professional backgrounds, education, and experiences, they are better able to fit a customer’s needs. Like a love of learning, diversity can be expressed on a resume by including volunteer experiences, conferences you attended or knowledge of rare skills that will help you stand out.    

Diversity is important to a workplace as research has shown that diverse employees, develop better decisions, yield higher results, and are more productive. 

Everyone can bring a unique perspective to their role because no two paths to a company are the same, so rely on your past experiences to add more value to your current role.  

3. Versatile 

One lesson that many learned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic was how to be more versatile. As the state of the world is constantly changing, employers expect that all their employees are now able to adapt quickly to the company’s needs. While COVID-19 caused employees and companies to adapt to unexpected changes like no other, employees should view versatility as an important requirement to succeed for any job. Additionally, versatility is tied to higher levels of happiness and productivity.  

If you realize that you still need to be more versatile, try stepping outside your comfort zone by taking on a new project or learning a new skill.

As you go about challenging yourself, do not be afraid to make a mistake, as moments of growth usually come out of times of weakness.   

4. Self-Starter  

Employees who stand out, can show their willingness to work and develop innovative ideas for the company, are self-starters. These self-starters set and accomplish goals without constant supervision which gives their managers more time to concentrate on achieving their duties. 

Making small goals are a great way to cultivate a self-starter attitude and help the company achieve success.   

Being a self-starter isn’t just about taking initiative but is about being a team leader. Self-starters are those who can shine in their careers while also being great team-players.   

5. Honesty  

Another top trait candidates look for in their clients is honesty. Being honest on a job begins the moment you submit your resume to the company, as you never want to start an interview by having something not true on your resume. 

Instead, start by submitting an honest resume as it translates into creating a healthy work environment as you are upfront about your strengths and weaknesses from the beginning. 

Cultivating these traits early in the hiring process ensures an honest environment for years to come.   

 6. Positive Attitude  

Creating a positive workplace culture begins with workers having a positive attitude about their work. Harvard Business Review reports positive workplaces are more productive. Proving why you should still find ways to be happy on even the most challenging of days. 

For when it’s difficult to stay positive on tough days here are some tips for maintaining and building a positive attitude:    

  •  Smiling  
  • Taking Time for Yourself  
  • Finding Ways to Appreciate your Co-Workers  
  • Avoiding Negative Talk   
  • No Gossiping  
  • No Complaining   

Building a positive work attitude, helps breed a positive mindset in your everyday life, plus you get the added benefit of being more productive.  


While these skills cannot be quickly learned, they are valuable to any job and essential to developing a productive and positive work environment.

It is important to remember that even if you have the talent, you can lack success, by missing these personality traits. Duckworth believes that one’s passion and perseverance is more important than their talent for why some achieve success. 

While you are bringing your knowledge to an interview remember you are also bringing yourself, as employers are searching for employees that are independent, passionate and can contribute to a positive workplace culture.

Talent always matters, but the drive to succeed is what helps one accomplish their goals.  

All photos are courtesy of UnSplash