I know you: You’ve made looking for your next job, your job. You’ve scoured your resume of cliched buzzwords, brushed up on body language and even familiarized yourself with dreaded interview questions.
But all that might be for naught if you just don’t have the personality your dream employer is looking for. Research shows that the vast majority of employers are looking for a “cultural fit” over skills in their next hire as more and more companies focus on attrition rates. It is interesting to note that data a number of leading corporations suggest personality plays an important role the making of hiring decisions.
In 2012, Universum, the Stockholm-based employer branding firm that annually surveys over 400,000 professionals worldwide on jobs-related issues, has culled their data to the top five personality traits employers are looking for in job candidates.
Universum discovered that professionalism (86%), high-energy (78%) and confidence (61%) are the top three personality traits employers look for when hiring for vacancies in Ghana.
These first-impression traits are the most critical for employers to prepare for as they all can be evaluated by a recruiter or hiring manager within the first 30 seconds of meeting a candidate.
A manager can read you the moment you walk in the door,” she says; from the clothes you wear to the way you stand to the grip of your first hand-shake, presenting yourself as a confident, energetic professional is about as basic as career advice gets. Universum clients agree: confidence ranks highest on the list of skills companies think employees are missing most. The most successful applicant is the one who walks into every interview with her hand outstretched for a handshake, has done her homework on the interviewer and company and is dressed to fit effortlessly into the culture of the workplace.
The remaining personality traits that Universum clients say are critical in the hiring process aren’t ones that can be read on-sight but instead call for both resume and interview preparation. To present yourself as a self-monitoring (58%) personality type, Harris says to adjust resume language to call attention to work experience where you’ve worked independently or excelled without the guidance of direct leadership. In interviews it is always useful to select anecdotes that show what exactly you have learned and achieved in previous positions and how self-motivation was critical to that success.”
Finally, intellectual curiosity the last trait for employers look for. Employers in their assessment of intellectual curiosity are looking for two things. “The ability to problem solve and the ongoing dedication to learning new technologies or solutions that will continue to advance in the changing workplace. Employers wonder whether or not new hires will be with the company for the long term. An employee who will grudgingly adopt a new database is not as attractive as one who is truly passionate about learning new things.
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It is advised that aspiring applicants identify the most sought after traits, cultivate those resumes and brush up their interview tactics to best position themselves.