Big Five Personality Traits (And Ideal Jobs For Each Trait)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Psychologists use the big five frameworks or a five-factor model to measure an individual's personality traits. Personality is an important part of who you are and has a direct impact on your quality of life. It is important to know about your dominant personality traits to be able to guide your daily interactions, aspirations, long-term goals and career choices. In this article, we examine the big five personality traits, their characteristics and a few ideal job roles for each trait.

What Are The Big Five Personality Traits?

The big five personality traits constitute a unique combination of an individual's behaviour, preferences and mannerisms. It can influence their friendships, relationships, hobbies and careers. Psychologists use objective tests and projective measures to break down an individual's personality into different components. Objective measures use self-reporting tests and tools, where an individual responds to a series of queries in a questionnaire. Projective measures use psychoanalytic theories that reveal inner aspects of an individual's personality. The big five tests or the five-factor model uses questionnaires and tests to rank the following five traits that can affect an individual's behaviour and attributes:

  • Conscientiousness

  • Agreeableness

  • Neuroticism

  • Openness

  • Extraversion

What Is The Relationship Between Personality Traits And Career?

Your personality helps you react, respond, perceive and behave in a specific manner. It guides you to accomplish organisational goals, achieve a higher level of performance, work as part of a team, prevent conflicts, take initiatives and become a leader. Understanding your personality traits helps you choose the right job or career path. Identifying your dominant traits early on can help you pursue relevant formal degrees and skills that complement your career goals. Hiring managers may assess a candidate's personality traits to evaluate whether they are a good fit for a role and possess the aptitude for a specific job.

What Are The Ideal Jobs For The Trait Conscientiousness?

Conscientiousness identifies an individual as organised, detail-oriented and thorough. These individuals may be goal-oriented, thoughtful and in control of their impulses. Those who score high on conscientiousness are typically careful, persistent, goal-driven and well prepared. They may also be hardworking, reliable and fair. Those who score low on conscientiousness may be unorganised, unplanned and impulsive. They may be prone to procrastination and may resort to completing tasks close to deadlines. Ideal jobs for people who rank high on their conscientiousness score include:


Accountants record, analyse, organise and prepare reports of financial transactions of a company. They also maintain bills, invoices, tax receipts and financial documents. They prepare periodic financial reports for compliance and help management in taking crucial financial decisions. They audit financial statements, reconcile bank statements and ensure that a company records its financial transactions accurately.


Therapists or psychotherapists are mental health professionals who help patients develop and improve their cognitive and emotional capacity. If a doctor diagnoses a patient with symptoms of mental health disorders, they may refer them to a therapist. Therapists use techniques like cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, counselling and humanistic and psychodynamic therapies to treat their patients. They can set up a private practice or work with hospitals, mental health clinics, schools, colleges, universities, government departments or in the armed forces.

Read more: What Is A Conscientious Personality?

What Are The Ideal Jobs For The Trait Agreeableness?

Agreeableness is a trait that includes kindness, affection and sympathy. It indicates that a person has attributes like trust, altruism and sociability. Individuals who score high on agreeableness are honest, helpful, trustworthy and cooperative. Alternatively, a low score on agreeableness indicates that an individual may be self-centred, stubborn, dis-compassionate and unforgiving. Ideal jobs for individuals who rank high on the agreeableness trait include:


Pharmacists prepare and distribute medication as per a doctor's prescription. They guide patients on how to take the medication and how to be watchful for possible side effects of medicine usage. Some pharmacists may be qualified to check a patient's blood sugar or blood pressure measurements. Professionals typically require licences to work as pharmacists. Pharmacists can run their own store or work in private clinics, large hospitals or retail pharmacy chains.

Human resources specialist

A human resources specialist or HR specialist prepares documents for new hires, promotions and terminations, and processes insurance benefit forms. They are also responsible for ensuring workplace safety and monitoring whether employees follow company policies accurately and consistently. HR specialists also help in resolving employee disputes and addressing grievances.

What Are The Ideal Jobs For The Trait Neuroticism?

Neuroticism is a trait that reveals the overall emotional stability of a person. A high score on neuroticism indicates anxiety, pessimism, irritability and stress. Individuals who rank high on this trait may be more vulnerable to mood shifts and may become self-conscious around others. Hiring managers look for a low neuroticism score, to evaluate whether a candidate is a good fit for a job. A low score indicates that a person is emotionally stable, confident, resilient and is unlikely to go through periods of sadness or depression. Ideal jobs for individuals who have good emotional stability include:

Social worker

Social work is a broad field, but most people in this role assist clients of all age groups with mental, emotional or physical difficulties and challenges. Their duties could include providing individual or family counselling and communicating with law enforcement in certain circumstances. A social worker requires strong emotional intelligence to perform in their job role without experiencing burn-out and internalising trauma.

Related: How To Become A Social Worker: Skills, Salary And Duties

Psychiatric nurse

A psychiatric nurse is a healthcare worker who diagnoses and treats a range of mental health issues. Individuals require registration and licences to start working as a psychiatric nurse. Besides dispensing medication, they direct patients to non-medical care providers, like social workers or family therapists. A registered nurse can specialise as a psychiatric nurse.

What Are The Ideal Jobs For The Trait Openness?

Openness, intellect or imagination is a trait that indicates that an individual may be curious, insightful and imaginative, and may pursue a wide range of interests. A low score on openness may indicate that a person may be resistant to change and may prefer a traditional approach to completing tasks. Ideal jobs for individuals who rank high on openness include:


A pilot flies or navigates airplanes, helicopters or other aircraft types. They transport passengers or cargo to domestic and international destinations. They ensure the safety of the crew and passengers on an aircraft. A pilot can be a commercial pilot, cargo pilot, helicopter pilot, recreational pilot or military fighter pilot.

Marketing consultant

A marketing consultant is a professional with significant experience in marketing and may work in-house or an external consultant for companies. They advise their company or clients on marketing-related activities, including strategy, optimisation, analytics, research, branding and digital and social media campaigns. They provide a systematic results-oriented framework based on which a company plans its marketing campaigns.

What Are The Ideal Jobs For The Trait Extraversion?

A person with extraversion is likely to be talkative, energetic, assertive, sociable, excitable and emotionally expressive. They thrive in social situations and in action-oriented roles and appreciate the opportunity to work with others. A high score on extraversion may indicate that the individual enjoys attention, seeks adventure, makes friends easily and works best in a large group of people. A low score on extraversion may indicate that they prefer to be alone or work with smaller groups of friends or colleagues. These are some roles suited for individuals who show extraversion:

Public relations manager

The role of a public relations manager is to represent their company's or their client's opinions and positions to stakeholders through official statements, press releases and interviews. Their primary task is to maintain the image of the company and increase its brand value. In case of a negative report about their company or client, they take charge of damage control and mitigate the impact on their client's image. Public relations managers typically possess good communication, networking and interpersonal skills.

Related: What Does A Public Relations Officer Do? (Duties And Qualifications)

Sales manager

A sales manager hires, trains and manages a team of salespersons to sell a company's product or services. They work with senior management staff to identify revenue targets and set individual and team targets. Motivating a team to achieve targets, guiding them during presentations and training them for delivering effective sales pitches are additional responsibilities. They work with a sales team to understand causes of rejection, client issues and bottlenecks in the sales process, and design solutions which are effective.


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