Research indicates that over 80% of employers look for the cultural fit of an executive over skills. That’s huge! In data collected from 1,200 of the world’s leading companies, there are five top personality traits sought after by these employers.
Most people reach executive level through career achievements, leadership skills, and crafting a professional persona. Generally, executives are a step up on the professionalism scale. A candidate’s professionalism is judged from the first interaction to the clothes they wear to the interview, to how they handle difficult interview questions and everything in between.
High energy (78%)
In the first 30 seconds of meeting, a recruiter can determine if an executive is high energy. It could be expressed in their body language, tone of voice, or other subtle distinctions. Whatever clues the recruiter is looking for, be aware that you are being observed, and need to demonstrate your enthusiasm and high energy in a fitting manner to your personality and position.
Confidence is the highest trait that companies think is missing in employees. If you don’t show confidence in yourself, how do you expect a potential employer to have confidence in your abilities as an executive? First impressions are critical for employers, and even the smallest adjustments in your presentation, handshake, posture, etc. can have a big impact.
This trait is best showcased in resume language that calls attention to working independently or figuring out solutions to challenges without help or guidance of direct leadership, and working through to a successful completion. During an interview, this trait can be implied with challenge/action/result stories that reveal how you improved, increased, saved, or achieved the desired outcome, and how your self-motivation was critical to your success. Even if you don’t have a lot of successes to share because of extreme/adverse situations or sliding economy, being able to point out how you overcame potential failures to maintain ground is important.
Intellectual curiosity (57%)
Two key pieces are vital to demonstrate intellectual curiosity. One is the ability to solve problems, and the other is the ongoing dedication to learning, whether it is new technologies or solutions to streamline advances in the ever-changing workplace. The employer is very interested in your analytical process and problem-solving abilities, and how it can integrate with current employee thinking and actions. Not being satisfied with status quo, and showing passion for continued professional development will elevate you as a highly attractive candidate to a potential employer.
Being aware of the top personality traits that employers are looking for should give you a leg up on the competition, and help you to position yourself better for the next step in your career.