Gay Gaddis, CEO and founder of T3
Courtesy of Gay Gaddis

Are you realistic about your strengths and weaknesses?

By Gay Gaddis
June 8, 2015

MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for:What are three things you look for in a resume? is written by Gay Gaddis, CEO and founder of T3.

I once hired a young woman before she even graduated college. Her resume was proof she could multitask—the first thing I look for when making new hires. This young woman was captain of her soccer team, worked a part-time job, and involved in philanthropic activities at her university. Not only was she involved, but she was smart too: she would be graduating on time with honors. I couldn’t help but think–bingo–this is just the type of person we need on our team.

The second thing that I look for in a new hire is passion and interest for the industry. Will they take the time to explore innovative ideas and technology—even if it means longer hours? Look for someone who is self-motivated and genuinely interested in advancing your company.

And the third, but probably most important thing I look for in a candidate is their ability to be self aware and realistic about their strengths and weaknesses. I learned this the hard way. In my first job, I was secluded in a cubicle and practically lost any sense of creativity I brought to the company. I quickly learned that in order for me to thrive, I needed to be in a collaborative work environment. I recommend taking a personality profile test, like the Myers-Briggs or the DISC. These tests will inform you of your strengths and help you identify the types of jobs and industries that best fit your skills.

And this should go without saying, but always remember to research the company before your interview. Those interviewing you will appreciate your diligence and it will likely give you huge leg-up on the competition.

Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: What are three things you look for in a resume?

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