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What Do Personal Qualities Mean for Resumes?

by Linda Ray

Technical skills are important to list on a resume and will certainly play a big role in hiring decisions. But employers also are interested in the personal characteristics that make for good employees. Personal qualities on a resume give recruiters a glimpse of the candidate’s qualifications as they relate to the job and how they fit in with the company culture. An effective resume mixes personal qualities with technical skills.

They are Transferrable

Personal qualities often are referred to as “soft skills” and are those attributes that transfer from one job to another. They are the attributes you can highlight on your resume when you’re changing careers because they easily transfer between industries. Reliability, dependability, flexibility and adaptability are personal qualities that employers look for in suitable candidates who may not have direct industry experience for a particular job. The qualities cannot be taught, but are an innate piece of a candidate’s profile. Candidates with strong, positive personal characteristics could be considered for a variety of jobs or for promotions.

Relate to the Job Duties

On a resume, personal qualities also can relate directly to the job being offered. For example, being highly self-motivated is a strong quality that recruiters look for in salespeople and managers. Reliability is an important quality for nurses and other health care providers. Being honest is vital for any job that deals with finances and money. Personal qualities should be listed in the objective statement at the top of the resume, again under prior achievements and in the summary of skills.

Highlight Effectiveness in Prior Work

Using personal qualities when describing past experience is a way to highlight the success candidates achieved in previous assignments. For example, when an employee receives recognition for making the most sales calls in a month, that highlights the tenacity of the candidate. Strong team-building abilities are apparent when a resume reveals projects were completed successfully. True leadership qualities can be highlighted in resume entries that talk about how a manager mentored and trained new employees who rose to distinction.

Show Benefits to Employers

When personal qualities are included in resumes, employers can see how the new hire would benefit the company in a multitude of ways. For example, employers need honest workers who can show that quality on their resumes with a history of exemplary service to previous employers. Employers benefit from loyal employees who don’t job-hop frequently. Employees who are detail-oriented don’t make many mistakes and friendly workers attract customers and boost employee morale.

About the Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."

Photo Credits

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