How to show your positive attitude to employers

Employers say they like to hire people with positive attitudes. They rate this employability skill so highly that you have a good chance of getting a job if you’re enthusiastic, even if you don’t quite have the required experience.

First-time job seekers should prioritise attributes, not experience.

John Webster
New Force sales manager

A positive attitude is more than just being cheerful and easygoing. It’s about being keen to take on the work you’re asked to do, being willing to try new things and not getting angry and defensive when you make a mistake.

How do you make your fantastic attitude and personality shine in your cover letter and CV, and during an interview?  

Show your positive attitude in your cover letter

Your cover letter should shout out that you’ve got the skills for the job and you’d be a great person to work with. Here are some tips for showing your positive attitude in your cover letter.

  • Keep your words upbeat

Instead of: I'm interested in a role that uses my coding skills.

Use: I'm passionate about using my coding skills to create good programs.

  • Be enthusiastic about working for the employer

Instead of: I'm interested in the position of call centre operator.

Use: I'm excited to have the opportunity to use my experience in customer service to work as a call centre operator in your business.

  • Make sure your cover letter matches the job requirements

Show your positive attitude in your CV

Here are some tips for boosting your CV to make it reflect your personality.

  • Use positive action words

Instead of: I had to mow my neighbour’s lawns and do their gardens. The paths were swept and flowers put in and I cleaned up the plants and rubbish.

Use: Cleared, streamlined and maintained my neighbour’s garden, groomed their lawns and created flower beds.

  • Use examples of when you went the extra mile in the achievements or work history section.
  • Show you have a passion for something outside of work in the interests section.
  • Match up your CV with the job to show you really want it.

Show your positive attitude in your interview

Turn up to your interview with the attitude that you’re going to win them over, and don’t forget about these important tips.

  • Keep your head up – good posture and eye contact are a must.
  • Never badmouth your previous employer.
  • Ask questions about the work and show you know about the company and are interested in it.
  • Give examples of when you did something extra to get the work done, such as:

Tell us about a time when you went the extra mile… 

I was asked to stay late when a busload of customers came into the cafe 10 minutes before closing. I stayed to help until they had all been served and then helped the cleaners for three hours. The boss was pleased and said I'd been friendly and welcoming even though I was about to finish my shift.

Watch this space as we bring you more articles on the skills employers need you to have, so you can win at job seeking.