Integrity almost sounds like it should be a buzzword that one should avoid and find a better word to use, but as we kick start a new year, this word may gain more importance in a successful job search. Certainly, business owners are giving it more weight, especially after Warren Buffet’s advice on finding great employees which came out a few years ago, but has sprung up again:
“You’re looking for three things, generally, in a person: intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two.”-Warren Buffet
In our resumes, we highlight the skills we offer to a prospective employer and that is where much of our attention goes. However, attention should also be paid to the cover letter, career objective, and in the interview. This is where you can discuss more of your transferable skills such as number of years in an industry and things like integrity.
What is Integrity?
Integrity can be defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” In other words, it means that you are honest even when it may cause problems for you, you have a strong sense of your morals and you follow them.
The days of shady business dealings are fading away and in the age of social media when people can easily check up on and pass information around on a business, integrity has become incredibly important from a community standpoint. Businesses regularly get lampooned for not acting with integrity and fairness, most recently the Tim Hortons debacle where some Ontario stores where telling their employees to cut their benefits and breaks to compensate for the increase in minimum wage.
But the only way a business can have integrity is if their employees have this trait as well, particularly their managers, but also their front line workers. For managers and supervisors, integrity is important because it means that people don’t have to be questioned or micromanaged, there is increased trust in the team and more respect.
An Honest Resume
How can you showcase your integrity on your resume?
Integrity isn’t exactly a skill, but it is something you can place throughout your cover letter and resume, as well as highlight in your interview. For example, in your cover letter, you can remark on the fact that you have been noted for your integrity on the job or that customers appreciate your honesty or that you can be relied upon to give honest feedback. You can even come out and say that you have integrity; for example, I am an individual with a strong sense of integrity who enjoys helping others. (Or whatever the extra soft skill may be that you want to attach to this).
Integrity can really be highlighted in the interview process. For example, you can tell the story about how you showed your honesty in a past job and what the results were for you and for the company. Some hiring managers may even out and out ask a question that will test your integrity, such as asking what you would do if you were asked to tell a lie to protect the company.
Benefits of Having Integrity
Employers certainly have a growing appreciation for employees with integrity, but what are the benefits of this trait to you?
- You can sleep better at night! When you act with integrity, you can rest easier with yourself and not live with regretting sacrificing an important part of yourself for the company you work for.
- You build trust with your team and co-workers. This makes it a better work environment all around and means you don’t have to wrestle as much with questionable ethics
- You’ll have a better reputation and more influence. Remember that the world of work today is all about networking and who you know, who knows you and who trusts who. If you build up a reputation for being honest and ethical, then you’ll have more positive relationships within the working world and that is beneficial no matter what’s happening.
And of course, as we said before, more employers are looking for honest employees, so you may have a slight edge in the hiring pool.
As 2018 continues on and we see more trends in how hiring will work, integrity is one of the things that will never go out of style, so start parading yours for all the world to see!
Charlene is a full time instructor and published author. She enjoys writing about education, digital career paths, job hunts, and for her books, fantasy/mysteries. You can learn more about her novels at Kellan Publishing.