There are many positive character traits for employees that you should keep in mind as you try to market yourself through your resume, cover letter, and job interview. Hard job skills and industry-related experience are valuable attributes, but it’s important to highlight your soft job skills and positive character traits as well.
Some people think of characteristics as merely a description of your personality, but this isn’t necessarily the case. When employers consider the question, what qualities should a good employee have? they are interested in your values, habits, perspectives, and work ethic. This is to say that although people exhibit natural inclinations regarding character traits and soft job skills, they are also cultivated and can be learned over time.
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For example, someone may naturally be responsible, but that doesn’t mean that someone who struggles with personal accountability cannot consciously choose to be more responsible. Similarly, it’s possible to learn confidence over time. Just like someone can learn how to be punctual or practice their communication skills.
Demonstrating the characteristics of a great employee can be key in landing you your dream job. In this article, we will review the qualities of a good employee and how to best highlight these traits on your resume.
30 Characteristics of a good employee
In this section, we will review 30 qualities of a good employee candidate. Take note of each of these traits and decide which ones apply to you that you would like to highlight in your job application. You may also want to take note of one or two traits that you would like to try to develop over time. This will be key when reflecting on your career goals.
Remember, personal and professional development often go hand in hand.
Accountable: Employers want to hire people who are willing to take on responsibilities and demonstrate personal accountability and take pride in their work.
Approachable: Employers want to hire workers who can work well with others. Strong interpersonal skills allow for smoother progress.
Committed: Companies want to hire workers who plan to stay with a company long term. Ideally, they are looking for workers craving stability.
Confident: Confidence is the key to a successful career. Confident workers are willing to take initiative and assume leadership roles.
Creative: Creativity is a valuable attribute that will help you inspire growth and change within a company. Employers value workers who can think outside the box and approach problems creatively.
Dependable: No matter how good you are at your job, if your coworkers and employer can’t count on you, you won’t be a valued employee. Consistency is key to any successful career.
Devoted: You can show devotion to your company, your clients, your coworkers, your professional responsibilities, and more. At its core, devotion signals loyalty and careful attention.
Ambitious: Workers who are motivated to grow in their field and actively engage in professional development opportunities are favored by employers.
Articulate: Some workers have great ideas but struggle to properly convey them. Articulate workers can communicate their ideas efficiently while being capable of delegation and project management.
Compassionate: Compassionate individuals help create a positive working environment where everyone feels valued.
Cooperative: Teamwork is essential for any successful career. Employers want to hire workers who can work well with others to reach company goals.
Curious: Curiosity shows a desire to learn and grow. Curious workers are more likely to ask thoughtful questions and arrive at solutions.
Determined: Determination shows tenacity and resilience. Employers want to hire workers who are committed to doing their work and doing their work well.
Efficient: Employers value workers who can follow through on tasks and deliver results on time.
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Enthusiastic: Optimistic and energetic workers inspire workplace positivity and help boost morale.
Inclusive: Inclusive workers excel in leadership roles and can work well on a team. They contribute to a healthy workplace dynamic.
Meticulous: Detail-oriented workers are thorough and take their responsibilities seriously. They approach their work with a level head and are incredibly thorough.
Organized: Organized workers can work efficiently and are less likely to lose track of deadlines and documents.
Perceptive: Perceptive workers can work well with others. This is because they are able to anticipate the needs of others by reading emotions accurately.
Resilient: All careers have challenges; your ability to rise to these challenges helps define how capable you are as a worker.
Respectful: Respect goes a long way, both in and out of the workplace. Respect is key to cultivating a healthy workplace dynamic.
Solution-Oriented: Workers who are solution-oriented are focused and efficient. They have clear goals and work hard to reach them.
Flexible: Flexible workers are often willing to embrace changes regarding their tasks and schedules to help their team best meet their goals.
Independent: Employers value workers who are self-reliant and able to complete quality work with minimal supervision.
Motivated: Motivated workers can focus on their assignments while limiting distractions.
Patient: Patience helps workers stay on task, follow through, and foster positive interpersonal relationships and communication standards. Patience goes a long way in the workplace, regardless of your industry or position.
Punctual: Showing up to work on time and consistently meeting your deadlines is priceless in the workplace.
Resourceful: Employers want to hire workers who can use the tools available to them and know how to find additional resources if needed.
Responsible: Employers want to know that you are capable of working independently and taking responsibility for your work.
Versatile: Employers value workers who are willing and able to step up to fill in for other workers if needed. Being well-rounded and having multiple skill sets makes you a clear asset to a company.
How traits of a good worker translate to soft job skills
Qualities of a good worker often go hand-in-hand with soft employment skills. This is because soft job skills often present themselves as natural talents. While soft job skills often come naturally, they can also be cultivated.
Soft skills in the workplace are key to establishing healthy working habits and environments. Employers want to foster healthy workplace cultures and dynamics and prevent signs of a toxic work environment. This is why it is so important to highlight your positive character traits in your job applications. Overall, emphasizing your positive character traits will help you market yourself appropriately and increase your chances of landing meaningful employment opportunities.
List of soft job skills
Soft job skills are great attributes to include in your resume. This is especially true if you are writing an entry-level resume and need to find ways to supplement your lack of practical work experience. Consider some of the job skills below to include in your resume and highlight them in any upcoming job interviews.
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Active listening
- Organization skills
- Time management
- Attention to detail
- Problem-Solving skills
- Critical Thinking skills
- Decision making
Where to include positive character traits on your resume
There are several options for where to put soft skills on a resume; this applies to positive character traits as well. Most often, though, you will include these details in a “skills and certifications” section. If you are wondering how many soft skills to put on a resume or how many positive character traits to include, you should generally aim for about 5 or 6 skills and traits.
Whether you choose to write a chronological, functional, or hybrid resume may also influence where you decide to include these details. Review the different types of resumes to determine the best options available to you.
Key takeaways and moving forward
Identifying your positive character traits will help you immensely in your job search. Regardless of whether you are a seasoned professional or are trying to figure out how to write an incredible entry-level resume, knowing how to market yourself effectively is key.
Knowing how to answer the “tell me about yourself” interview question and highlighting your soft job skills will help job recruiters and prospective employers get to know who you are as a person and how that influences the type of worker you are. These are key considerations in determining whether or not a job candidate is a good “culture fit” for a workplace. This is why soft skills are important in the workplace.
If you are struggling to identify your natural strengths and career goals, you may want to consider career coaching and counseling. Here at Prepory, we have the resources and expertise to help you meet your professional goals, regardless of what they may be: reach out to learn more about our services.