5 Vital Qualities Every Employer Seeks in Applicants

By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC


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Sometimes, it may seem as if the odds are against you when applying for a job. While it's true that you're likely up against stiff competition when interviewing for a position, know that there is a fulfilling place for you in the workforce.


All employers seek five vital qualifications when fulfilling their position. Develop these five characteristics within yourself to dramatically increase your chances of landing that dream job: 

  1. Diligence. Your potential employer needs to know that you're thorough and review your work with a fine-toothed comb. In this economy, an employer needs to know that he/she is getting his/her money's worth from the salary that you are being paid.   

  • It's an employer's right to seek diligence in his/her employees. Whether you're being offered a position that pays $10 per hour or $100,000 per year, you need to bring all you've got to the table. 
  1. Professionalism. All employers seek professionalism in their employees because you are always representing the company, whether you are doing official business or not. You should dress professionally and appropriately, carry yourself with confidence and know exactly what you're talking about before you say it. 

  • A professional demeanor goes a long way. A professional demeanor, firm handshake and killer interview outfit just may get you the job. When you display professionalism, you give interviewers the comfort of knowing that they're making the right decision. 
  • Many employers promote within the company. If you lack a professional demeanor, you'll likely be looked over because interviewers will see little potential for your advancement within the company. Professionalism also includes the way you treat others. When you are called in for the interview, be sure to be friendly and professional with everyone inside and outside of the office. Most hiring managers will ask the receptionist his/her opinion of their interaction with you. 
  1. Dedication to success. A perfect employee is a go-getter. The ideal employee is willing to move mountains in order to attain success for themselves and the greater good of the company. And, if the mountain is immovable, they'll willingly climb over the mountain to get things done. 

  • The perfect way to showcase to an employer that you're dedicated to achieving success is to be extremely prepared for your interview. Have specific examples which showcase your accomplishments. Most employers will review your social media profile before they call you in for an interview so having your testimonials from your previous employers, clients, and colleagues easily available on your LinkedIn profile may help you land the interview. 
  • Bring along a portfolio of your most rewarding work. Explain how you went above and beyond the call of your job and give them ideas as to how you can do the same for them. 
  1. Experience. In the corporate world, there are advantages in having experienced hires as well as new grads.   

  • A seasoned professional is already trained to do the job and prepared to handle potentially sticky situations. An experienced professional can save employers money and also begin bringing in revenue almost immediately. 
  • If you've just graduated, show the interviewer how your experiences can benefit the company in which you seek a position. You have probably gained valuable experience through your part-time job, student organizations and school projects. 
  1. Education. A college education is almost a requirement in such a competitive job market. Because there's such a shortage of job openings and an abundance of applicants to go around, employers have the ability to hire overqualified applicants while still paying a lower salary. 

  • If your college education is lower than a bachelor's degree, consider at least taking relevant courses related to your career goal. Ideally, advance your education, skill-set, and credentials by attaining a bachelor’s master's degree or Ph.D. You may enjoy this graphic from the Bureau of Labor Stats which shows earning potential based on degree level.   

You deserve to be paid a fair salary for your work. And, in turn, your employer deserves to hire a qualified candidate. Convince interviewers that you're right for their company and you're sure to get multiple job offers!


You may also enjoy my article, 10 Things that Require Zero Talent