What is a Team Player & How to Prove You’re One


A team player is someone who works well with others. An essential skill for the workplace. However, the phrase ‘good team player’ is overused on resumes. Consequently, it lacks impact.  This is also the case for similar claims, for instance, ‘team-oriented’ or ‘people person‘.

To prove you are a team player, you need to provide specific examples of your success working well with others. To do so effectively, it is helpful to have a picture of what it means to be a good team player.

What is a Team Player?

Good Communicator

A team player can articulate clearly the goals of their team and how to achieve them. They share ideas, provide honest and helpful feedback, and keep team members informed of any issues. Furthermore, they will actively listen to other group members’ ideas, concerns, directions, and feedback. Also, they will identify and address any barriers to effective communication within the team.


If you work well in a team, you are willing to share control and responsibility. A good teammate figures out ways to cooperate, solve problems, and get the work done despite differences or challenges. Someone who works well with others will deal with issues in a solution-orientated manner. This means focusing on a plan to move forward rather than blaming or avoiding. Additionally, a team player adapts to change and doesn’t hold rigidly to a point of view.

Puts Team Success First

A true team player will willingly share information, knowledge, and experience with members of their team. They put team success ahead of individual success. They will provide mentoring, coaching, and support to their teammates. A positive team player will acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of others.

Two team players, woman giving a high five at a deli shop
A positive team player will acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of others.

Reliable & Committed

A team player can be counted on to productively complete their fair share of the work. With a can-do attitude, a team player is fully engaged in the work of the group. They care about achieving team goals.

Are you a Team Player?

Not everyone is a strong team player.   For some people, their work preference is working on their own. If this, is you, and you are evaluating a position requiring substantial teamwork, consider if this will suit your working style.

Related: A Psychologist Finally Explains Why You Hate Teamwork So Much

How to Demonstrate You’re a Team Player on Your Resume

Find Examples of Your Success Working in Team

To convince a potential employer you work well with others you need to provide examples of when you have demonstrated positive and productive teamwork in the past.

Begin by brainstorming outcomes you have achieved working in a team. These examples can be from your previous employment, studies, or volunteer work.

You can also use more specific examples. For instance, where you have resolved team conflict, solved a problem for your team, helped your teammate get up to speed, or stepped in to take the lead to ensure a deadline is achieved.

Choose your best examples to turn into achievement stories.  Your best examples will be recent and relevant to the position you are applying for. Most importantly, you will be the star of the story. Your examples shouldn’t just be examples of when you have been part of a successful team. Rather, examples of when you have made a positive and impactful contribution.

Reviewing the list of qualities of a team player provided above may also prompt some additional ideas.

Write Achievement Stories

A basic structure for writing an achievement story is: Accomplished (X) by doing (Z)

You should lead with the result (X) and then describe what actions (Z) you took to achieve this result. Where possible, you should quantify.

Related: How to Write Achievement Stories

Related: Resume Writing Conventions

Teamwork Achievement Story Examples

  • Resolved team conflict threatening to derail the Finance Portal Upgrade project. Acting as an impartial intermediary, I facilitated discussion and negotiated resolutions that secured on-time delivery of the project
  • Coached two sales team members to reach sales target within their first weeks on the job by sharing insights and providing warm leads to increase confidence
  • Mentored a Graduate Teacher through her practicum, encouraging and developing her skills, particularly in behaviour management and small group work
  • Introduced monthly team information sessions. I proposed this initiative and then took responsibility for arranging a schedule of guest presenters to facilitate information sharing, team communication and learning
  • Secured my team a 20% reduction in service rates by building relationships with external suppliers and service providers

Note: For more information on writing in first or first-person implied, see Resume Writing Conventions

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