Idea in short

If you’re looking for a job, you know how difficult it can be to catch an employer’s attention. As the saying goes, you don’t have a second chance to make the first impression. In today’s job market, you often need to show more than just the required qualifications to get hired. Regardless how good a professional you are, the way that you present yourself determines your job applications’ outcome. Knowing the attributes that recruiters look for in a potential employee is a great starting point for crafting your CV and preparing for interviews. By presenting the skills and experience employers want to see, you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job.


There are many factors that a recruiter looks at while hiring the right candidate. Correspondingly, recruiters and companies have their own hiring process and selection criteria. Though some jobs call for an endless combination of skills, the most sought-after employee traits are often universal. At a very minimum, recruiters and hiring managers look for the following attributes because these qualities are the building blocks for a coherent recruitment strategy and company culture. The framework goes by the acronym GOCASE, and the six dimensions are:

G – General intelligence
O – Openness to experience: curiosity, novelty seeking, broad-mindedness, interest in culture. Openness is predictive of emotional sensitivity and social tolerance
C – Conscientiousness: self-control, willpower, reliability, consistency, dependability, trustworthiness. Conscientious people pursue long term goals
A – Agreeableness: warmth, kindness, sympathy, empathy, compliance, benevolence, peacefulness. Agreeable people avoid conflict; non-agreeable people will walk over others to achieve their goals. The following TED talk by Adam Grant describes the 3 kinds of people that also exist in the business world
S – Stability: emotional stability, adaptability, equanimity, maturity, stress resistance. People high in stability are resilient. People low in stability are quick to anger.
E – Extraversion: friendly, gregarious, funny, socially self-confident. Extraverts are social and outgoing

Personality dimensions

These personality attributes are independent of one another – i.e. there is little correlation. From a hiring perspective, general intelligence, conscientiousness, and stability are desirable attributes in a vast majority of cases. In addition, there are other attributes that are more or less important, depending on the role you are applying to and the organisational culture of your potential employer. For example, openness will be important if your prospective employer values diversity and plans on hiring people from diverse backgrounds.