Can your personality get you the job or a promotion?

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Manual worker pushing a fork pallet truck stackerSometimes a résumé just doesn’t do you justice. While you may be able to explain your qualifications for the job, it’s hard to put your enthusiasm into bullet points or your passion into a cover letter. How often have you said to yourself, “If I could just get an interview, I know I could make them see I’m right for the job”?

It turns out that employers may be thinking the same thing. In a recent CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries nationwide, employers were asked about personality traits and behaviors that would make them favor one person over another for a job or what would make somebody less likely to receive a promotion.

Find out how your personality may affect your chances of getting the job, as well as what role your behavior plays in getting a promotion, and find out if you’ve got the right attitude for your career.

Personality, personal brands and getting the job
When employers are looking to fill a vacant role, they primarily search for candidates who meet the job’s requirements. However, they also want an employee who will be a good addition to their workplace culture, or the type of environment and interactions that the company prefers. This means that your personality may sway your chances of getting the job.

“When you’re looking for a job, the key is selling your personal brand. Employers are not only looking for people who are professionally qualified for the position, but also someone who is going to fit in at the office,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.

When surveyed, employers were asked, if they had two equally qualified candidates, which factors would make them more likely to consider one candidate over another. Their responses included:

  • The candidate with the better sense of humor – 27 percent
  • The candidate who is involved in his or her community – 26 percent
  • The candidate who is better dressed – 22 percent
  • The candidate whom I have more in common with – 21 percent
  • The candidate who is more physically fit – 13 percent
  • The candidate who is more on top of current affairs and pop culture – 8 percent
  • The candidate who is more involved in social media – 7 percent
  • The candidate who is knowledgeable about sports – 4 percent

Behaviors that slow down promotions and your career
Personality can continue to influence your career even after you’re hired. “Once you get the job, the process doesn’t simply stop,” Haefner says. “Employers will continuously assess personality, performance and behavior when considering prospects for promotions. You want to treat your current job like an extended interview for the next job you want in the company.”

If you ignore this, your career is likely to suffer. Besides subpar or average performance, there are several other behaviors that employers identified as red flags that can keep employees from promotions, including:

  • Someone who says, “that’s not my job” – 71 percent
  • Someone who is often late – 69 percent
  • Someone who has lied at work – 68 percent
  • Someone who takes credit for other people’s work – 64 percent
  • Someone who often leaves work early – 55 percent
  • Someone who takes liberties with expenses charged back to the company – 55 percent
  • Someone who gossips – 46 percent
  • Someone who doesn’t dress professionally – 35 percent
  • Someone who swears – 30 percent
  • Someone who doesn’t say anything in meetings – 22 percent
  • Someone who cried at work – 9 percent
  • Someone who has dated a co-worker – 8 percent

Also remember, fortune favors the bold: One third (33 percent) of employers said they are more likely to promote an employee who has been vocal about asking for a promotion in the past.

Apply common sense to your career strategy. Employers want a worker who can perform the job well and act as a strong part of the team. That may mean contributing ideas, having a positive attitude, offering to go above and beyond job requirements, showing initiative or demonstrating leadership. All of these positive steps can move your career in the right direction.

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