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6 Personality Traits Employers Look For When Hiring

6 Personality Traits Employers Look For When Hiring

Experience, relevant schooling, and corresponding skills are extremely important when applying for a specific job. However, multiple studies have shown these days employers are searching for more than just a long a resume. It’s not only about what an employee can do, but also about how he does it, and how he carries himself while doing it.

Stockholm based Universum,  conducted a worldwide survey to find out which traits employers are seeking. Additionally, a study conducted at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) International Business School further linked some of these personality traits to favorable job performance. The following points are six personality traits employers “in the know” look for when hiring:

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1. Confidence

Universum confirms this is the trait employers think most applicants are missing. What’s the point of having an extensive resume, if you can’t back it up with a firm handshake? First impressions are extremely important, and interviewers will quickly lose interest in you if you cannot look them in the eye. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will.

2. Professionalism

Eighty six percent of companies rated professionalism as something they are seeking. This is not only limited to the way someone carries herself at work, but can make a strong first impression. Two ways to stand out are to dress appropriately for the interview, and to treat others with complete respect.

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3. Openness to new experiences

According to the study conducted by UTM researchers, this personality trait promotes creativity, technical innovations, a need for diversity and is easily trained. Someone who is open to new experiences is also the type of employee who won’t limit himself to the stipulated duties alone. Since this is an individual who is always seeking growth, he will be more than happy to take on additional responsibilities around the workplace. This employee is willing to take risks, try new things, and is the ideal hire for companies seeking hires who will be excited about his career.

4. Intellectual curiosity

This trait is demonstrated in two ways: superior problem-solving and a thirst for learning. An intellectually curious employee wants to know the hows and whys of the workplace. This employee keeps up with new technologies and finds innovative ways to solve problems. She can bring a fresh perspective into the workplace – 57% of companies surveyed by Universum say they are looking for someone with intellectual curiosity.

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5. Agreeableness

A person who is agreeable is open-minded, self-sacrificing, generous and trustworthy. An employee with this trait is willing to help others and put the team’s needs before his own in the workplace. This is the type of employee who would be ideal for training new hires in the future or to mellow a workplace dispute. He radiates positivity and according to UTM’s study, he helps boost productivity in the workplace by helping to establish a support system.

6. Self-monitoring

The reason employers look for this type of employee is simple: avoiding micromanaging. This type of employee is aware of his or her duties and performs them without having to be told to do so. This person is efficient, rises up to challenges and is capable of working independently. This is the type of individual who has a lot of challenge-result stories to share during an interview, or simply shows interviewers he is capable of keeping his head up in moments of adversity.

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Being aware of the top personality traits companies search for, puts job-seekers in a better position to compete for scarce openings. Find which one of these traits apply to you. Look at your resume and try to think of what you can highlight them.

Each employer is different, however at the end of the day if you are able to show that you are professional, self-motivated and agreeable you will find yourself with more job offers than you can handle. If you are a Millennial Leader, personality makes a difference and showing the right cues is crucial to take the next big step in your career. Find which of these 6 personality traits represents you the most and hold that as your cornerstone during the interview process.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Joel Goldstein

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career

9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career

Congratulations, you’re starting a new job! You’re feeling relieved that the interviews and the wait for a decision from the hiring manager is over, and you’ve finally signed the offer.

Feelings of fear and anticipation may surface now as you think about starting work on Monday. Or you may feel really confident if you have plenty of work experience.

Remember to not assume that your new work environment will be similar to previous ones. It’s very common for seasoned professionals to overestimate themselves due to the breadth of their experience.

Companies offer different depths of on-boarding experiences.[1] Ultimately, success in your career depends on you.

Below are 9 tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career.

1. Your Work Starts Before Your First Day

When you prepared for your interview, you likely did some research about the company. Now it’s time to go more in depth.

  • How would your manager like you to prepare for your first day? What are his/her expectations?
  • What other information can your manager provide so that you can start learning more about the role or company?
  • What company policies or reports can you review that can get you acclimatized to your new job and work environment?

You’ll need to embrace a lot of new people and information when you start your new job. What you learn before your first day at work can help you feel more grounded and prepare your mind to process new information.

2. Know Your Role and the Organization

Review the job posting and know your responsibilities. Sometimes, job postings are simplified versions of the job description. Ask your manager or human resources if there is a detailed job description of your role.

Once you understand your key responsibilities and accountabilities, ask yourself:

  • What questions do you have about the role?
  • What information do you need to do your job effectively?
  • Who do you need to meet and start building relationships with?

Continue to increase your knowledge and do your research through the company Intranet site, organizational charts, the media, LinkedIn profiles, the industry and who your company competitors are.

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This is not a one time event. Continue to do this throughout your time with the company. Every team or project you engage with will evolve and change.

Keep current and be ready to adapt by using your observational skills to be aware of changes to your work environment and people’s behaviour.

3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work

Understanding your work culture is key to help you succeed in your career.

Many of these unwritten rules will not be listed on company policies. This means you’ll need to use all of your senses to observe the environment and the people within it.

What should you wear? See what your peers and leaders are wearing. Notice everything from their jewelry down to their shoes. Once you have a good idea of the dress code you can then infuse your own style.

What are your hours of work? What do you notice about start, break and end times? Are your observations different from what you learned at the interview? What questions do you have based on your observations? Asking for clarity will help you make informed decisions and thrive in a new work setting.

What are the main communication channels?[2] What communication mediums do people use (phone, email, in-person, video)? Does the medium change in different work situations? What is your manager’s communication style and preference? These observations will help you better navigate your work environment and thrive in the workplace.

4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions

You got the job, you’re feeling confident and are eager to show how you can contribute. Check the type of language you are using when you’re approaching your work and sharing your experiences.

I’ve heard many new employees say:

  • “I used to do this at ‘X’ company …”
  • “When I worked at “X” company we implemented this really effective process …”
  • “We did this at my other company … how come you guys are not …”
  • “Why are you doing that … we used to do this …”

People usually don’t want to hear about your past company. The experiences that you had in the past are different in this new environment.

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Remember to:

  • Notice your assumptions
  • Focus on your own work
  • Ask questions, and
  • Learn more about the situation before offering suggestions.

You can then better position yourself as a trusted resource that makes informed decisions tailored to business needs.

5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification

Contrary to common belief, asking questions when you’re starting a new job is not a vulnerability.

Asking relevant questions related to your job and the company:

  • Helps you clarify expectations
  • Shows that you’ve done your research
  • Demonstrates your initiative to learn

Seeking to clarify and understand your environment and the people within it will help you become more effective at your job.

6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand

Starting a new job is the perfect time to set clear expectations with your manager and colleagues. Your actions and behaviors at work tells others about your work style and how you like to operate. So it’s essential to get clear on what feels natural to you at work and ensure that your own values are aligned with your work actions.

Here are a few questions to reflect on so that you can clearly articulate your intentions and follow through with consistent actions:

Where do you need to set expectations? Reflect on lessons learned from your previous work experiences. What types of expectations do you need to set so that you can succeed?

Why are you setting these expectations? You’ll likely need to provide context and justify why you’re setting these boundaries. Are your expectations reasonable? What are the impacts on the business?

What are your values? If you value work life balance, but you’re answering emails on weekends and during your vacation time, people will continue to expect this from you. What boundaries do you need to set for yourself at work?

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What do you want to be known for? This question requires some deep reflection. Do you want to be known as a leader who develops and empowers others? Maybe you want to be known for someone who creates an environment of respect where everyone can openly share ideas. Or maybe you want to be someone who challenges people to get outside their comfort zones?

7. Manage Up, Down, and Across

Understanding the work styles of those around you is key to a successful career. Particularly how you communicate and interact with your immediate manager.

Here are a few key questions to consider:

  • How can you make your manager’s job easier?
  • What can you do to anticipate her/his needs?
  • How can you keep them informed (and prepared) so they don’t get caught off-guard?
  • What are your strengths? How can you communicate these to him/her so that they fully understand your capabilities?

These questions can also apply if you manage a team or if you deal with multiple stakeholders.

8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company

It’s important to keep learning from diverse groups and individuals within the company. You’ll get different perspectives about the organization and others may be able to help you succeed in your role.

What types of relationships do you need to build? Why are you building this relationship?

Here are some examples of workplace relationships:

  • Immediate Manager. He/she controls your work assignments. The work can shape the success of your career.
  • Mentors. These are people who are knowledgeable about their field and the company. They are willing to share their experiences with you to help you navigate the workplace and even your career.
  • Direct Reports. Your staff can influence how successful you are at meeting your goals.
  • Mentees. They are another resource to help you keep informed about the organization and your opportunity to develop others.

Other workplace relationships include team members, stakeholders, or strategic partners/sponsors that will advocate for your work.

Learn more in this article: 10 Ways to Build Positive And Effective Work Relationships

9. Keep in Touch With Those in Your Existing Network

“Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” – Michelle Obama

You are part of an ecosystem that has gotten you to where you are today. Every single person and each moment that you have encountered with someone has shaped who you are – both positive and negative.

Here’s How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

Make sure you continue to nurture the relationships that you value and show gratitude to those who have helped you achieve your goals.

Summing It Up

There are many aspects of your career that you are in control of. Observe, listen, and make informed decisions. Career success depends on your actions.

Remember to not assume that your new work environment will be similar to previous ones.

Here are the 9 tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career:

  1. Your Work Starts Before Your 1st Day
  2. Know Your Role and the Organization
  3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work
  4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions
  5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification
  6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand
  7. Manage Up, Down, and Across
  8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company
  9. Keep in Touch With Those in Your Existing Network

Celebrate, enjoy your new role, and take good care of yourself!

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Featured photo credit: Frank Romero via unsplash.com

Reference

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