Updated: Jan 12
When applying for a job, it’s good to let your natural personality shine. If you force an image that’s too far from your true self, it may work against you. Inauthenticity can be off-putting – and people often fill in the blanks with their own impressions. (Plus, it can be hard to maintain a false image.) So, why not use the genuinely positive side of your personality traits to make a good impression?
Many of our strengths as individuals relate to 16 personality types. Here, I’ll highlight some virtues commonly associated with the traits that make up every personality type to help you identify what makes you awesome. I’ll also include some prompts to get you thinking about how to include those positives in your résumés and interviews, in your own words. Expressing your authentic qualities can help you feel stronger and more confident – and make you more appealing as a candidate.
Introverted (I) Many people assume that Introversion means that you don’t like being around people. That’s not necessarily true. Additionally, social proclivities are only one aspect of behavior associated with this trait – it also has to do with your relationship to external stimuli and engagement. Introverts tend to ruminate before acting, subjecting everything to notable internal thought, whether consciously or not. That’s often a good thing and deserves to be presented as such.
“I have very active internal mental processes. I like to consider things thoughtfully before acting so that I can commit my energy confidently to a course of action.”
Extraverted (E) Extraversion isn’t just about social habits, although if it happens to mean that you enjoy meeting and spending lots of time with people, that may not be a bad thing to mention on your résumé and in interviews. Extraversion also makes you more prone to external interaction and involvement, wanting to project your energy outward in various situations – also a good thing.
“I find engaging in opportunities exciting. When equipped with a goal or motivation, I love to jump into action and apply myself.”
Intuitive (N) Imaginative vision is a way of life for these personalities. Abstract and intangible elements can seem very real to them and often affect their thinking to a large degree. If you’re an Intuitive personality type, you probably have constant ideas ranging from silly to clever, as your mind is always chasing possibilities. If it doesn’t distract you too much from reality, that can be a good thing.
“I’m a creative thinker who likes to entertain a wide range of possibilities. I am not afraid to seek merit among unlikely potentials or to approach conventions with imagination.”
Observant (S) Observant personality types’ mindsets are guided by practicality, giving them an excellent ability to understand the realities of the world around them. They look to tangible, hands-on methods to gain information and execute ideas, often infusing their work with strong real-world functionality. That can be an advantage at work, where results are often viewed in pragmatic terms with little value for esoteric intangibles.
“I like to take a fundamental approach to figuring things out and accomplishing goals. Focusing on practicality and usefulness helps me achieve successful, relevant, applicable results.”
Thinking (T) This trait is often associated with a tendency toward dispassionate, information-based expression and decision-making. Thinking personalities favor logic that strips things down to factual elements, building their ideas and plans on those perceptions more than emotional ones. If not taken too far, this can give them an admirable kind of objectivity in the workplace.
“I like to focus on the facts whenever possible and let objective information guide my decisions and actions. It gives me a kind of clarity that I can trust regardless of the situation.”
Feeling (F) Relatively speaking, Feeling personalities tend to be expressive and sensitive of feelings, which can nicely color their sense of logic with empathy. They often have a warm manner, whether they’re socially forward or not. Emotional considerations, both others’ and their own, often influence their thinking, which can be a very good thing at work if not overdone.
“I appreciate positive relationships and find that respecting people’s feelings helps boost success. Working well with others is not only a source of energy for me – it’s also a pleasure.”
Judging (J) People with the Judging trait tend to favor linear, planned action and get a special sense of satisfaction from completing things. They’re often relatively focused and organized because they function well within structure, so they seek to create it. They don’t need a lot of variety to stay engaged, and at work, this can help them keep on task as well as motivated to finish things.
“I like to stay organized and plan things out so that I can focus my energy on priorities. It makes me feel good to know that something’s done properly and fully, the right way.”
Prospecting (P) Prospecting personalities often focus in shorter bursts, able to switch their attention and energy back and forth among different goals with minimal preparation or planning. This can make them very flexible and adaptable – they can handle sudden change without losing their energy. They also tend to be curious and interested in trying new things. “I have an open mind and am always interested in exploring new possibilities. I can be flexible and adaptable, and I keep going strong even amid unexpected changes.”
Assertive (-A) Assertive personality variants tend to feel secure and confident in themselves, although how that’s expressed depends heavily on their other traits. One likely facet is being good at maintaining their own attitude and energy despite what’s going on around them – they’re less reactive to stress. At work, that can help them stay calm and maintain their momentum.
“I don’t easily lose my way when adversity strikes, and keeping a level head when problems arise helps me make good decisions and maintain an optimistic attitude.”
Turbulent (-T) The Turbulent variants of all personality types tend to be more sensitive and reactive, which affects how they express their other traits. They often struggle to feel confident on the inside, but a common manifestation of that feeling is a desire to prove themselves outwardly – and gain the approval of others. That can motivate them to work hard and, in some cases, be considerate and cooperative.
“It’s very important to me to show what I’m capable of and earn the respect of others, and that provides me with a sense of drive and energy to be my best.”
The Sum of Your Traits Whatever your type, five of the above traits are aimed at you, and they can hopefully help you promote yourself positively and genuinely when you’re seeking a job. But those individual traits combine in unique ways, so check out the description of your personality type for additional insights – there’s a lot to be proud of.
Be sure to visit 16 Personalities to learn more about you and your communication style, understand others, and become a better communicator. Consider having your whole team take the test and then share the results.