What are the 3 most important traits of the perfect employee? If you're out of work or hope to get a better job than you have now, this is a great question to help you prepare for the next position that you hope for.
I would argue that the first thing you should be concerned about is not your resume. Yet, that is often the first thing job seekers start to work on when they feel that career change is coming.
Why? Maybe because it's the easiest thing to do, just document the past changes since the last update.
What would be a better thing to do?
Well, if you know the top three things that matter to employers, you can use that as a guide to prepping yourself for your chance a securing the best job you've ever had.
I'm going to lump a few different things into this category of personality. To me personality is who you are, how you come across and how you would fit in with the organization. It really doesn't matter how much you know, what you've done before or how much potential you have if you don't pass this first test.
No one wants to be around a jerk that has a sense of entitlement and drives his coworkers crazy.
The first this about your personality that matters is attitude. When I was about to graduate college, my brother-in-law's dad got me an interview with Delta Airlines. He was a VP with them and wanted to do me a favor.
I remember quite clearly that I was in the middle of final exams week and I really didn't have the time for it, but the interview was also a great opportunity that I didn't want to miss.
I had an 8:00 AM appointment. "Just in case", I took some study materials with me to get some things done if I got a chance to prep for my finals. Let's just say I had plenty of time.
They didn't call me back for my interview until about 5:00 PM. Delta had flown people in from all corners of the earth for interviews that day. I was local, so I guess I was placed at the end of the line.
No problem. I think I got more focused study done without the distractions of being at home.
I had no experience in the airlines industry. No training in school that was specific the the industry, and quite frankly, I didn't even have clue if I wanted to work there at all... but they made me an offer. I would have been the first engineer they had hired in about 15 years.
They were impressed with my attitude after waiting for nine hours.
The second thing in personality is likability. Can you get along with people? I think this is very closely related to attitude, but extends to all the people around you.
If you're working in a position where you interact with other people, and very few jobs don't require this, then you should be concerned about this. Your boss and coworkers certainly are.
Once you've passed the personality test, then it's safe to look at your ability. Ability is the combination of education, training, experience, aptitude and train-ability.
In other words: can you get the job done? If not now, how long will it take you to get up to speed?
We like you, but you still have a job to do. But it's because we like you that we're willing to wait a little while if you need to come up to speed.
Often times the people that perform the best at their jobs and those who stay in them the longest are the people that grew into that position. The ones that were stretched and molded to peak performance.
It wasn't on your resume. You didn't have any experience in that position before, but you had the ability. Your personality gave you the willingness and desire.
The third trait is flexibility.
Businesses change and we need you to change with us whether it's a major shift in the industry that we need to adapt to or a coworker is out sick and you need to fill in.
Don't be too set in your ways or expect every tomorrow to be just like today. See change as a good thing. See it as a way to grow. See it a way to better things later.
I once had an employee that it took me a while to figure out. Occasionally I would ask him to do something that I have expected some push-back about.
Instead of resisting, he would say (loudly and emphatically) 'Yes, I love doing xxxxx.' For a long time I didn't know what to make of this response, but he always did whatever I asked to the best of his ability and he did it with a great attitude.
Years later, when he no longer reported to me, I asked him about his unusual response to my requests. He said that whenever he had something that pushed him outside of his comfort zone, that was his way to pump himself up and get ready to take on whatever was needed.
It worked. He progressed rapidly through the company because of his personality, ability and flexibility to take on whatever was needed.
I'm not sure what else you could expect of an employee. I would consider him for almost any position at any company if it was something he wanted to try.
When was the last time you did a personality check? The best resume in the world won't take you far without it. Instead of updating your resume, maybe you should find a way to upgrade your attitude.
Yes, it's possible.
I once worked at a job where I occasionally needed to go into the warehouse, but there was one guy in there that made it, let's just say, quite unpleasant to enter his world. You just didn't want to go there.
The one day it all changed. He was a different person. He was kind and warm and caring.
For him, it was attending a Dale Carnegie class.
Find what it is for you. Do that first, then work on the resume.