When considering what to include in CVs/resumes, a question oftentimes arises about concepts/terms such as “good team player”, “able to work independently”, “loyal”, “hard-working”, “people-person”… I am sure that you can think of many others that fall into the general category of personal attributes that are beneficial to almost all employers. In some cases, the employer will even list a number of these in the requirements section of their job listings.
Should job candidates include these on their CV?
From my experience, these are typically characteristics that are recognized and rewarded when a person begins working at the company as opposed to during the recruitment process. Furthermore, I have never spoken with anyone seeking a job that doesn’t believe that they excel at all of these. Some probably are capable of making accurate self-evaluations, while others are less so – the only chance that an employer has to truly understand what is correct in the recruitment process is during interviews or via feedback from recommendations.
All parts of a CV are critical in differentiating yourself in a positive way from other applicants and getting the employer’s attention. Especially on a one-page CV, you don’t have any room to waste – it is all valuable real estate. There are two choices; either to decide that these types of characteristics on your CV are the most important use of this space to get yourself invited to an interview, or that you can find other traits that are more important to focus on.
I think that the final decision needs to rest with what the requirements are of the job, and what your work history consists of. If the job demands many specific skills that you possess, then these should take precedence on your CV. If the job is more of an entry level role, then using characteristics as mentioned here can help you get your message across. This can also be true in a skills-based CV – for instance in a case where you applying for a job which you don’t have a lot of experience, but have the skills from other types of jobs/activities which can be applicable.
And if you do decide to convey yourself using these traits, you should consider how to do so in the most effective way. If you are simply using the generic words, you can be sure that your CV will read the same as many others that are arriving to the recruiter. Adding some detail and making yourself unique by providing examples/accomplishments from your past which illustrate these abilities will go a long ways toward distinguishing yourself positively.
Employees that possess these intangibles are usually the ones that excel at their jobs and get promotions. When you are writing your CV though, remember that you are creating a marketing document and think hard about whether these descriptions are the best way to make you the candidate that sticks out in the crowd.