6 Attributes Examples You Can Include on Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 18, 2022 | Published September 29, 2021

Updated November 18, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

For any job you apply for, prospective employers consider your education, experience, skills, and attributes. Getting to know your attributes or personality traits can help employers determine whether you would be a good fit for the position and the company. Knowing what professional attributes employers are looking for and how to include them on your resume can help improve your chances of getting a job. In this article, we discuss what an attribute is, share six attributes examples to include on your resume, and explore how you can improve or develop these attributes.

Related: How To Include Character Traits in a Resume

What is an attribute?

An attribute is a personality trait you have, such as confidence or resilience. Many employers look for specific attributes as they can enhance your suitability for a role. For example, if you're a strong negotiator, you may succeed in a sales role. While employers also consider your education, experience, and skills, your attributes can help you stand out over other candidates.

Related: A Guide To Personal Skills

6 attributes examples to include on your resume

When creating your resume, it's important to include attributes you know prospective employers value. To help you, consider including one or more of the following attributes examples:

1. Initiative

Initiative is a great attribute to include on your resume regardless of the role. It means you have the ability to do what needs to be done without anyone asking you to do it. Employers look for candidates who are able to take initiative, as it shows you have strong leadership and problem-solving skills. It also shows employers you're reliable and can work independently, all great personal qualities for employees to have.

2. Willingness to learn

No matter how long you've been working in your industry, there's always something new to learn. Employers look for candidates who are passionate and dedicated to continuous learning, as it shows that you take personal development seriously. It also shows that you're self-aware of the fact that you can always improve your personal and professional knowledge.

You can express this attribute in several ways at work, such as asking for additional training, attending seminars, or even going back to school to get a new diploma or degree. You can also consider conferences, online courses, or certifications to pursue to expand your experience and skill set.

3. Adaptability

Industries rarely remain stagnant, especially with new technology always being created to help us work more efficiently. To keep up with these changes, you must be adaptable. Employers want candidates who can learn and adapt quickly to minimize interruptions at work. For example, if your company switches to a different type of software, employers appreciate employees who willingly accept the new software and adapt to using it immediately.

Related: 9 Skills That Support Adaptability In The Workplace

4. Confidence

Having confidence is another attribute that is useful in any career. If you have confidence, you know your worth and express it through your work. Employers look for candidates that are confident about their skills and experience, as they're more reliable and trustworthy. Confidence is especially useful in roles where speaking in front of other people is necessary, such as teachers or CEOs. Building your confidence can help you captivate your audience and encourage them to listen to what you have to say.

5. Resilience

Every role has challenges you need to face. To do so, you must be resilient and navigate these obstacles effectively. This shows that you have strong problem-solving skills and can remain positive in any situation. It also shows employers you're resourceful and willing to develop unique solutions to common issues.

6. Optimism

Similar to resilience, optimism is the ability to stay positive or find the good in every situation. Optimistic people tend to be more enthusiastic, which is a great quality for those in customer service to develop. You can express your optimism by looking at failures or mistakes as a learning opportunity rather than getting upset. Employers appreciate optimistic candidates, as they won't let stress or other obstacles hinder their work. Instead, these professionals always try to turn a negative outcome into a positive result.

Related: 10 Resume Attributes to Include in Your Job Application

Tips to develop or improve your attributes

While your attributes often develop naturally, there are also actions you can take to develop or improve additional attributes. To do so, consider the following tips:

  • Take initiative: To show employers you are proactive, you can go out of your way to take initiative to make a great impression at work. Speak up and offer ideas during meetings, complete tasks you know your manager wants to be done before they need to ask, or volunteer for new opportunities.

  • Prioritize learning: Staying up-to-date with your industry is a great way to show employers you're willing to learn. Look through books or news articles, or consider attending a seminar or course to improve your learning, which can help you acquire new knowledge or skills, making you a more attractive candidate to employers.

  • Embrace change: Regardless of your feelings about a change your employer makes, you can benefit from embracing it enthusiastically. Embracing change allows you to adapt easier and become a more positive asset to your company.

  • Exude confidence: Get to know yourself and your skills better to improve your confidence. If you know what your strengths are and what you have to offer, you can highlight them at work. Similarly, if you determine your weaknesses, you can work on correcting them.

  • Have a positive attitude: If optimism doesn't come naturally to you, you have to put the effort in to find the positive aspects of every situation. For example, if you come across a challenge or obstacle, think about it as a learning experience rather than a hindrance.

  • Ask for feedback: If you aren't sure what your weak or strong attributes are, ask for feedback. Talk to your family members, friends, colleagues, or even manager for feedback on your strengths and weaknesses, and use their feedback to improve and develop new attributes that can help you professionally.

  • Observe others: Another great way to develop or improve your attributes is to observe other people. Learn from those who inspire you by identifying the qualities you admire in them and try to replicate those qualities in yourself.

  • Find a mentor: A mentor can help you identify ways to improve attributes that may make you more successful at work. Consider asking a manager, professor, or someone you admire to be your mentor.

Ways to include your attributes in your job applications

Once you know what attributes you want to highlight in your job application, you need to know how to do so properly to ensure you stand out over other candidates. Consider the following ways of including your attributes in your applications:

Highlight your attributes in your resume

The best way to highlight your attributes is by including them in your resume. You can do so by creating a "Skills and attributes" section. This section can be short and concise, using bullet points to list each skill or attribute you want to highlight. To determine which skills or attributes to include, look carefully through job postings and descriptions you're applying for. If you notice keywords that come up a lot, such as "team player" or "willingness to learn," ensure you include them in your resume.

Here is an example of what this section of your resume might look like:

Skills and attributes

  • strong time-management skills

  • ability to adapt to any environment

  • excellent problem-solving skills

  • good team player

  • willingness to learn

Highlight your attributes in your cover letter

Another great way to highlight your attributes is in your cover letter. Your cover letter is your opportunity to discuss your resume in greater detail. Choose one or two attributes you want to talk about and briefly describe how you would apply them at work. If you can, mention specific attributes examples you used in the past.

For example: "Due to my passion for learning and improving my skills, I recently received my Master of Business Administration (MBA). This, coupled with my three years of experience in the industry, has improved my knowledge and made me a stronger business operations manager."

The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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