First impressions matter. Recruiters initial gut feeling about a writer is a critical factor when making hiring decisions. And what drives that first impression is traits.
Traits are different from skills. Hard skills include researching or editing, and soft skills include leadership, teamwork, and communication.
Personal traits are the qualities that turn up during the interview. It’s the impression a writer leaves through their attitude and how they compose themselves from the second they walk in the door. Or login to a video meeting.
In a study by a major hiring company, recruiters ranked what they consider to be the most important traits for writers. Here are the top 10 traits of top writers.
Recruiters want to hire a writer who will be loyal to the team and the brand. Loyal writers contribute more to the brand. It’s critical to the success of team spirit. It’s how a brand builds an internal esprit de corps.
Everyone is looking more closely at brands and judging their corporate integrity. In turn, brands look for this trait in writers they hire. They want the writers to have moral integrity. With so much public scrutiny, it’s become more important than ever.
Sincerity is hard to measure because it’s subjective. But it boils down to an impression a recruiter gets during an interview and if they really believe what the writer is saying. Recruiters want writers who are friendly and honest. It’s not a trait you can rank objectively on a scorecard or with an algorithm. It comes down to human judgement.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, brands learned that the best-laid plans don’t always turn out. As a result, recruiters are looking for writers who can roll with punches, tackling new problems and opportunities. There’s so much growth in every business sector. Writers need to be able to adapt.
This trait feeds into adaptability because a writer needs persistence to follow through. Whether innovating or overcoming challenges, persistence is ultimately about objectives, either at the micro or macro level with strategic goals.
Building a team that works well together and avoids unnecessary conflict requires hiring personable fellow members. To work closely together, writers need to build trust. Being unkind undermines trust.
If a coworker has a bad day, patience is needed to deal with them politely and efficiently. Whether it’s employees or stakeholders, patience is a virtue.
8. Emotional intelligence
To respond effectively a writer needs to understand a person’s motivations. There are plenty of bad writers out there. A good writer needs emotional understanding and compassion. People aren’t robots. Teams are made up of unique individuals with unique characteristics and qualities.
One recent cause of conflict in the workplace has been politics. There is a lot of workplace intolerance split down party lines. But intolerance can also be close-mindedness and prejudice. Hiring an intolerant writer can create an untenable environment and recruiters want to avoid its negative effects.
Recruiters also look for open-mindedness, which can be a writer who is willing to try new ways of doing business and new methods of working. It’s also being open-minded to different cultures, religions, and political backgrounds.
How recruiters identity traits
First impressions can be valuable, but recruiters will often dig deeper to confirm their instincts.
Many recruiters rely on behaviour tests. The study found more than half use psychological profiling techniques to identify candidates’ personality traits.
While personality tests dig deeper, if your first impression isn’t good, a recruiter may not choose to move forward.
Writers need to be mindful of their demeanour from the second they walk in or login to a videoconference. Phone calls and emails also help form that impression.
Writers need to consider these key traits and determine how they can improve on them.
How a writer first comes across is critical.