9 Character Traits That Attract Employers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 September 2022 | Published 25 August 2020

Updated 15 September 2022

Published 25 August 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Character traits are based on a person's personality, beliefs and morals, and everyone has different traits that are unique to them. When you apply for a job, employers might be looking for a candidate with specific character traits. Therefore, knowing your own character traits and how you can further develop them can help you impress employers and pursue your career goals. In this article, we discuss what character traits are, explain why they are important and explore some of the most common character traits that employers look for in a candidate.

What are character traits?

Character traits are the aspects of an individual's behaviour that are inherent to their identity and distinguish them from others. The way a person behaves and treats others is dependent on their character traits in combination with specific circumstances they experience. For example, the way you respond to a challenging situation, such as if you saw someone in trouble, depends on your character traits.

These traits can be positive and negative, and positive traits are aspects of a person that others find desirable. For instance, you might use words like brave, honest, friendly and caring to describe the character of someone you consider a good person.

Character traits depend on a person's upbringing, morals, spiritual beliefs and culture. The character of a person can be either innate or learned, so it is possible to develop new character traits in order to improve how you view yourself and how others view you.

Related: Workplace Behaviour Traits and Examples: A Helpful Guide

Why your best character traits can benefit you

When you understand what your best character traits are, you can start practising and developing them. By doing this, you will be more likely to advance your career and develop positive, professional relationships.

When searching for a job, it is important to know the main character traits that employers look for. These vary from one industry to another, and they help potential employers determine whether you are a good fit for their open positions. If you have these positive attributes, use them to prove your value to potential employers. Employers look for positive traits that enable employees to perform well and communicate effectively with their peers and customers. They also look for those who can handle stressful situations and lead others well.

If you have the character strengths an employer is looking for, highlight them in your resum and cover letter to increase your chances of receiving an interview and getting hired. Make sure to explain how your best character traits make you a strong candidate and a valuable asset to the company.

Character traits that can boost your career prospects

It is important to be aware of the character traits that can be helpful in your career. Consider the traits you possess that are typically considered positive, and be sure to address them in your applications and during your interviews. When you do this, it shows potential employers how you can benefit their organisations.

Here are nine examples of positive qualities that can help you in your career:

  • Hardworking

  • Creative

  • Conscientious

  • Inquisitive

  • Courageous

  • Flexible

  • Honourable

  • Disciplined

  • Loyal

Hardworking

Hardworking people are always engaged in their work. They are industrious and committed to what they are doing. If you are hardworking, it means that you are reliable and can do your job well. You are someone who not only finishes your work on time but also goes out of your way to help others do the same.

Being a hard worker means that employers can rely on you to push through obstacles, produce quality work and get the desired results no matter what. Hard workers are diligent and efficient, and they always try their best to get the job done, so it is an extremely valuable character trait.

Creative

Creative people use their imaginations to come up with innovative solutions to problems that others may not have considered. Being creative means that you are willing to do things using unconventional approaches. For example, if your organisation is always doing the same thing during team-building events, you can help them come up with a new activity that is more engaging but still effective for helping teams bond.

Creative people can think critically to find out-of-the-box solutions to their problems. Potential employers, especially those in scientific, technological and artistic fields, find creativity attractive because it shows that you can come up with innovate ways to present information and complete tasks.

Conscientious

Conscientious people engage in activities carefully and purposefully. They are meticulous and always aim to complete their tasks to the best of their abilities. Conscientious people tend to be conformers. They do well in industries that need adherence to rules and regulations because they are aware of how their actions can affect others.

If you are conscientious, it means that your employer can be comfortable delegating duties to you because they know you are dependable and think through every action that you take. Your reliability assures them that you are a responsible employee who has strong self-discipline.

Inquisitive

Inquisitive people are not afraid to ask as many questions as it takes to learn what they need to know. These individuals are curious by nature and eager to learn new things and investigate problems to find solutions.

Companies like to hire employees who are willing to investigate every piece of information in order to learn the truth rather than accept a theory they hear. This type of person chooses to do research and compare data to find the truth at all costs. This is why the law enforcement sector often looks for inquisitive people.

Courageous

Courageous people know what their core values are and are willing to stand up for those values. They are not afraid to speak up or act if the situation calls for it. They are also never discouraged by a challenge, so they are extremely adventurous and daring. Even if the situation is daunting, they face the challenge head-on.

Some jobs need people who are willing to confront fear or pain. You may need to venture into situations or places where other people are not comfortable going. For example, it takes courage to join the military or become an astronaut.

Flexible

Flexible people can adapt to sudden changes in circumstances or plans, such as a change in a project's timeline. They are resilient and can cope with any challenges they come across, so they make great team players. Additionally, flexible people adjust to stressful situations well. If you are flexible, it means that you remain calm and are useful in a crisis, even when others may start to panic.

Employers who work in high-pressure industries look for flexible people. They want employees who can change their outlook or opinion based on new and unexpected situations. If you have this trait, it shows potential employers than you can handle a fast-paced work environment that continually changes.

Honourable

People who are honourable and have integrity always do what they consider to be the right thing. They are honest, truthful and difficult to corrupt. They choose their actions based on their ethics and principals, and they don't like to compromise their values. People with integrity must do what they feel is right, even when nobody is watching.

Many employers across different industries look for people with integrity because they will reflect positively on their organisations. If you are an honourable person, then you are likely to appeal to many employers in different job sectors. Industries with heavy regulations like finance and healthcare offer many opportunities for honourable people. For example, auditors must have a strong moral code to do their job effectively.

Disciplined

Disciplined people stay committed to their causes and goals. Such people can withstand mental, emotional and physical difficulties and temptations that they encounter along the way. If you have strong self-discipline, you can perform your tasks even when no one is watching. You can also exert your willpower over your desires and accomplish your goals despite distractions.

When you show employers that you are disciplined, it assures them that you can work even without supervision. They don't have to worry that you will stop performing. The sports industry is an excellent example of a sector that needs disciplined professionals. Athletes must practise consistently regardless of the challenges they encounter.

Loyal

Loyal individuals remain faithful to a person, institution, country or cause, regardless of the temptations they face. They stand behind their colleagues and put their full support behind their organisation and its mission.

Employers look for loyalty among employees because they want trustworthy people on their teams. Loyal employees can be trusted with sensitive information, and they are also more likely to stay with a company long-term.

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