Skills vs. Traits: What's the Difference and Which Are More Important When Looking for a Job? - Club of talented women (2023)

Personal development

Skills vs. Traits: What's the Difference and Which Are More Important When Looking for a Job? - Club of talented women (1)

Looking for a new job? Find out what is the difference between skills and attributes and what are the top five.

While it can be very easy to confuse them, and there sure is some overlap, there is actually a huge difference between their abilities and their attributes.

Traits are qualities you naturally have (perhaps you're naturally talkative or have great resilience, for example) that have served you well in life and at work. Making a list of skills and attributes gives you an opportunity to recognize your strengths and stand a better chance among other candidates, says Laura Fields, an expert inthinkerService.

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Skills, on the other hand, are things you've learned through work, education or training, or general life experience. Skills are tangible and can be backed up with qualifications and real-world examples.

You can improve your ability to deal with business and financial matters, for example, through training and enrollment in courses such as B. acquire or significantly improveMichigan Online MBA Program.

What is the difference between job search skills and attributes?

When applying for a job or presenting clients, it's crucial to know the difference and be able to identify the key skills that set you apart and are relevant to your audience, whether it's a prospective employer or a business client.

While attributes are important, it's your skills that can make you successful in a role and articulating them well is crucial. Once you know a little more about what the person is looking for, you can bring your qualities to bear to make your case as the ideal candidate.

(Video) How to master recruiting | Mads Faurholt-Jorgensen | TEDxWarwick

It is a well-known fact that employers today prefer to hire professionals with diverse and applicable skills. To prepare to be the best candidate you cantake free online certification coursesthat enrich your knowledge in the specific field and provide you with the most important practical skills.

Once you've identified your own skills and characteristics, write your resume yourself or use oneResumption of preparatory service– it's easy to customize them to complement you as a person.

Five of the most important professional attributes

Here's a list of some of the top attributes I talk to clients about and why they're important in helping them with their career goals.

1) Personal initiative

This is a very important attribute, especially in regards to your job search. I keep hearing from customers who don't know their apps, but when I ask them what they've done to catch up, the answer is almost always "nothing."

In today's market, it's important to take control whenever possible. Use your lead to contact employers or clients you'd like to work for before they post an ad, and always follow up on applications. This can be critical to success.

2) Motivation

It can be very difficult to stay motivated when you are constantly being criticized and rejected. The best advice here is not to take it personally; You must be able to accept any result and stay motivated.

High activity is critical to success in today's marketplace, and I've known clients go from 50 requests a week to just five because they were discouraged by not getting a response. Don't let that stop you: It's okay to take a day off if you feel like too much is being done, but don't let that stop you from continuing.

3) commitment

To be honest, I think this is one of the most important qualities to instill. Be engaged! When someone calls you to discuss a job, one-word answers won't make the best impression. I know many job seekers who are extremely friendly and dedicated people, but when they stand in front of an employer, they freeze.

Everyone has a personality. Don't wait for an employer to call you before making your best first impression. Ask your friends/family/mentors to continually help you with this when you know you are having difficulties and make sure you are prepared.

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4) positivity

Talk about your past experiences, skills, layoffs, being unemployed, your past interview experiences, the reasons you sit in front of an employer or client - be positive!

I can't tell you how many times I've done mock interviews and candidates told me all the negative things that happened or focused on the things they can't cope with the things they can. An employer won't want to hear that, so be sure to focus on the positive.

5) Trust

An employer won't just make assumptions about you based on your resume and past job offers. He will make decisions based on how the interview goes; After all, that is the point of an interview!

You need to be able to speak with confidence about your personal skills and experience, and to do so you need to have a high level of confidence to make sure you're conveying all the good things employers want to hear.

But not too fast! You will be vulnerable to fraud. Yes. With access to so much information about what companies are looking for and the values ​​that guide their daily work, preparing for and navigating an interview is now easier than ever. If you know this, stop for a moment and think about it.

workswiseThe advice would be to first take the time to define what you want, your values ​​and what drives you to be the best you can be. Nobody says that it will be an easy task, but it will drastically increase the chances of finding a suitable job. This makes it easier to add value and be rewarded accordingly.

Strengths and weaknesses are very common job interview questions and this is where your own self-awareness really helps you excel on this question.

Five Important Professional Skills You Must Possess

And to help you identify and develop the skills that will help you in the workplace, here are five of the most important ones.

1) Communication

Some of my colleagues would say that this is an attribute, but I personally believe that communication skills can be taught and developed through work and training. You can teach someone great customer service, the principles and skills, what it looks like, and I think communication is included in that.


I have trained many people in interview communication skills, from being able to give one word answers to being able to fluently describe their skills for a specific position. It takes a lot of practice and is the first thing others will notice about you.

2. Teamwork

Very few roles require you not to negotiate and contribute as part of a team. So employers are veryinterest in employeesthat you can work with your employees and complement your existing team environment.

Working as a team doesn't necessarily mean just helping a colleague when they have problems. It's also about asking for help and support when needed, and recognizing the importance of building on the strengths of your peers and understanding how this can make a business successful.

3) time management

This includes everything from committing and meeting deadlines for work to making sure you show up on time in the mornings.

Time management shows an understanding of how your individual performance affects the rest of your team and the company as a whole. Good time management is a skill that all employers look for in an outstanding candidate. Be sure to back this skill up with examples from previous work experience.

4) Can respond to pressure

This can be anything from making sure you get your application on time to a last minute interview. Sometimes the employers I work with want a very quick change; from reviewing resumes to interviewing and starting the job!

Acting quickly and decisively is very important and shows that you are capable and willing to do what needs to be done.

5) Technical understanding

A very simple and obvious one. In an increasingly digitized world, a basic understanding of how to use technology in the workplace is now an essential skill, and it's not just about using a desktop computer.

It's always worth researching what digital skills/programs are required when applying for a job, or having a solid list of current digital skills to refer to when applying for a job. For example, knowing how to use the latter.The webinar platform.

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You don't need to know every detail you may come in contact with, but you do need to be able to express confidence in your ability to perform those tasks.

List your own employable skills and attributes

So what can you do now? We recommend making a list of the skills and characteristics recruiters and employers need in someone for the type of job you're applying for, and then doing the same for the skills and characteristics you have to see where your strengths lie and what gaps you have. may have been able to fill.

Elaine Mead is a passionate education and career consultant with a particular interest in empowering young women to be their best in their careers. She canFollow her on Twitterand read more of his articles in the media.


What is the difference between a skill and a trait? ›

Although the terms 'skill' and 'trait' are often used interchangeably or in the same breath, there's actually quite a significant difference. In short, we're born with traits and can continue developing these further throughout life. Skills, on the other hand, are something we learn later in life.

What are 3 top traits or skills you have that will help you be successful? ›

The most significant of them include:
  • Passion. If you want to reach your goals, it helps to care a lot about what you're doing. ...
  • Optimism. The biggest successes often start out as fantastical goals. ...
  • Persistence. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Self-Discipline. ...
  • A Desire to Improve. ...
  • A Commitment to Learning.

What are 3 skills or traits which you want to improve? ›

Top personal development skills include:
  • Self-confidence.
  • Integrity.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Commitment to growth.
  • Time management.
  • Compassion.
Jun 29, 2021

What are the top 3 strengths that employers look for? ›

Top 5 Skills Employers Look For
  • Critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Teamwork and collaboration.
  • Professionalism and strong work ethic.
  • Oral and written communications skills.
  • Leadership.

What are 3 examples of traits? ›

Character Traits Examples
  • loyal.
  • generous.
  • kind.
  • sincere.
  • persistent.
  • open-minded.
  • brave.
  • quiet.

What are the 7 traits? ›

Character traits include grit, self-control and social intelligence
  • Grit.
  • Curiosity.
  • Self-control.
  • Social intelligence.
  • Zest.
  • Optimism.
  • Gratitude.
Nov 23, 2012


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