Many applicants feel like a degree or certification in their field of interest is sufficient and is the first thing a recruiter will look for. I disagree with this. I think a degree is an amazing accomplishment (I wouldn’t be getting my MBA if I didn’t think it was important) but if the individual lacks some important personal qualities then the degree may not be good enough. Below I have developed a list of five qualities I look for in the candidates I interview. The list is in no particular order; I feel all five are equally important.
Commitment -> Responsibility, loyalty and dedication. This will help the employer believe you will stay at the company more than just a few months and during your time there you will give your best effort in each task you take on. Your past employment record can help show your level of commitment and if you don’t have a long work history, you can show your commitment level through various clubs or teams you have been a member of.
Initiative -> Act on your own, plan and execute. Unless your manager prefers to micro-manage, they will hope you are able to take initiative and get things done without being told. Once you have learned your duties, start trying to learn more. Take a class or attend a seminar to broaden your knowledge; it will be so impressive when someone has a question/problem at work and you are able to answer/solve it.
Good communication skills -> Convey a thought or feeling, teach, and understand. Being able to articulate your thoughts is so important. Whether it is written or spoken, you must be able to get your points across. In my mind, listening and understanding also falls into this category. You have to be able to listen to instructions and then complete the task.
Passion -> Emotion, desire and enthusiasm. If you show up to work every day with a positive attitude and truly enjoying what you are doing, you will be much more successful. Your enthusiasm will wear off on your co-workers and the work environment will be more pleasurable for everyone.
Ability to get along with others -> Respectful, friendly and willing to help. It is so important that you get along with your customers and co-workers. Trust me when I say that your manager does not want you in their office every other day to discuss your relationship with others. That is the type of drama that was supposed to be left behind when you graduated from middle school.
What are some other qualities you think a “star” employee would possess?