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12 Traits Employers Look for in Potential Job Candidates

At Extra Space Storage, we believe in the core values of Integrity, Excellence, Innovation, Teamwork, and Passion, and we use those values as a compass when looking for job candidates.

Kristina Bates is a Corporate Recruiter at Extra Space. Before she joined the team a little over two years ago, she studied Business Management and Human Resources at Brigham Young University-Idaho, where she also worked in the Learning and Development department. Kristina’s academic background and practical experience have given her a solid understanding of the qualities employers seek in job candidates. Below are 12 traits that she has identified as crucial for success at Extra Space or any position you’re pursuing.


Clear and effective communication is the cornerstone of successful collaboration, conflict resolution, and relationship building. Employers value candidates who can articulate ideas and information clearly, whether verbally, in writing, or through non-verbal cues. The ability to adapt communication styles to different audiences is crucial. Successful candidates are also open to feedback and ideas from others and are active listeners, ensuring a harmonious and productive work environment.


There is a reason that Extra Space has Teamwork as one of our core values. We all know there is no “I” in “TEAM.” Even those who are hired to fill individual positions may eventually find themselves working as part of a group. Employers are looking for those who can collaborate well with others.


The ability to use critical thinking to analyze situations, identify problems, and develop practical solutions is highly valued by hiring managers. Employers look for candidates who can involve the team’s strengths, think under pressure, and take a proactive approach to overcoming obstacles.


In some fields, jobs are changing and evolving daily. Employers want to hire adaptable professionals who can change with it. This may mean someone who can follow directions one day and figure out their own direction the next. Or perhaps someone who can spend some days behind their desk and other days in the field, equally productive in both environments.


Employers want to hire professionals who are flexible. Those who are stuck in their ways tend to be more difficult to work with than those who can go with the flow. Flexibility goes hand in hand with adaptability.


Employers highly value professionals who consistently show up to deliver their best work every day. They appreciate candidates who responsibly manage their sick days, respectfully request vacation time outside of peak seasons, and honor the flexibility of their schedules.


It almost goes without saying, but if an employer discovers an inaccuracy or exaggeration on your resume—perhaps while conducting a reference check—you will quickly find yourself resuming your job search. We live our values, even when no one is looking.


Employers look for individuals who are self-motivated and can take initiative to accomplish their tasks independently. They value employees who can identify what needs to be done and execute it efficiently, without needing constant guidance or reassurance. While occasional recognition is appreciated, the ability to perform well without it is a highly regarded trait.


In today’s fast-paced work environment, the ability to bounce back from setbacks is invaluable. Employers seek candidates who can cope with adversity, maintain a positive outlook in the face of challenges, and demonstrate perseverance and determination. Resilient individuals learn and grow from setbacks or unexpected developments, making them strong assets to any team.

Emotional Intelligence

Navigating interpersonal relationships effectively is key in any workplace. Employers appreciate candidates who possess self-awareness, empathy, and self-regulation skills. These traits help individuals manage conflict, maintain a positive attitude during challenging situations, and foster a supportive and respectful team atmosphere.

Willingness to Listen & Learn

Employers obviously want to hire professionals who have the skills necessary to do the job. However, that doesn’t mean there will never be anything they need to learn. Know-it-alls are rarely appreciated, but humility (and humanity) often are.

Comfortable Confidence

Employers want to hire professionals who are comfortable with themselves. These professionals know who they are and what they want. They are confident but never arrogant. They are friendly, engaging, and, as a result, a pleasure to be around.

Interested in a career with Extra Space Storage? Check out our careers page to learn more about our culture and job opportunities.