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Other Attributes


It’s common for employers to say, “I can train people to do a job, but I can’t change their attitude”. 

What they are talking about is the attributes you bring to the position.  Along with attitude, this includes your personality traits, individual characteristics, interests, temperament and values. 

For example, an employer can teach someone to run a machine easier than teaching someone to be social, optimistic, innovative, relaxed or ethical.  Of course, we can all learn, change and grow, but employers will be looking for what they call ‘the right fit’ during all stages of the recruitment and selection process.  This means it is critical for you to show that you are a good fit with the company and the position.  You can do this on your resume and even more so in the interview.

Attributes are part of the Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Attributes (KSAO) employers look for when hiring.  It is the ‘O’ that relates to ‘Other Attributes’.  Your attributes make you unique.  For example, while you may be competing with others who have the same credentials e.g. a Bachelor of Science degree, it is your attributes that will set you apart.

For example: Confidence, Compassion, Enthusiasm, Wisdom, Empathy, Determination, Curiosity, Dependability, Motivation, Resiliency, Drive, Discipline, Focus, and Adaptability.  For more options you can download the Attributes PDF.

Interestingly, attributes don’t seem to be something employers consciously look for on a resume.  They may not even formally look for your attributes with a specific interview question.  However, when asked, employers identify attributes as a priority.  This means it is up to you to find ways to show them who you are and how you are different than others with the same credentials (diploma/degree).

Attributes on Your Resume

Some people like to include an ‘attribute list’ on their resume.  If you include a list you will need to know what you have to offer as well as what the employer will be looking for.

For example, if you are looking for work at a daycare a list that says you are ‘driven, tenacious, and goal oriented’ will not work any better than saying you are ‘quiet, independent and self-motivated’. However, if your list can include ‘outgoing, caring, patient and dependable’ that may catch the employer’s attention.

Including a list is fine, however, you want to make sure everything you say is supported by your content. You want to paint a picture of who you are through your resume.  This means showing how you have demonstrated the attributes in your list.

Read the following examples and think about the picture it creates in your mind of the individual.  Some attributes are stated directly, others are implied.  

  • Provided feedback to a leadership team of 20, managed a $15,000 training budget, completed bi-annual performance reviews and addressed issues using diplomacy and tact
  • Monitored and assessed weekly sales results, set personal goals and adapted strategies to ensure yearly targets were reached; consistently achieved 15% growth across all projects
  • Identified errors in lab results and led a team through two days of equipment maintenance and re-calibration, while keeping everyone focused on meeting project deadlines
  • Worked efficiently in a fast paced, demanding medical environment, managing complex schedules for 10 practitioners, while maintaining quality customer service

If you would like assistance identifying your attributes or adding them to your resume, contact Resume Pro Canada at or call (705)745-1607.

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