Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Survey Reveals Personality Traits and Qualities that Job Seekers Need

A recent CareerBuilder survey has revealed that landing your new job is less about your resume than you think. In fact, it has a lot to do with the person you reveal yourself to be during the job interview.


Job seekers shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that there are personality traits that distinguish some job candidates from others. Obviously, a hiring recruiter or manager isn’t going to be too impressed with a morose, melancholy candidate. Rather, they’re more enticed by easy-going, humorous candidates.

The CareerBuilder survey states that when given the choice between two equally qualified candidates, 27% of hiring recruiters and managers choose the one with the better sense of humor. Additionally, 26% prefer the candidate who has a passion for community involvement, and 21% even claim to choose the candidate with whom they have more in common.


When it comes to the job search, the old saying about never judging a book by its cover doesn’t always ring true, and the CareerBuilder survey proves that. Again, hiring recruiters and HR professionals were asked to gauge two candidates with similar qualifications. So when it came to physical appearance, some qualities of the candidates were deal breakers.

Of those surveyed, 22% claimed they would choose the candidate who was better dressed, and 11% admitted they would prefer the one who was more physically fit over the other. It can also be implied from the 21% who stated they would choose the candidate that seemed most like them that they would pick the candidate that looked more like them too.


While most of your job interview preparation will be spent on questions about the company, your work experience and career goals, be prepared to talk about your personal interests too. Hiring recruiters and HR professionals are also trying to determine if you would fit well with the company culture and the team with which you’d be working.

The CareerBuilder survey reveals that 8% of recruiters would choose a candidate that can speak to current affairs and pop culture over one that could not. A small percentage also stated they would prefer candidates that were more involved with social media as well as interested in sports.

In addition to dissecting what motivates some recruiters to make new hires, the CareerBuilder survey points out what prevents current employees from receiving promotions. As you might guess, employees who don’t seem like team players, i.e. they complain, gossip and often show up late, are less likely to get a promotion.

Additionally, 35% of those surveyed said unprofessional dress would prevent a promotion while 30% stated swearing in the office could cost one too. Surprisingly, 9% admitted that crying at work could result in an employee being overlooked for a promotion, and 8% believed that dating a co-worker was grounds for no promotion as well.

In today’s job search, it does matter who you are and how you present yourself. Keeping things professional but personable seems like a good formula for landing that new job and getting a promotion.

What other qualities or personality traits could prevent someone from getting a new job or promotion? Share your thoughts in our comments!

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.

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