Top 10 Employee Strengths Employers Look For In Candidates

Updated 9 July 2022

Your strengths are often one of the deciding factors whether an employer hires you for the job role, promotes you or offers you further work opportunities. These strengths usually ensure your efficiency and productivity at work. Identifying your strengths may make you self-aware as an employee and help you learn and enhance your skills to increase your work efficiency. In this article, we discuss common employee strengths employers look for, detail how to identify your strengths and share tips for highlighting your strengths in the job application process.

10 employee strengths employers look for

Employee strengths typically refer to an employee's general characteristics and skills that allow them to perform their duties efficiently. They include an employee's communication skills, technological competency, professionalism, teamwork, reliability and problem-solving abilities, among other characteristics. Employees who can effectively utilise their skills to increase their efficiency and performance levels can quickly achieve their desired performance targets. Here are some of the most common employee strengths employers often look for:

1. Work ethic

A strong work ethic usually means your determination, commitment and dedication towards your work. Individuals with a strong work ethic typically focus on their performance and create a positive work environment that enables them to excel in any job role. As an employee with a strong work ethic, you can support the company's ideas and help achieve targets by performing your job well.

Related: Strong Work Ethic Skills: Top 10 Values To Develop

2. Flexibility

Flexible employees can easily adjust to any changes at the workplace. By having flexibility, you can ease stress and increase confidence when problems emerge. You can also learn new skills and methods and keep an optimistic attitude. Being a flexible employee, you can be a leader or a role model for others. Having this strength boosts your productivity by enabling you to take additional responsibilities and manage them efficiently.

3. Organisation skills

The ability to organise and manage your time and space is a skill that enables you to prioritise work, meet deadlines and have an ordered workspace to efficiently manage tasks and projects. As a primary skill, it demonstrates to employers that you can manage your workload to finish tasks on time. Planning and organisation include accurately estimating the time required to complete projects and prioritising work to ensure timely delivery.

4. Communication skills

On the job, you may interact with various professionals, clients and teammates over various mediums such as email, in-person or chat. It is important to have strong communication skills to interact effectively. By being clear, concise and effective in your communication, you can prevent possible confusion and misunderstandings. For example, strong communication skills allow writing an email to the client, ensuring that the message has an appropriate tone and is relevant.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

5. Attention to details

Attention to detail refers to an individual's ability to concentrate on minor and basic details while performing a task. Typically, individuals who possess this ability produce consistent work with maximum accuracy. They are usually excellent at researching and are very efficient. Developing the skill to be detail-oriented enables you to focus on smaller details of the project that might help you improve your reliability and performance.

Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips

6. Trustworthiness

Trustworthy employees are usually reliable. Being a dependable employee, you often take accountability for your actions and apologise when you make errors. You may communicate confidential information without having supervision. Employers value trustworthy employees because they work independently and set a positive example for their colleagues.

7. Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving typically refers to identifying the problem and finding a solution to resolve it. You can improve your problem-solving skills by understanding common issues that arise at your workplace. Having this skill allows you to save both time and money for the department and the company by resolving problems on time.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions And Examples

8. Emotional intelligence

Emotionally aware employees often understand how their activities can affect their colleagues' emotions. If you are emotionally intelligent, you may be empathetic towards others. Employees who show emotional intelligence usually understand body language and other emotional signs ensuring their colleagues are comfortable. By showing empathy and being supportive of others around you, you may enhance your relationships with them and also assist others in building healthy relationships.

9. Teamwork skills

Employees that value teamwork and collaboration often work efficiently with colleagues and in groups. If you like teamwork, you may take a leadership role in your group. You can prioritise both your tasks and ensure your teammates complete their assigned tasks. You may also benefit the workplace by focusing on the department's or project's overall performance, along with your particular duties and responsibilities.

10. Self-motivation

Self-motivation is the ability that typically helps an employee take initiative and action to pursue goals and complete tasks. Self-motivated individuals usually exercise self-discipline. It is an essential skill to have at work as it enables you to continue focusing on your task and generate high-quality work. Employers value self-motivated employees because they require minimum supervision or reminders to do their duties.

How to identify your strengths

Here are the steps you can take to identify your strengths as an employee:

1. Review your job responsibilities

The first step to identifying your strengths is by reviewing your job responsibilities. Consider your job duties on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and choose at least three strengths related to your work performance.

Example: You work as a marketing assistant. Your responsibilities include attending daily meetings with the marketing team, presenting monthly slide shows in front of managers, monitoring campaign success and coordinating with teammates on group projects. From this, you identify your top three workplace strengths as communication, teamwork and problem-solving.

2. Consider your weaknesses

The second step is to identify your weaknesses. By highlighting areas for improvement, you can focus on the qualities that you already possess. Think about particular job duties that take you longer to complete or areas where you are more likely to make mistakes.

Example: You may sometimes struggle to stay focused at work, especially when pulling data from campaigns to put in spreadsheets. You may also often enter information incorrectly. It could be possible that your self-motivation and attention to detail is low. Yet, by identifying your weaknesses, you can also analyse your strengths as teamwork and verbal communication. It is because you usually enjoy working with your colleagues and giving presentations to your managers.

3. Identify your personality type

You can also identify your workplace strengths by identifying your personality type. Consider taking online surveys or personality tests to discover more about how your personality type affects your strengths.

Example: You decide to take an online personality test to find out your strengths and weaknesses. You discover that your personality type is ESTP, which may mean you are an extroverted, sensing, thinking and perceiving individual. From this, you can identify your strengths as verbal communication, emotional awareness, problem-solving and optimism.

4. Make a list of your strengths

Making a list of your strengths helps remind you of your employable qualities. You can divide your list of strengths into three distinct categories, such as knowledge-based skills, personality traits and interpersonal skills. Think about how your personality and qualifications apply to the workplace, and you can create a comprehensive list from which you can identify your most valuable strengths.

Example: You decide to make a list. You use three categories to separate your skill areas:

Knowledge-based skills

  • Microsoft Office

  • computer software systems

  • upselling and cross-selling

  • statistics

Personality traits

  • extroverted

  • analytical

  • positive

  • empathetic

Interpersonal skills

  • verbal communication

  • problem-solving

  • optimism

  • emotional intelligence

Tips for highlighting your strengths in the job application process

Here are some tips you can consider highlighting your strengths while applying for a job:

Including strengths on your resume

Typically, your resume includes a section focusing on your skills and competencies. Mention how your skills benefited your previous jobs. For instance, describe how your social media campaign idea significantly increased your company's social media traffic and brought quality leads. You can use numerical metrics, such as the lead counts and increased traffic percentage, to make these accomplishments authentic.

Related: How To Write A Resume Employers Will Notice

Including strengths on your cover letter

Like a resume, your cover letter also describes and establishes your skills and abilities. The cover letter provides an opportunity to explain the strengths mentioned in your resume. For example, you might emphasise skill in your cover letter by adding, "I am an excellent communicator and always consider the comfort of others around me while engaging in discussion."

In-person interview

An in-person interview allows showcasing your strength face-to-face. Showing the strengths that employers look for can significantly increase your chances of getting hired. For example, you can show your communication skills by speaking effectively, maintaining eye contact and responding correctly to the interviewer's body language.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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