What Traits are Employers Looking for in Applicants?

Photo of Merry Fidler, Creative Director at Double Jump Media
Merry Fidler, creative director at Double Jump Media (Photo courtesy of Fidler)

To be an animator you learned software and tools that allow you to create amazing animation. To be a graphic designer you likely mastered programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. To be a videographer you acquired knowledge of cameras, angles, and filming.

However, everyone else who is applying for this same position has obtained similar knowledge and skills as you. How can you separate yourself from the crowd? With your personality traits and soft skills.

Merry Fidler, creative director at Double Jump Media in Springfield, MO, provided InBetween417 with some of the characteristics she looks for in perspective hires.

Humble, Hungry, and Smart

Double Jump Media uses the saying, “Humble, hungry, and smart.” They look for individuals who “want to learn, want to be involved,… and believe in the mission,” says Fidler. Your first job may not be your dream job, but you must always be willing to learn – you must always be “hungry to learn from any kind of business opportunity”.

Follows Directions

Fidler emphasized the importance of being able to follow directions. She explained that directions are constantly passed between team members while working on projects, so being able to listen to and follow instructions is critical to the team’s success.

Fidler also mentioned that she begins evaluating a prospective hire based on their ability to follow directions through the application process. “We have people apply for things, and they don’t send the right materials or they don’t double check the work, etc. I mean that is a huge thing you’re asking,” says Fidler. “That’s your first impression. And if you’re getting inundated with lots of resumes, like you haven’t met that person yet, you have to base it on something. So, if they didn’t follow all the instructions, that’s like a huge mark against somebody.”

Strong Communicator

“Communication is huge,” claims Fidler. Written and oral communication skills are necessary to communicate with team members, with clients, and to create clear and interesting content whether that be a promotional ad or a film.

When providing feedback and working with others, Fidler offers the reminder that it is important to communicate constructively. She says, “There’s a way to be direct without being demeaning to people.”

Customer Service

Customer service and client relations are two valuable skills Fidler also mentions. Providing the client with clear communication, managed expectations, and an overall positive experience will keep that client returning for more and help build a positive reputation around the company.

Project Management

Project management describes the planning, organization, and execution of projects. It includes setting objectives, obtaining materials, and seeing the project through completion.

Fidler suggests familiarizing yourself with project management services such as Asana, Basecamp, and Slack. “The better someone is at that kind of thing, the easier it is for them to integrate here,” says Fidler.

What personality traits or skills do you want your employees or co-workers to have? Comment your response below.

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