What Employers Want: New Survey Reveals Personality Is a Job Seeker's Superpower (Part 2 of 3)

NEW YORK (November 15, 2022) — TopResume, the world's largest resume-writing service, today revealed which factors are most important when evaluating a job candidate. While skills (86%) and experience (82%) took the lead for what companies prioritize when considering prospective employees, the new survey disclosed that personality (55%) rounds out the top three factors for more than half of employers — outweighing potential (46%), education (22%), and appearance (2%).

Between August 30 and September 17, 2022, TopResume asked 330 U.S. hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals to rank what they find most important in candidates. Respondents were asked to choose three criteria from the following list of six: skill set, experience, personality, potential, education, and appearance.

“Recruiters spend approximately 20% of an interview confirming if a candidate has the right skills to do the job, and the other 80% determining whether they'll be a good fit for the team. You may be the most qualified, but if your personality won't mesh well, it's the end of the road for your candidacy,” said Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopResume, and a certified professional career coach (CPCC) and a certified professional resume writer (CPRW). “Hiring the wrong person or accepting the wrong job offer are both costly mistakes, so finding ways to show your personality throughout your job search — not just during interviews — will ensure that both you and the employer ultimately find the right match."

Infographic: How to Showcase Your Personality Throughout Your Job Search

Augustine has identified five key opportunities for job seekers to showcase their self-expression throughout the job-search process, while making a positive and memorable impression:

  • LinkedIn Profile: The “About” section of your LinkedIn profile is an excellent place to share information that will help prospective employers connect with you. Unlike your resume's traditional professional summary, your LinkedIn summary can be written in first-person and allows you to explain more about yourself and the impact you make on others. In addition, the content you post and the comments you make on others' posts offers more windows into your personality for others to see.

  • Job Application: When it comes to job applications, your cover letter is a strategic way to offer a prospective employer insight into your personality, which may be in the form of an anecdote you share or the overall tone of your letter. Always take the employer's company culture into account so you have a better sense of the voice and style you'll want to echo in your cover letter.

  • Personality Tests: A growing number of employers are introducing pre-employment personality tests into their evaluation process. While you can't necessarily “practice” a personality test to ensure you pass it, you can familiarize yourself with the various types of personality assessments so you know what to expect. Bottom line: Answer each question honestly to ensure you don't end up working in an ill-fitting role.

  • Interview Q&A: An interview is a two-way conversation. Prepare a list of questions that will help you better understand the opportunity, the team you'd join, and the overall company culture to determine if it will be a good fit. Practice answering situational questions, also known as behavioral questions, using the STAR method so you can uncover opportunities to demonstrate how your personality plays an important role in the way you work and interact with colleagues and clients, alike.

  • Thank-You Note: In addition to reiterating your interest in the role and summarizing your best-selling qualifications, use your post-interview thank-you message to highlight anything about your background or qualities that seemed to pique your interviewer's interest. Incorporate any details you learned about them, such as a shared hobby or the fact that you're both alumnus of the same college, to remind them of the connection you made during the interview.

Last year, TopResume unveiled its Job Seeker Sentiment Index, which uniquely measures, on a monthly basis, job seekers' opinions on current conditions, as well as future job-market and workplace expectations — an industry-first. Since April 2021, TopResume has been polling its active U.S. job seekers in order to evaluate both their confidence about the job market and also their sense of overall job security.

TopResume's “What Employers Want” research series is dedicated to educating job seekers about employers' evolving priorities in the post-pandemic job market, and their impact on one's job-search strategy as they prepare for 2023. The first press release in the series revealed the Biggest Virtual Interview Turn-Offs, and the third one will being unveiled in the coming weeks. For more of Augustine's job-search tips and expert advice, visit the TopResume Blog.

Media inquiries

Lisa Hagendorf
  • About TopResume

    TopResume, a Talent Inc. company, is the world’s premier resume-writing service, analyzing millions of resumes and LinkedIn profiles each year. Job seekers work directly with professional writers and industry experts to redefine their personal brand and stand out from the crowd during the job-search process. Follow TopResume on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram and visit TopResume to request a free confidential resume review

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Media inquiries

Lisa Hagendorf