15 Traits Employers Look for in New Hires


Looking for a new job can be a real pain but if you don’t know what it is that employers are looking for in new hires; the whole process can drag on forever. If you know what employers want; you can use your CV, cover letter and interview to show how you are suited for the job and make the hiring decision much easier on your future employer. So here are 15 traits that employers look for in hew hires:



It really shouldn’t come as a surprise but employers want people who turn up to work on time, turn up every day and get the job done. If you can show that you can be available when you’re needed, turn up and deliver results – you’re already ahead of much of the rest of the pack. This isn’t rocket science – it’s employment 101.

Team Work


The downside of the modern office is that there are very few jobs that you do in complete isolation; this is true even if you’re working with the Ebola virus. So, you need to show that you can get on with other people and work with them to achieve the objectives of the business. If you haven’t worked in an office before – you can always talk about school or college or even sporting teams that you’ve been part of.



Employers expect you to know what you’re doing with your life. If you haven’t got a clue; they’re going to seriously doubt that you’re capable of knowing what to do at work. So make sure you have a clear (and short) story about where you have been and where you expect to be heading in life and in your career.

Presentation Skills

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall.

No, it’s not wearing a suit (though that won’t hurt at most interviews) but rather the ability to deliver a presentation. That’s all of a presentation including the visual components. Almost every employee will eventually have to deliver a presentation (often to management but it could be to clients or co-workers or suppliers too); doing the job well is important.


Solution 1 2 or 3 Choice Showing Strategy Options Decisions Or Solving

Deliberating over an issue isn’t a bad thing but there comes a moment in every decision’s life when you need to pick a course of action and stay with it. Employers will want to understand your decision making process not just see that you’re capable of making a decision – they want to know how you weigh up different aspects of a decision before going ahead with one.

Problem Solving


If you have to pick one single trait out of this list to demonstrate – show off your problem solving skills. At the end of the day; every single employee is a problem solver. They’re expected to tackle the things that life throws at them and still deliver on their work objectives. It’s a good idea to have a problem solving process that you can share with a potential employer so they can examine the quality of your approach too.

Sales Skills


It’s not just salespeople that need sales skills. Much of the work you do will involve persuading other people to either help you or to convince someone to fund the work you do. If you can’t sell, you’re going to find it tough going to make your priorities business priorities. The better you can sell yourself; the better your chances at interview. There are plenty of free resources online to teach you how to sell if you don’t know where to start.

Computer Skills

businessman training business executives in a classroom

Unless you’re a programmer; you’re unlikely to need to be able to demonstrate coding skills but employers can and do expect you to have the basics of computer usage down pat. That means the basic Microsoft (or other office) applications and an understanding of web and e-mail use. It’s easy to highlight these skills on your resume in a separate section for computing skills too.

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Coaching Skills


If you can help a colleague get over a hurdle and moving forwards with their own work; you’re adding substantial value. Managers are often working flat out and find it difficult, if not impossible, to give everyone in the team the attention they may need – if you can take some of the workload of their plate; they’ll love you for it. Coaching co-workers can be a really handy string to your bow at work.

Cultural Conformity


You should always research a company’s culture before you go to interview. The people who fit in best in a staid, corporate environment (such as a merchant bank) aren’t going to be comfortable in an ultra-casual environment (as found in many Silicon Valley companies) and vice-versa. You’re going to be expected to fit in at work and the company culture is usually pervasive and pretty rigid.

Report Writing


It may be dull and tedious but it’s an absolute essential component of many roles; the ability to craft readable and valuable reports is a bit of an art form and if you can show that you’re a whizz in this area – your would- be manager is likely to love you for it. Doing a good job is one thing; being able to communicate that fact to the rest of the business is another –higher- art.

Previous Success


Employers prefer safe bets in their recruitment processes. That’s because it cost a ton of money to recruit and train an employee and it’s easier to do this with someone who can show a proven track record of success. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t have to have been in the workplace for those new to work; you just have to be able to demonstrate that you had an objective and you achieved it (and ideally that you learned from the process of doing so).

Analytical Capacity


Data at work is plentiful but people who can analyze that data and make it useful are often in short supply. If you can demonstrate quantitative and/or qualitative analytical skills; you’re going to be more attractive to a would-be employer. This is the age of big data and being able to put “2 and 2” together to make 4 is going to be more and more important moving forward into the future.

Technical Job Knowledge

Caring profession

This is really important. If you don’t have direct experience of doing a similar role; you need to demonstrate in your cover letter, resume and interview how you have developed the technical knowledge to do the job anyway. Employers rarely, if ever, hire people at random for roles – they expect you to have the bare minimum skill level to get the job done before they extend a job offer.

Communication Skills


Your application, interview and onboarding process are all a test of your communication skills. The better you communicate with others; the better you will perform in the workplace (or so the theory goes). You need to be able to show these skills clearly throughout your approach to a new employer and the better you do so; the more likely you are to land the role of your dreams.