NEW YORK (April 25, 2023)TopResume, the world's largest resume-writing service, today revealed what character traits employers care about most — as well as their biggest turn-offs — when evaluating a job candidate. TopResume asked 330 U.S. hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals about their interview best practices, preferences, and turn-offs to determine what has changed over the past 18-24 months amid the pandemic.

When presented a list of 21 traits and asked which personality traits impress them the most when hiring, the following five characteristics were considered the most attractive:

  1. Adaptability

  2. Reliability

  3. Authenticity

  4. Confidence

  5. Honesty

When a similar study was conducted before the pandemic, four of these same five traits made the list, though in a different order of preference in 2019. Significantly, 'Self-Discipline' did not resurface this time around, whereas 'Adaptability' made the list for the first time — as well as catapulted to the top spot as the most impressive trait.

“Inspired by the pandemic, 'adaptability' topped the list for what employers seek most in a candidate — an ability to adjust to new challenges in the workplace — especially in a volatile hiring landscape,” said Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopResume, and a certified professional career coach and resume writer. “Instead of candidates stating, 'I'm adaptable,' they should let interviewers know they're equipped to handle curveballs by explaining how they brought creative solutions to the table. By providing concrete examples of ways they've successfully tackled challenges, they can demonstrate their flexibility and adaptability to the team.”

By contrast, TopResume asked respondents which traits are the least attractive when hiring, which the following list reveals:

  1. Dishonesty

  2. Arrogance

  3. Unreliability

  4. Close-mindedness

  5. Entitlement

TopResume's “What Employers Want” research series is dedicated to educating job seekers about employers' evolving priorities in the post-pandemic job market, and their impact on one's job-search strategy. The first two press releases in the series revealed the Biggest Virtual Interview Turn-Offs and that Personality Is a Job Seeker's Superpower. For more of Augustine's job-search tips and expert advice, visit the TopResume Blog.

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TopResume surveyed 330 U.S. hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals between August 30 and September 17, 2022.

About TopResume

TopResume, a Talent Inc. company, is the world's premier resume-writing service, analyzing millions of resumes and LinkedIn profiles each year. Job seekers work directly with professional writers and industry experts to redefine their personal brand and stand out from the crowd during the job-search process. Follow TopResume on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram and visit TopResume to request a free confidential resume review.

Media Contact

Centerpiece PR

Lisa Hagendorf

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