Top 10 Personal Qualities and Attributes for a CV (Examples)

Top 10 Personal Qualities and Attributes for a CV (Examples)

author Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert         date 10 Apr 2023


In today’s competitive job market, a well-crafted CV goes beyond merely detailing work history and academic achievements.

The strategic inclusion of personal qualities and skills not only adds depth to your profile but also offers potential employers insight into your character and suitability for a role.

This article highlights the best personal qualities to put on a CV to effectively enhance your professional appeal and secure more job interviews.

Let’s begin!

Table of contents

What are personal qualities and skills?

Personal qualities are the characteristics, attributes or personality traits of an individual. Examples of personal attributes include being honest, having a good sense of humour or being dependable.

Personal skills refer to the inner abilities or skills of an individual and are a type of soft skills, meaning they are intangible and difficult to define. Hard skills, on the other hand, are skills that can be quantified and measured (e.g. ability to code or service cars). Examples of personal skills include the ability to communicate with others, solve problems or think creatively.

Why your personal traits and attributes matter to employers

Unless you’re a soulless robot (apologies to any AI robots who felt offended by this depiction), employers are very much interested in your human side including your personality, characteristics, values, likes and dislikes. They want employees that are dependable and can work with others.

While technical skills and expertise are vital for performing a technical role, you also require a whole range of personal traits to be successful in your role. Your individual characteristics play a crucial role in effective time management, problem-solving, teamwork, building relationships and in day-to-day interactions with colleagues, managers or clients.

List of personal qualities and skills to use on your CV

Below you will find a list of personal skills and qualities that you can add to your CV. These attributes have been specifically selected due to the value that employers attach to them and are relevant to a wide range of roles.

Remember, simply listing personal qualities on your CV might not fully convey their significance to potential employers. To make them more effective, pair these attributes with concrete real-life examples that showcase how you’ve applied them in various situations.

1. Interpersonal skills

Your interpersonal skills are your ability to communicate and interact with others. Examples of interpersonal skills include communication (verbal, non-verbal, written and visual), interpreting body language, managing emotions, negotiating and resolving conflicts.

This is probably the single most important personal skill to include on your CV as it is essential for almost all jobs and highly valued by employers!

  • Demonstrated strong collaboration abilities by effectively communicating with diverse stakeholders, including suppliers, clients and colleagues on a daily basis.

2. Teamwork skills

Your teamwork skills refer to how well you work with others in a team.
Teamwork encompasses a range of essential activities, such as information sharing, collaborative problem-solving, pursuit of shared objectives, delegation of tasks among team members and more.

The reason why employers value team players is because everyone, no matter what their job is, will be working together with others to achieve certain goals or objectives. That is the very definition of a team.

Therefore, we are all team players and employers favour candidates who exhibit exceptional teamwork skills or have demonstrated them effectively.

  • Adept at collaborating harmoniously within diverse teams to achieve shared objectives. Demonstrated strong teamwork during a cross-functional project, actively engaging with colleagues, sharing useful insights and ultimately ensuring the project’s timely completion according to client expectations.

3. Leadership skills

Leadership is an important quality to have, even when you’re not in a management or leadership position.

It encompasses various qualities sought in all employees, including taking responsibility for one’s own work and mistakes, having a long-term vision and not being short-sighted, being productive at all times and leading others to a successful outcome.

Exhibiting these attributes signifies your ability to work independently, eliminating the need for constant guidance or supervision in your daily tasks.

To showcase your leadership skills effectively on your CV, consider highlighting your previous roles in leadership, such as:

  • Project manager
  • Class representative (in college or university)
  • Leader/coach/captain of a sports club or team.
  • Elected as the class representative in college, where I exhibited effective leadership by voicing student concerns, mediating discussions and implementing initiatives for the benefit of the class.

4. Attention to detail


Attention to detail is highly valued by employers because applicants with this trait tend to strive for perfection in everything they do. They will go the extra mile and not settle for “good enough.”

In their writing, they avoid minor spelling and grammar errors, and they take care to craft well-structured sentences. When designing a product, they will design a product that fully meets the user requirements not just partly.

It seems that it would be a pretty good idea to mention having attention to detail on your CV, don’t you agree?

  • Authored a series of technical articles for a blog, rigorously fact-checking and reviewing content to ensure accuracy and consistency. This commitment to detail resulted in a 25% increase in reader engagement and positive feedback.

5. Enthusiasm and personal drive

No employer wants to employ a candidate who takes forever to do the most trivial of tasks or sighs deeply whenever asked to do something!

Such candidates often lack enthusiasm and personal drive. Employers, however, prioritise individuals who exhibit a genuine passion for their work, consistently achieving tasks with excellence and embracing new challenges with anticipation.

How can you convey your enthusiasm and personal drive on your CV? An effective way to achieve this is to incorporate CV key words like “passionate”, “driven” and “motivated” when discussing your past roles, achievements or career aspirations.

  • As a sales assistant, infused enthusiasm into all customer interactions, resulting in a 15% increase in monthly sales. Took the initiative to propose and implement a loyalty program, showcasing personal drive and contributing to a 12% rise in customer retention.

6. Initiative

Initiative refers to the proactive mindset and willingness to take action independently, often leading to innovative solutions and improvements.

It signifies an active approach where you don’t wait for situations to unfold or come your way naturally. Instead, you proactively initiate actions and opportunities. You’re consistently the one to take the first step when needed, showing determination in tackling obstacles and embracing challenges.

How to showcase initiative on your CV:

  • Highlight projects, tasks, or activities you’ve initiated independently.
  • Feature suggestions, improvements, or impactful ideas you’ve introduced in past roles. For instance, proposing the implementation of a new IT system.
  • Independently initiated and spearheaded the redesign of the company’s website, enhancing user experience and increasing online engagement by 30%.

7. Management and organisational skills

Management and organisational skills are essential personal attributes which are required in most, if not all, jobs.

Research has shown that most projects and tasks fail because of mismanagement. Proper management of time, resources and focus can really do wonders in the workplace and make most projects, activities and organisations successful.

To showcase this skill on your CV, provide tangible examples of real-world situations in which you exhibited excellent management or organisational skills. For instance, completing a project on time and within budget, leading a team and effectively handling multiple concurrent projects.

  • Efficiently scheduled and oversaw logistics for a series of company events, coordinating venues, catering and materials. Resulted in smooth execution and positive attendee feedback.

8. Willingness to learn


No one knows it all.

Some people think they do, but they don’t.

Employers are looking for people that are willing to learn and develop their skills and qualities further.

The most effective way to demonstrate your enthusiasm for learning is to mention on your CV that you’re pursuing this position with the aim of professional, personal or technical growth (whichever is applicable).

  • Seeking this role with the goal of advancing my professional expertise and expanding my technical skill set. Eager to embrace new challenges, engage in continuous learning and contribute to the team’s success through ongoing personal and career development.

9. Ability to handle pressure and meet deadlines

Stress levels and pressures differ across various job roles; for instance, comparing the demands of a surgeon to those of a cleaner.

In the majority of roles, professionals may encounter periods of intense stress or pressure, often driven by the need to complete tasks or resolve challenges promptly.

Employers want to know whether candidates will crack under pressure or stay calm and carry out the tasks efficiently.

To assure potential employers of your capacity to manage pressure, consider mentioning this skill on your CV and providing real-world examples of situations where you effectively demonstrated it.

Examples could include:

  • Resolving conflicts
  • Handling customer complaints from aggressive customers
  • Previously working in fast-paced or high-pressure work environments
  • Meeting tight deadlines on time and within budget
  • Flourished in a dynamic sales role, consistently exceeding targets during high-pressure periods. Effectively handled urgent client inquiries, demonstrating the ability to remain composed and provide timely solutions, even in fast-paced and demanding scenarios.

10. Flexibility

Flexibility is important as entire industries, including specific roles, undergo constant transformation due to factors such as competition, evolving customer expectations and technological advancements.

Companies that embrace these changes thrive, while those unwilling or unable to adapt face the risk of closure. As a result, flexibility stands as a highly sought-after personal attribute in any job candidate.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you comfortable with new situations?
  • Can you adapt to diverse circumstances?
  • Can you complete a task in more than just one way?

If you can affirmatively answer these questions, you possess the attributes of a flexible individual!

  • Demonstrated flexibility by swiftly transitioning from marketing to customer support during peak demand periods, ensuring consistent client satisfaction and contributing to team success.

How to write your personal qualities and attributes on your CV

Depending on the traits you’re highlighting, there are three sections on your CV where you can showcase your personal attributes:

1. In the personal profile statement

A personal profile statement is a concise introduction at the beginning of your CV that outlines your skills, qualifications and career objectives.


I am a committed, hardworking and reliable Manufacturing Engineer with a strong manufacturing/engineering background and a positive attitude to challenges and opportunities. I have previously worked in busy, fast-paced and challenging environments with a track record of introducing improved methods of manufacture, resulting in reduced costs and increased operational efficiency. I take ownership of my tasks, and I’m willing to go the extra mile to deliver and exceed expectations where possible. My current job role involves supporting production in several areas; therefore prioritising my work activities is a key strength that I have developed. (Manufacturing Engineer CV Template)
2. In the skills section

The skills section of your CV lists the specific abilities, competencies and expertise you possess that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.



3) In the employment section

The employment section of a CV details your work history, including past job positions, responsibilities, and accomplishments.


  • Managed a team of six contractors, showcasing leadership skills.
  • Achieved consistent on-time and within-budget project deliveries, demonstrating strong organizational abilities.
  • Engaged with diverse stakeholders, including colleagues, clients, managers, suppliers, and the general public, highlighting effective communication skills.
  • Offered emotional support to patients grappling with depression and anxiety, underscoring strong emotional intelligence.

Tip: Don’t overcrowd your CV with too many personal characteristics. Incorporate some of your personal qualities and attributes into your cover letter as they both complement each other.


Personal qualities, traits and skills define who you are. Employers highly value these personal attributes on your CV as they determine your ability to do your job well. Incorporating key personal attributes, like exceptional interpersonal skills or the ability to work under pressure, can really supercharge your CV, impress employers and get you more job interviews.

Good luck!

Written by Sobhan Mohmand
Sobhan is a qualified Careers Advisor and Professional CV Writer with over 10 years of experience in helping job seekers get a job. He is a Member of the Careers Development Institute (CDI) and is listed on the official UK Register of Career Development Professionals. He holds a Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development (QCF).