8 Personal Attributes to Include on Your Resume (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 30, 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.

Hiring managers want the best candidates for each position to ensure their organizations can reach their goals. While your experience and education are important for demonstrating that you're a qualified candidate, your personal attributes are also important to the hiring manager. Knowing the personal traits to include on your resume can help you show the hiring manager you're the best candidate for the role.

In this article, we explore what a personal attribute is, provide examples of personal traits to include on your resume, describe where to include them in your application, and review tips to help you gain more attributes to gain the attention of hiring managers.

What is a personal attribute?

A personal attribute is a feature or trait that makes you unique and may influence your relevance to an organization. You can use these traits to improve your suitability for a role when combined with the skills you've developed through work or education experience. For instance, if you're naturally personable, you can use this inherent social ability with your learned skills, such as persuasion and negotiation, to become an exceptional salesperson or marketer. These attributes are relevant because a person with the same skills, experience and education may have different levels of success if they're naturally withdrawn or shy.

Related: 18 People Skills for a Productive Work Environment

8 personal attributes you can include on your resume

Here are some personal attributes that can help you improve your suitability for a role:

1. Initiative

Taking initiative involves doing what the business needs before you receive instructions. For instance, calling a meeting to resolve a conflict between two coworkers to ensure a more conducive work environment without instruction from your supervisor is an example of taking initiative. Usually, taking initiative involves leadership, problem-solving, insight and motivation, all of which help your employer notice you. Beyond this, taking initiative strengthens your decision-making and analytical skills, making you more skilled at identifying and maximizing opportunities.

Read more: How to Take Initiative in the Workplace (With Useful Skills)

2. Willingness to learn

Employers prefer candidates who display a willingness to learn and improve themselves. Usually, willingness to learn includes self-awareness, as individuals understand they are unable to know everything and always have room to grow. They continually seek professional and personal knowledge to develop themselves. Even for repetitive roles, employers typically prefer candidates who prioritize personal development. This ensures that you can continually optimize existing processes and record improved performance.

3. Adaptability

As businesses change and new processes emerge, adaptability is a personal trait that most hiring managers and companies prefer. Adaptability involves the ability to modify existing systems or processes to respond to changes or challenges. In addition, it involves breaking from routines to ensure that the team can achieve business goals.

Read more: 9 Adaptability Skills in the Workplace

4. Confidence

Confidence refers to a persuasive belief in your ability. It also involves recognizing your worth or value and being able to demonstrate it. While education, experience and a wide variety of skills make you a desirable candidate, employers typically consider confident candidates best suited for roles. This is because confidence allows them to maximize their other characteristics to achieve results. For example, confidence in your work process is important when communicating with clients.

5. Resilience

Resilience involves learning from failures, growing into a more skilled person capable of solving existing problems and converting challenges into opportunities. Similarly, resilience involves finding a balance between opportunism and optimism when navigating challenges. Employers typically prefer candidates who can display resilience in the event of obstacles they encounter in their work or personal life. For instance, resilience at work may involve seeking new ways to convert leads into clients.

Read more: What Is Resilience? (With Essential Tips and Core Skills)

6. Optimism

Optimism involves the ability to identify positives in every situation, regardless of how daunting it might seem. Typically, employers prefer optimistic candidates to influence their coworkers and help the team remain committed to business goals. Similarly, employers appreciate optimistic employees because they're more likely to convert a potentially negative result into a positive outcome.

Beyond this, optimistic people are often risk-takers and enthusiastic about new learning opportunities, regardless of the possibility of failure. As a result, they often maximize opportunities to grow. This allows them to develop more skills and contribute significantly to the company.

Read more: How to Be More Optimistic (And Why It's Important)

7. Personal drive and enthusiasm

Personal drive involves the ability to motivate yourself to achieve tasks. Typically, employers want candidates who can continually motivate themselves to complete tasks within their deadlines while maintaining a commitment to delivering excellent results. For instance, a candidate with an exceptional personal drive can help coworkers complete tasks to ensure that the department meets its overall objectives.

Read more: 7 Types of Motivation and How to Motivate Yourself

8. Ability to handle pressure

From the pressure to meet deadlines to delivering high-quality results, pressure is common in most workplaces. Employers typically prefer candidates who can manage these pressures and still produce their deliverables. Hiring managers usually prioritize this personal trait in high-pressure jobs. For instance, a surgeon typically experiences more high-pressure situations than a cleaner. Employers seek candidates who can remain calm during pressure or stress and complete a task or resolve a problem on time.

Read more: Personal Management Skills (With Definition and Examples)

Where to include personality traits on your resume

There are a few places on your resume where you can showcase your personality traits to highlight your uniqueness to your hiring manager and improve your chances of getting the job, including:

In your resume introduction

You can display any of these personal traits in your resume introduction so help ensure the hiring manager sees this information first when reviewing your application. Your resume introduction can either be a resume summary, a professional profile or a career objective statement. While your employer typically expects this introduction to be memorable and brief, you can still highlight the various attributes that make you impressive and suitable for the role.

Related: A Guide To Writing a Resume Summary With Samples

In your skills section

Your personal traits closely relate to your skills, so you can highlight them in the skills section of your resume. When doing this, instead of only listing your skills, you can provide a detailed description of these skills and incorporate the personal traits that make you unique. You can also use bullet points in this section to help your resume appear more organized.

In your experience section

Your experience section is where you discuss the details of your duties at your previous employment. You can demonstrate how you used your personal traits when completing your duties and tasks. When doing this, employers expect you to highlight how it affected the results you achieved on a project. You can use ratios, percentages or averages to display your impact.

Tips to gain additional attributes

Here are some tips to help you develop more personal traits in order to become a stronger and more unique candidate:

Continue to innovate

To remain proactive and relevant to employers, continuous innovation is essential. You can regularly discover new ways, better options, improved practices and novel solutions for tasks associated with your role that make you valuable to your employer. In addition, innovation requires conscious effort, so you can dedicate a part of your day to identifying problems and seeking innovative ways to solve them.

Keep learning

Employers prefer candidates with a commitment to learning since changes and advancements are common in any industry. Continuous learning is essential to improve your capabilities, acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and become indispensable to your employees. To learn appropriately, ensure you evaluate every piece of information and its relevance to your personal and professional goals.

Read more: How to Improve Your Learning Skills

Practise displaying confidence

To develop confidence and display it at your workplace, regularly practising can help you. First, identify your strengths and what makes you unique and apply them to tasks. Regularly applying them and getting positive results can help you become more confident about your skills and strengths. Similarly, recognize your weaknesses and constantly seek to improve them. By doing this, you can record significant improvements that help improve your overall confidence.

Read more: How to Be Confident at Work (A Complete Guide and Tips)

Improve your adaptability

While maintaining a schedule improves your organization and ensures productivity, it can also help you react to changes to improve adaptability. Embrace minor changes with enthusiasm, and practise responding to changes in work structure and schedule. This can help you increase the pace at which you can adapt to changing circumstances. For instance, you can accept extra tasks so that it seems manageable when a client requests them.

Read more: 9 Adaptability Skills in the Workplace

Seek positives in situations

Seeking positives in every situation is a great way to improve your personal traits and make you valuable to every team. You can improve your optimism by asking questions that allow you to adopt a solution-oriented approach to issues. For instance, you can adopt a positive perspective in an instance where your employer treats you unfairly. Instead of assuming it's because they are going to terminate your position, they may just be having a challenging day, so you might consider what you can do to improve their mood.

By highlighting personal attributes on your resume that are relevant to your role and of value to a company, you can set yourself apart from other candidates and increase your chances of being hired.

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