PERSONALITY TRAITS THAT ADMISSION OFFICERS LOOK FOR
How well does your application reveal who you are
and how you might make a positive difference at your
selected college(s)? To answer this question admission
officers look for certain personality traits and demonstrated
skills. Here are five:
1. Your interpersonal skills and communication abilities.
Can you engage with a community? Do you develop
meaningful relationships? Can you listen, analyze, and respond?
Colleges want students who will be active members
on campus and in the classroom.
2. YourAdaptability at problem solving when faced
with a challenge, large or small. Can you overcome obstacles?
Can you identify and seek out opportunities and
resources? Can you manage the unexpected?
3. YourAbility level to effectively manage your time
and responsibilities. Colleges want to be confident that
you can manage your increased responsibilities (and freedom)
when on campus. Can you budget time across academic
and personal responsibilities?
4. The value you place on working with others.
College courses often have group projects that require
teamwork and many clubs/organizations that require team
5. Your Leadership skills. Leaders tend to be active
on campus. You do not have to be a captain or president
to be a leader, but you must demonstrate you have the
ability set to lead a group of people with disparate skill
sets, manage various personalities, etc. Can you motivate
and encourage others? Can you delegate tasks and keep
to group deadlines?
Here are some tips to help you showcase these traits
throughout your application:
• Do you bring something unique to an activity?
How have you taken initiative and created a new activity?
Get creative (example: start an art drive at your school to
support the after-school youth center you volunteer for).
• Share your success with the world! Write an article
to a local paper about your projects, put on an art
showcase at a local gallery, submit your writing or science
projects to national competitions.
• In Your Essays consider:
+ Using the story of a meaningful relationship in your life
to shed light on your values and personality.
+ Highlighting a challenge you faced, how you overcame
it, and how you have grown.
+ Sharing how what you love most is intertwined with
every level in the past, present, and future.
+ Write about how your ability to lead has made an impact
on those around you. Be mindful here – you do not
want to be over-confident here nor tell the story of how
great you are. This is about sharing a meaningful story
and your leadership is integrated within.
• In Your Recommendations try to:
+ Develop long-term and honest relationships with your
teachers and counselors.
+ If you share your thoughts in conversation or email and
provide examples – they will likely include it in their recommendation.
You can help shape your recommendation