Top 7 Transferrable Qualities Employers Look for in Candidates

Regardless of the company, position, or pay rate; there are certain qualities that every employer looks for in the hiring process as well as when someone is on-boarded. Technical skills will get you recognized right away, but hiring managers know that soft skills have a big influence on the environment of a workplace and how it runs. If you are a contingent employee or have recently been hired by a company with a probation period, demonstrating these qualities are sure to make your employer consider you for a permanent position on their team. Developing these 7 qualities will help you excel in your career no matter what path you decide to go down.


1. Dependability

Although this list is in no particular order, there is a reason that dependability is at the top. No matter who your employer is, or what industry you’re in, dependability is inarguably the most important attribute a candidate and/or employee can have. In order for a company to be successful, work needs to get done and get done in a timely manner. Being a person that your manager and colleagues can count on to show up on time, deliver, drive results, and keep your word will make you a highly respected member of your organization. Make sure to include this trait on your résumé, discuss it during your interview, and follow through while on the job.

2. Communication Skills

Communication is important to both the employer and the employee. In order to run a smooth operation, everybody must be on the same page. Effective communication is important from all angles: verbal, physical, and written. There are many different areas to cover when it comes to communication. Verbally this means communicating your needs and expectations, clarification if you or someone else doesn’t understand something, and letting those around you know if you are going to be in at a different time than usual or out of the office on a specific day. Physically, this could mean having good posture and looking someone in the eyes when they are speaking to you. In a more manual labor based environment it could mean to let your team know if you moved equipment or to practice proper signaling protocols when on something like an assembly line. When it comes to emails or instant messages, be sure to be thorough with your questions and explanations and always double check for spelling and grammatical errors.


3. Work Ethic

To have good work ethic is to set your own standard of excellence. This is all-encompassing and goes for everything from how you dress to using your time wisely. It begins with being on time to your shift and ensuring that you are dressed appropriately. Depending on the position, this could mean being dressed crisp and professionally or wearing clothes that make it easy to maneuver heavy objects. It also goes for how you speak and interact with the people around you. Essentially, it means to maintain balance in every area. You can ensure you do these things by taking care of yourself. Eating proper nutrition, getting enough sleep, and giving yourself permission to recharge when you need to.


4. Problem-Solving Skills

There’s nothing that shows a manager more initiative than finding solutions to issues that arise before going to them about it. It’s important that you are able to make your own decisions as this shows a level of expertise in your area. Having the ability to handle issues in a positive manner will make you a valuable asset to any team as problems arise in every workplace across all industries. It will show that you are a leader despite what position you’re in and demonstrates a number of competencies including resilience, critical thinking, and resolve.


5. Teamwork

Not every position requires collaboration, but no matter what job you have, you will be working with others in some capacity. Whether that’s taking direction from a manager, having conference calls with other members of the company, or working on your part of a project before passing it on to someone else, everyone must have a common goal and the company’s best interest in mind. Like the quote goes, “one team, one dream”; hiring managers want to bring on people who are agreeable. List this as a skill on your résumé, and then give specific examples on your cover letter and in your interview.


6. Open-Mindedness

Especially when you’re new to a company, even in a similar position, there will be systems and procedures they do differently than your previous company. A willingness to try things, to see other people’s perspectives, and to be adaptable shows that you will be a pleasant person to work with. Considering that environments change and evolve on a regular basis, showing open-mindedness will give your employer the confidence that you will leave your comfort zone when the time calls for it.


7. Self-Management

In today’s workforce, culture and environment are everything. Despite how good the pay is or how well-known and prestigious the company is, people want to know that they are walking into a place they can feel comfortable. That means it is each person’s individual responsibility to have control over their thoughts, feelings, and actions. This contributes to the overall success of a workplace, because it results in a harmonious atmosphere and higher productivity levels. Each person will have their own style of self-management and personal responsibility; therefore it is important to know what works for you in a variety of situations that may arise.

Each of these traits is something that you will want to demonstrate from the beginning, starting with your cover letter and résumé, discussing it in your interview, and then demonstrating your abilities throughout your time at a company. Being able to make these qualities a part of your personal brand, is sure to lead you to success in your career.

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