What Employers Want: Top Ten Personality Traits

What are employers looking for in their new hires?

Obviously that the person can do the job for which they are hiring.  But beyond that, what makes one person a more desirable employee than another who has exactly the same qualifications and experience?


Employers hire people who “fit” the job, who “fit” the company culture and the team.

There are certain “soft skills” or personal qualities that consistently rate very high on the most employers “top ten.”

Knowing what the employer is looking for allows the job seeker to make a point of mentioning in their resume, cover letter and at the interview of these qualities that they possess.

Check out below which of these much in demand “soft skills” you possess.

Most people are only too willing to tell the potential employer about their qualifications and their “hard” skills (skills like computer keyboarding, mechanical skills – skills you can see, touch and feel) but overlook the all important personal qualities or “soft” skills.

From the employer’s point of view, they can take a look at the job applicant’s writing and immediately see if this person has or has not the qualities wanted.

(See “Asking a job candidate for a writing sample.”)

This list below comes from a monthly government publication which lists the top ten qualities currently in high demand employers.  In the 6+ years I have been following this list, it has stayed the same.  Sometimes the order will change slightly, but it always keeps the same “Top Ten”.

These are all soft skills much in demand with employers.

The brief description of how to identify these skills from handwriting, include only the most obvious traits for each.

More on using Handwriting Analysis in the Hiring Process

More on using Handwriting Analysis in Career Planning/ Job Search

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What Employers Want and How it is Identified from Handwriting

1. Communicate Effectively

  • Emotional responsiveness shown in moderate right hand slant
  • Ability to communicate verbally shown in some open circle letters
  • Good listener shown in some closed circle letters
  • Empathy, shown in cup shaped base connections

2. Commit to the job including honesty, dependability and enthusiasm

  • Honesty shown in clean, un-looped circle letters
  • Rhythm or stability shown in a even rhythm of the writing
  • Enthusiasm shown in long sweeping t-bars
  • Loyalty shown in round dots on “i”

3. Learn new tasks willingly – demonstrate initiative and maintain productivity

  • Open minded shown in open “e”boss and employee
  • Initiative shown in  t-bars sweeping out to the right from the base of the letter (other indications also_
  • Good memory – “i” dotted, t crossed
  • Energy – writing that is written with obvious energy
  • Determination – long, firm down strokes on y,j,g,f

4. Accept responsibility

– evaluate your own work, use time effectively, and have pride in the quality of your work

  • Willingness to accept responsibility shown in huge initial loop on M, N, or other letter structures
  • Clear thinking – lack of lead in strokes in writing
  • Analytical – v-shapes at the baseline between or in letters
  • Pride – t and d stems twice the height of lower case letters

5. Excellent Interpersonal Skills

– work co-operatively with others, have a positive attitude, accept constructive criticism

  • Optimism shown in up slanted t-bars and lines of writing
  • Co-operative shown in mild yielding, lower case s with no angles
  • Little or no sensitivity to criticism – no loops on stems of t or d

6. Make Decisions

– organize tasks, contribute new ideas

  • Organization shown in equal balanced upper and lower part of “f”
  • Abstract Imagination – shown in upper loops
  • Decisive – shown in blunt endings where pen leaves page

7. Show Flexibility

– adapt to changing requirements

  • Yielding (as above)
  • Change and variety, shown in long and wide lower loops
  • Open-minded (as above)
  • Generous shown in long final strokes

8. Leadership Potential

– demonstrate persistence, self motivation, try to improve performance.

  • Persistence shown in anti-clockwise loop often on t-bar, capital A or H, or other letter structures
  • Self Motivation – shown in heavy t-bars
  • Pride (as above)
  • Ambition shown in high t-bars

9. Grow in the job

– show a willingness to further skills and train

  • Investigative, wanting to know more, shown in inverted V formations in m and n
  • Energy (as above)
  • Open minded (as above)

10. Ability to handle personal problems

– without letting them interfere with work

  • Moderate Emotional Responsiveness – right hand slant no too pronounced

So there you have it.  The top ten personality traits employers want.

For more employer hiring help.

For more about choosing a career that fits who you are.

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