Applying for jobs? Everyone knows that qualifications and real-world experience are important, but don’t forget that would-be employers will be just as interested in your personality.
Here we identify 12 attributes that employers respond well to. Put simply, the more of these you can be, the more likely you are to land the job.
1. Be happy
Bosses like positive, enthusiastic people who enjoy their work. Negativity is corrosive in a workplace, whereas happiness radiates outwards.
However nervous you are, smile and demonstrate you’re an upbeat person who will help keep morale high.
2. Be a grafter
Something needs doing in the evening? Of course you’ll do it. At the weekend? Not a problem. You’ll go the extra mile.
Employers often choose candidates who have a real hunger to immerse themselves in the job, learn loads and progress – even if they lack some experience.
3. Be flexible
Depending on the vacancy and the company, you might have seen a job description, but it doesn’t hurt to mention you understand your role may well extend beyond that. That’s how the real world works. No one likes a jobsworth.
4. Be innovative
Show you are brimming with ideas and are comfortable with change. Remember, however, that when people are hiring, they want candidates who will constructively challenge what a business does rather than tear it to shreds.
So don’t totally disparage what they are doing now – there’s probably a reason they doing it.
5. Be professional
Whether it’s how you answer the phone, what you wear or even how you sit, every detail creates an impression.
“Professional” can be hard to define, but a good starting point is to demonstrate in every aspect of your manner that you’ll take the job seriously and that you will treat your colleagues, customers and the business with respect.
6. Be confident
Not cocky, confident. There’s a big difference. You can do this job, so act like it.
7. Be modest
You’re thinking: How can I be confident and modest at the same time, right? Simple. Modesty means sometimes accepting that other people know a lot more than you.
It doesn’t hurt to let a would-be employer know you understand this.
8. Be articulate
Don’t worry, you don’t have to suddenly become Stephen Fry, you just need to be able to get your point across in a way that those around you understand. Try to use simple language and be succinct.
9. Be likeable
Let’s be honest, some very talented people are total gits and some bosses are infuriating. But that is not a luxury that’s afforded to you when you are starting out.
If an employer gets a sense they won’t like you (or that you will upset the existing members of the team), they’ll probably steer clear of you.
10. Be yourself
Don’t reinvent yourself for a job application as it’ll only end in tears, but be the best version of yourself you can be. After all, if you’re applying for the right job, being yourself is your biggest weapon.
11. Be nice
Presumably you are applying to this company because you like the idea of working there? There must be a reason for that – so tell them what attracted you to the farm or the firm or the team. Don’t lay it on too thick, though, or you will risk sounding smarmy.
12. Be grateful
These are busy people you’re dealing with, so thank them for seeing you. Drop them a note afterwards doing the same even if you don’t get the job – in fact, especially if you don’t get the job. You’ll be amazed at how many times employers will ring up the candidate who did that the next time a vacancy arises.