As if getting hired these days wasn’t hard enough; turns out there are a few common characteristics employers look for when they consider hiring an applicant for any type of position and if you are lacking in any of the areas, your chances of getting considered for the job diminish.

Overall, employers are looking for qualified individuals who are personable, intelligent, dedicated, and those who are interested in bettering themselves within the company. Oftentimes, work experience isn’t necessary depending on the job offering. It’s important to know about these critical qualities they are looking for and rest assured, you can easily improve yourself in these areas if needed.

Here are the 4 common characteristics employers look for:

1. Are you personable? The moment you meet the person in charge of conducting the interview, you are being sized up; they are looking at the way you dress, the way you speak, the manner in which you conduct yourself, and how you communicate your thoughts. Sounds like a lot to think about, right? It can be summarized as follows; dress appropriately and don’t be afraid to overdress. It’s better to show up in a suit and tie rather than showing up in a pair of jeans, sneakers, and nice shirt for an entry-level job. As far as speaking and communicating are concerned, can you be articulate and communicate your ideas effectively and do you look like a person who would be able to work with other team members of the company and thrive in that type of environment? Are you someone who is at least a little outgoing and personable versus a person who is afraid to speak?

Employers are looking for people who can get along with others while simply getting the job done and working towards making the company better than it already is!

What if you don’t consider yourself a personable individual? First of all, understand it’s possible to improve your personality where you will be more likeable, interesting and pleasant to be with.

Here are a few characteristics employers look for and things you can work on:

a.) Become a better listener. Maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking with and show interest in what they have to say without interrupting them. Then, contribute to the conversation by offering your point of view in a caring manner.

b.) Be positive. Nobody like a “DebbiFind ways to stand out positively during the interview and watch you chances of getting hired improve drastically.e Downer” who finds something wrong in everything instead of someone who sees the light in just about any type of situation. Additionally, people tend to stay far away from a person who is constantly talking negatively about other people or the company itself. Look at the bright side of life and refrain from bad-mouthing anybody or anything.

c.) Don’t be afraid to laugh and smile. People are drawn to others who are unafraid to smile and laugh. There are few things worse for an interviewer than to sit across the table from a job applicant who shows no emotion and can’t relax enough to even force a smile. A naturally healthy sense of humor not only goes a long way in an interview, it is also one of the essential qualities in life if you want happiness.

d.) Show respect for others and don’t be selfish. Respect for yourself is the key to respecting others and if you come across as a self-absorbed person who doesn’t care about how others perceive you, it’s highly likely you can say goodbye to any job opening whatsoever.

2. Are you intelligent? Again, from the moment you meet the first contact within the company you are already being judged on whether or not you are smart enough for the position available. Can you read proficiently? Are you able to calculate basic math skills in your head? Do you have any computer skills and if not, can you be trained to acquire these skills?

Employers look for people who are smart enough to attend and complete necessary training successfully. You need to give them the impression that you are sharp and open to ongoing training for career advancement.

There are different types of intelligence and although you are born with a certain level, you can become smarter by learning new things, retaining that knowledge, and applying that information to learning more new things. If you feel you are lacking in any critical areas such as reading or math, why not take a few remedial courses either online or at a local community college?

3. Are you enthusiastic and energetic? One of the most important characteristics employers look for when they are considering hiring someone is their level of enthusiasm and whether or not they seem energetic and motivated for the job. You wouldn’t believe how many job applicants sit across from the interviewers looking stone-faced, showing no emotion, and coldly answering question after question. This is your chance to shine and show your vivacious personality, so show it! If you don’t, the next person will and you may lose your chance at getting hired.

Being enthusiastic and exuding energy are simply a state of mind and body; if you are lacking in this are you simply need to start practicing not being such a “stick in the mud” and engaging in mental and physical activities.You need to start having a more positive outlook on life by seeing the brighter side of just about anything!

If you are not exercising at all, this could be a start to becoming more motivated and energetic. You don’t have to join an expensive gym; as long as you clear it with your physician if you have to, you can walk or ride bike for 30 minutes a day, can’t you? The important point is to get yourself going and to quit making excuses and being lazy. For crying out loud, your health is at stake.

As for the mental part, try to surround yourself with positive people whose positivity will rub off on you. Don’t be afraid to read books on self-help and do your best to be cognizant of the way you react to the stimulus around you. For example, if a friend says, “Hey, let’s go to my friend Jimmy’s birthday barbecue at the neighborhood park, go! Don’t start thinking your time will be better spent on your couch watching “I Love Lucy” reruns and eating salsa and chips by yourself. The point is to get going and to stimulate your mind and body. Energy and enthusiasm will follow.

4. Are you interested in professional development? Do you have any short and long term goals. These are some of the most important characteristics employers look for, especially when you apply at a small business. Imagine walking into an interview and having to answer whether or not you have set any goals for yourself and responding by telling them exactly what they are and how you plan on achieving them! They want to see someone who has an idea of where they want to be in a few short months as well as a few short years, not someone who is just going to show up to the job just to have a job.

One thing job applicants continually overlook is how important first impressions are; your first encounter with whoever is in charge will oftentimes define whether or not you actually stand a chance to be considered for the job opening. So, show enthusiasm and be personable and friendly upon your first encounter with a representative from the company and stay consistent with your positive and impressive demeanor throughout the application process.