What does ‘team player’ mean in a job application?

If you’ve worked in a company before or have been doing your job search for a bit, you’ve come across the term ‘team player’ several times. This probably seems like some more recruitment jargon, so what does it really mean?

We think it boils down to three aspects:

1) You can integrate in the workplaces and won’t cause problems

Let’s face it, you’re not always going to love all your colleagues. But that doesn’t really matter. All you need to do is be able to send an email to someone, ask a question from someone, be respectful in a meeting and make small talk when necessary. They don’t want someone who is high maintenance, demanding, abrasive and closed. This may seem very obvious, but being a ‘team player’ is more than hitting a home run – it’s putting up with a lot of different personalities every single day for years and years potentially.

2) You’re a social person

You don’t need to be a party animal or have 5,000 friends on Facebook, but an employer would like to think that you enjoy meeting new people and creating social bonds. This helps for social events at work and so you can adapt to a workplace where people will always come and go at any time.

3) You want to feel like the company

They like to think that you love being ‘protected’ by this work community and that only by being part of this big machine can you accomplish something greater than yourself. This is what a team can accomplish.

So while ‘team player’ can mean several things, we think that it’s all about your ability to stick to a company and contribute as soon as possible and for as long as possible.


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