Skills vs Attributes - what’s the difference and which are the most important when you're job-hunting? - Talented Ladies Club (2024)

Personal development

Skills vs Attributes - what’s the difference and which are the most important when you're job-hunting? - Talented Ladies Club (1)

Looking for a new job? Find out what the difference is between skills and attributes, and discover which five are the most important of each.

While it can be pretty easy to get the two confused – and sure, there are a few cross-overs – there’s actually a big difference between your skills and your attributes.

Attributes are qualities which you might naturally have (perhaps you’re a naturally chatty person or have strong resilience, for example) and have used to benefit you in life and work. Creating a skills and attributes list will give you the opportunity to recognize your strengths and get a better chance among other candidates, says Laura Fields, an expert fromtopessaywritingservice.

Skills, on the other hand, are things you’ve learnt through work, training or education, or general life experience. Skills are tangible and can be backed up by qualifications and real-life examples.

Your skill in handling business and financial matters, for example, can be acquired or vastly improved through training and enrolling in degrees such asonline mba programs Michigan.

What’s the difference between skills and attributes when job hunting?

When applying for work or pitching for clients, it’s crucial to know the difference and be able to identify the core skills that make you stand out and are relevant to your audience – be that a potential employer or client.

While attributes are important, it’s your skills that can ultimately make you a success in a role, and articulating these well is crucial. You can bring in your attributes once you know a bit more about what the individual is looking for, to help sharpen your case as the ideal candidate.

It is a well-known fact that nowadays employers mostly prefer to hire professionals with diverse and applicable skills. In order to prepare yourself to be the best candidate you can take free online certification courses that will enrich your knowledge in the particular domain and get you the most important practical skills.

Once you’ve identified your own skills and attributes – whether you write your CV yourself or use a resume preparation service – it’s easy to fit them together so they compliment you as a person.

Five of the top career attributes

Here’s a list of some of the top attributes that I discuss with clients and why they’re important in aiding them with their career goals.

1) Initiative

This is quite an important attribute to have, particularly where job searching is concerned. I always hear from clients that they haven’t heard back from applications, but when I ask them what they’ve done to follow up on it themselves the answer is almost always “nothing”.

In the current market, it’s important to take control wherever you can. Use your initiative to reach out to employers or clients you want to work for, before they advertise, and always follow up on applications. This can be crucial in helping you secure success.


It can be really hard to keep motivated when you keep getting knock backs and rejection. The biggest piece of advice with this is to not take it personally; you have to be able to accept any outcome and stay motivated.

High activity is crucial in getting success in today’s market, and I know of clients who’ve gone from doing 50 applications a week to just five because they felt de-motivated by not hearing back. Don’t let this hold you back – it’s okay to take a day off if you feel it’s all getting too much but don’t let it stop you from keeping at it.

3) Engagement

I honestly believe this is one of the most important attributes to get across. Be engaging! If someone calls you to discuss a job, one word answers aren’t going to create the best impression. I’ve known so many job seekers to be extremely personable, engaging individuals, but once they’re in front of an employer they freeze.

Everyone has a personality. Don’t wait for an employer to call before practicing your best first impression. Get your friends/family/mentor to help you with this continually if you know you struggle and make sure you’re prepared.

4) Positivity

From talking about your previous experience, skills, redundancy, being unemployed, your previous interview experience to why you’re currently sitting in front of an employer/client – be positive!

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve carried out mock interviews and had candidates tell me all the negative things that have happened or focused on the things they can’t do versus what they can. An employer won’t want to hear it, so make sure you focus on the positive.

5) Self-awareness

An employer isn’t just going to make assumptions about you based on your CV and lists of previous employment. They’re going to make decisions based on how you come across at the interview – that is after all the whole point of conducting an interview!

You need to be able to talk confidently about your personal skills and experience and to do this you need to have a high level of self-awareness to make sure you get across all the good stuff employers want to hear about.

But not too fast! You will be prone to cheat. Yes. Since you have access to plenty of information on what companies look for and the values that guide their daily work, it’s now easier than ever to get ready for an interview and nail it. Knowing that, take a minute and think about it.

JobSage‘s advice would be that you take the time first to define what you aim for, your values, and what drives you to be the best you can be. No one says that it will be an easy task, but doing so will dramatically improve the chances of finding a suitable position. This will make it easier for you to bring value and get properly rewarded.

Strengths and weaknesses are really common interview questions and this is where your own self awareness of these will really help you excel at this question.

Five important career skills to possess

And to help you identify and work on the skills that will help you in the workplace, here are five of the most important.

1) Communication

Some of my colleagues would argue that this is an attribute, but I personally believe that communication skills can be taught and developed through work and training. You can teach someone excellence in customer service, the principles and skills of what that looks like, and I think communication falls into this as well.

I’ve coached many individuals in communication skills for interviews – from only being able to provide one word answers to detailing fluently their skills for a particular role. It requires a lot of practice and it is the first thing that others will notice about you.

2. Team work

Very few roles won’t require you to negotiate and contribute as part of a team. So employers are very keen on employees who can work collaboratively with their workforce and will add to the existing team environment.

Working as part of a team isn’t necessarily just about helping a colleague out if they’re struggling. It’s also about asking for help and support if you need it and recognising the importance of utilising your colleagues for their strengths – and understanding how this can make a business successful.

3) Time management

This covers everything from committing to and achieving set deadlines for work, to making sure you arrive on time in the morning.

Time management demonstrates an understanding of how your individual performance affects the rest of your team and the business as a whole. Strong time management is a skill all employers will look for in a leading candidate. Make sure you back up this skill with examples from previous work experience.

4) Able to respond to pressure

This can be anything from making sure you get your application in on time, to attending an interview at the last minute. Sometimes the employers I work with want a very quick turn around; from reviewing CVs, to interview, to job start!

Being able to act quickly and decisively is really important and demonstrates that you’re capable and prepared to do what needs to be done.

5) Technical understanding

A very basic and obvious one. In an increasingly digitalised world, having a core understanding of using technology in the workplace is now an essential skill, and it isn’t just about using using a desktop computer.

It’s always worth researching what programs/digital skills are needed when applying for a role, or having a strong list of up-to-date digi skills you can refer to when pitching for work. For example, knowing how to use the latest webinar platforms.

You don’t need to know the ins and outs of everything you could come into contact with but you need to be able to express confidence in your ability to take these tasks on.

Make a list of your own employable skills and attributes

So what can you do now? We recommend making a list of skills and attributes that recruiters and employers need in someone for the kind of role you’re applying for, then doing the same with the skills and attributes you possess, to see where your strengths are, and any gaps you may be able to fill in.

Elaine Mead is a passionate educationand careers consultant, and is particularly interested in empowering young women to be their professional best. You canfollow her on Twitterand read more of her articleson medium.

Skills vs Attributes - what’s the difference and which are the most important when you're job-hunting? - Talented Ladies Club (2024)


What are the differences between skills and attributes? ›

Attributes are qualities you might naturally have: Perhaps you're a naturally chatty person or have strong resilience. Skills are things you've learnt through work, training or education, or life experience: Skills are tangible and can be backed up by qualifications and real-life examples.

What are the 5 most important skills and attributes required to perform this job? ›

Top 5 Skills Employers Look For
  • Critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Teamwork and collaboration.
  • Professionalism and strong work ethic.
  • Oral and written communications skills.
  • Leadership.

What skills and personal attributes are most important? ›

Tip: You should endeavour to mention any real-world examples associated with whichever skill or quality you mention.
  • Leadership skills. ...
  • Attention to detail. ...
  • Enthusiasm and personal drive. ...
  • Initiative. ...
  • Management and organisational skills. ...
  • Willingness to learn. ...
  • Ability to handle pressure and meet deadlines. ...
  • Flexibility.

What are the three most important attributes or skills that you believe you would bring to the bat's multinational company if we hire you? ›

There are three attributes that are most important to an organization when hiring: attitude, competency and mindset.
  • Attitude. ...
  • Competency. ...
  • Mindset. ...
  • Related: Want to Avoid a Hiring Crisis? ...
  • Good attitude and strong level of competence, but the wrong mindset. ...
  • Right competency and mindset, but the wrong attitude.
22 Apr 2014

How do you answer skills and attributes? ›

Explain How Your Skills Qualify You For the Job

You can answer this question in two parts. First, explain what the attribute is and how you have demonstrated it in the past (or how you currently demonstrate it in your workplace). Then, explain why that skill makes you uniquely qualified to work for the company.

What are 3 attributes in a job? ›

Career Center
  • Leadership. Even in entry-level positions, most employers look for evidence of leadership qualities. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills. ...
  • Analytical Skills. ...
  • Dependability and a Strong Work Ethic. ...
  • Maturity and a Professional Attitude. ...
  • Adaptability and Flexibility. ...
  • Good Personality.

What are your top 3 skills? ›

Top skills employers look for
  1. Communication skills. Communication skills are needed in virtually any job. ...
  2. Leadership skills. ...
  3. Teamwork skills. ...
  4. Interpersonal skills. ...
  5. Learning/adaptability skills. ...
  6. Self-management skills. ...
  7. Organizational skills. ...
  8. Computer skills.
3 Apr 2020

What are the most important attributes in the workplace? ›

Being polite, well-spoken, calm, and presentable is all part of being professional at work. Honesty and integrity. Telling the truth about tricky subjects, such as workload, work/life balance, difficult customers or colleagues, and ineffective procedures makes for a good employee. Innovative ideas.

What are key attributes for job? ›

Top qualities of a good employee
  • Reliability. Look for employees on whom you can count to arrive on time and finish their tasks. ...
  • Problem-solving skills. Valuable employees are driven to solve problems. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Conflict resolution. ...
  • Communication skills. ...
  • Willing to learn and ask questions.

What are 3 key attributes about yourself? ›

Here are some examples of attributes you can include on your resume:
  • Initiative.
  • Willingness to learn.
  • Adaptability.
  • Confidence.
  • Resilience.
  • Optimism.
4 Feb 2020

What are 3 attributes about yourself? ›

Example answers for "Describe yourself in 3 words"
  • "I'd describe myself as driven, communicative and reliable. ...
  • "I'm organized, patient and helpful. ...
  • "First, I'm passionate. ...
  • "The first word I'd use to describe myself is approachable. ...
  • "Enthusiastic, confident and friendly are three words I'd pick to describe myself.
3 Jan 2022

What are the 3 most important attributes? ›

Three of the most important characteristics include being honest with yourself, being real, and being willing to change.
  • Be Honest With Yourself. ...
  • Be Real. ...
  • Be Willing To Change.

What skills and attributes someone would need to have in order to be successful in the role? ›

10 essential skills you'll need for career success
  • Communication. Communication includes listening, writing and speaking. ...
  • Problem solving. Challenges will arise in every job you have. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Initiative. ...
  • Analytical, quantitative. ...
  • Professionalism, work ethic. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Detail oriented.
17 Apr 2019

What 3 skills personal qualities do you need to develop further to help you progress? ›

22 Jun 2013

How do you write skills and attributes on a resume? ›

On your resume, list only skills that are relevant to the job, scan the job listing for must-have skills and list those (if you have them), pair each skill with a responding proficiency level, back up your skills with other resume sections, mention transferable and universal skills.

What is the best way to describe your skills? ›

Choose strong words

Use 'action' words such as achieved, awarded, organised, led, assisted, managed, increased, developed, built or won. Use positive words to describe yourself and your achievements such as accurate, willing to learn, organised, hardworking, dependable, motivated or creative.

What are good examples of attributes? ›

List of positive qualities & characteristics
  • Warm.
  • Friendly.
  • Clean.
  • Honest.
  • Loyal.
  • Trustworthy.
  • Dependable.
  • Open-Minded.

What are the five positive attributes? ›

The second study produced a five-factor model of positive characteristics: erudition, peace, cheerfulness, honesty, and tenacity.

What is your best attribute answer? ›

How to Answer
  • From the job description, identify all the attributes that the role requires and that you exhibit.
  • Prepare examples to show how you exhibit those attributes.
  • Bonus: ensure that you cover a mix of hard skills and soft skills in your answer.
  • Select the 3 strongest attributes with examples for your answer.

What are 5 personal skills examples? ›

Some of the most common examples of personal skills include:
  • Communication. Communication is a vital personal skill because it determines how well people can share and receive messages. ...
  • Collaboration. ...
  • Conflict resolution. ...
  • Problem-solving. ...
  • Diplomacy. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Leadership.
12 Jun 2021

What are the 8 key attributes? ›

So these are certainly the eight most valuable traits that we come across…
  • Confidence.
  • Emotional Intelligence.
  • Ambition.
  • Passion.
  • Positivity.
  • Detail oriented.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Honesty.

What are the strongest attributes? ›

What are strong character traits?
  • Tenacious.
  • Confident.
  • Optimistic.
  • Self-aware.
  • Adaptable.
  • Flexible.
  • Drama-free.
  • Reliable.
4 Mar 2016

What are your top 3 attributes for being a good co worker? ›

Here are some of the most valued traits in a colleague or employee.
  • Dependable. This one seems pretty evident, but one of the key traits that make you a good co-worker is dependability. ...
  • Empathetic. ...
  • Trustworthy. ...
  • Self-starter. ...
  • Dedicated. ...
  • Organised. ...
  • Respectful. ...
  • Flexible.
30 Nov 2017

What are examples of skills? ›

For example: Good communication skills. Critical thinking. Working well in a team.

What are positive attributes? ›

Positive character traits: ambitious, creative, compassionate, patient, courageous, flexible, honest, humble, honorable, loyal, conscientious, persistent, resilient, disciplined.

How do I identify my attributes? ›

Here are some tips.
  1. Focus on the good things about yourself and your life. ...
  2. Try a variety of new experiences. ...
  3. Look back at your history. ...
  4. Ask someone you trust. ...
  5. Get professional help. ...
  6. Get to know your personality and the strengths that go with it. ...
  7. Use a profiling tool.
13 Oct 2015

What are 5 physical attributes? ›

Your physical features are your height, weight, size, shape or another bodily characteristic. These also include facial features, hair, scarring and birthmarks.

What are attributes with examples? ›

What is an attribute? For example, eye color is an attribute of a person, while screen size is an attribute of a smartphone or TV. In computing and computer programming, an attribute is a changeable property or characteristic of some component of a program that can be set to different values.

What are the 4 main skills? ›

Benefits of testing the four skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking) When we say that someone 'speaks' a language fluently, we usually mean that they have a high level in all four skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing.

What are the 4 essential skills? ›

Successful individuals make a proactive effort to continuously develop 4 Essential Skills 1-Lead, 2-Manage, 3-Perform in their Job, 4-Communicate Effectively.

What are 4 personal skills everyone should possess? ›

These are broad abilities that one can improve over time through conscious effort that deal with one's sense of self, sense of others, and cognitive abilities.
  • Decision-making and problem-solving. ...
  • Creative thinking and critical thinking. ...
  • Communication and interpersonal skills. ...
  • Self-awareness and empathy.
28 Apr 2019

What characteristics determine a talent worth? ›

Characteristics and behaviours that may help you identify top talent among your employees
  • Positive energy/attitude.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Innovation or creativity.
  • A commitment to your startup's culture and mission.
  • Effective communication skills.
  • Integrity.
  • Teamwork.
  • A customer focus.

What is the most important attributes of a person? ›

Foundational Human Qualities. Qualities that form the foundation of all other human qualities include honesty, integrity, courage, self-awareness, and wholeheartedness. These qualities define who we are as human beings.

What are common attributes? ›

A common attribute is a data element and is associated with a record in the system. A common attribute has the following properties: Name. Type. Default value (for example, a common attribute field on the user interface can show a default value that a user can change)

What are personal attributes? ›

A personal attribute is a quality or characteristic of a person. This quality alludes something inherent about them such as kindness, ambition and sensibility. Attributes are different to skills. Skills are generally taught and can be improved through training. An example of a skill is non-verbal communication.

What skills and attributes do you possess that you feel would be relevant to becoming a social worker? ›

Communication – both verbal and non-verbal – is a vital skill for social workers. The ability to communicate clearly with a wide range of people is essential. It is the duty of social workers to advocate for their clients – in order to do this, social workers must understand the client's needs.

What skills qualifications and attributes do you have that are a match for this quality assurance role? ›

Traditionally, in order to fulfill these responsibilities, a quality assurance manager would need to be proficient in a number of skills including:
  • Leadership.
  • Organizational and planning.
  • Communication.
  • Statistical analysis.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Industry-specific technical knowledge.
23 Aug 2018

What skills should I develop to improve my work performance? ›

The better people can multitask, meet deadlines and manage their time, the more productive they will be at work. Good time management skills can also make their job less stressful, providing them with more time to work on projects and career development opportunities they are passionate about.

What are knowledge skills and attributes? ›

What is KSA? A KSA statement is a description of qualifications written by a prospective candidate to describe their knowledge, skills and abilities as they relate to an open role. It helps employers quickly screen the candidates that are most suitable for each job.

What are skills and attributes in health and social care? ›

In healthcare and social care environments, you have to be able to empathise and sympathise with the difficult situations faced by others. You need to be sincere when dealing with people's health and emotions. Showing an understanding for a patient's feelings is one way to demonstrate empathy as a care worker.

What are attributes? ›

An “attribute” is defined as “a quality, character or characteristic ascribed to someone or something” according to Merriam-Webster.

What are the 4 attributes? ›

In "The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive," he writes that if you truly want to succeed in your career, you must develop four attributes: desire, direction, discipline and distraction radar.

What are the 4 types of skills? ›

Benefits of testing the four skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking) When we say that someone 'speaks' a language fluently, we usually mean that they have a high level in all four skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing.

What are your 3 strongest attributes? ›

Some examples of strengths you might mention include:
  • Enthusiasm.
  • Trustworthiness.
  • Creativity.
  • Discipline.
  • Patience.
  • Respectfulness.
  • Determination.
  • Dedication.

What are 3 major attributes? ›

Professional Attributes
5 more rows

What skills and attributes make a good care worker? ›

Qualities of a Care Worker: Do You Have Them?
  • Passion. Being a carer is more than just a job. ...
  • Dedication. As is often the case, the personal qualities of a care worker complement each other; working together to create amazing carers. ...
  • Friendliness. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Qualifications.

What skills and attributes make an effective care worker? ›

In this article, we'll explore the essential qualities and personality traits for a career in care work.
  • Passion. This is perhaps the most important quality a care worker can exhibit. ...
  • Dedication. ...
  • Experience. ...
  • Friendliness. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Attentiveness. ...
  • Sense of humour. ...
  • Positivity.

Why are skills and attributes important? ›

Creating a skills and attributes list will give you the opportunity to recognize your strengths and get a better chance among other candidates, says Laura Fields, an expert from topessaywriting service. Skills, on the other hand, are things you've learnt through work, training or education, or general life experience.

What are basic attributes? ›

Basic attribute is an attribute of a metadata item commonly needed in its specification. Context: Categories of basic attributes: - Identifying are attributes that are applicable for the identification of a data element.

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