Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What are the Top Five Personality Traits Employers Seek?

Meghan Casserly of Forbes reports on some interesting new research byUniversum, an employer branding firm.   The company surveyed over 400,000 people over the past year, and they tried to identify the top five personality traits that companies desire in job candidates.   The top five are:

1. professionalism
2. high energy
3. confidence
4. self-monitoring
5. intellectual curiosity

What does self-monitoring mean?  It refers to the ability to work independently.  Can a candidate figure out how to plan and complete a project without being told what to do each step of the way?  Interestingly, we know that many employees value autonomy.   Having control over the work you do can lead to higher intrinsic motivation, and ultimately, higher productivity.  However, many employees have a hard time working independently when they are given autonomy for the first time.  They are accustomed to being provided lots of direction and guidance.  Employers rightfully look for candidates who have had some experience working on their own.  They want people who have already worked through the kinks of having autonomy for the first time.

For students entering the workplace after graduation, showing that you can work independently is crucial.  Students should consider the types of projects that they have done at school.  Have they completed a major independent study or thesis?  Have they led a campus organization or planned a major event on campus?   Did they complete a project during an internship?  

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