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What Is a Detail Oriented Person? 13 Signs to Look For

A detailed-oriented person can help steer the ship on a busy team. Learn how to pinpoint the detail-oriented people in your organization here.

By Fellow.app  •   October 24, 2022  •   7 min read

You’re likely to find “detail-oriented” in the skills section of every resume you come across. It’s easy to see that honing in on a task or project’s finer points is a key skill, but why exactly is that? And what is a detail-oriented person in the first place? Is it someone who can zero in on grammar mistakes? Someone who can find where you left your keys? Someone who can point out every plot hole in your favorite book? Or maybe all of the above?

Keep reading to learn the answers and how to recognize detail-oriented people when you see them  – and find out if you’re one yourself. 

Detail-oriented person, defined 

At their core, a detail-oriented person pays close attention and catches minor details that others might miss. This is present in almost everything they do. Their desk is organized, their schedule is already set for the next month, and they go over all their work with a fine-toothed comb. 

Simply put, if someone else is the writer, they’re probably the editor.

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13 signs that you’re a detail-oriented person

It’s probably to see why detail-oriented employees can be a big part of keeping the wheels turning. You might also want to know if you’re someone who’s focused on the details. Well, it’s not so hard to figure out – it’ll show up in a lot of what you do. There are some clear-cut signs of being detail-oriented that can help you identify it, including the below. 

1You’ve got even little things memorized

Has this ever happened to you? Someone you met months ago reintroduces themselves and gets a little freaked out when you still remember their name. It’s not just a good party trick – it’s a sign that you’re detail-oriented. Whether it’s names, birthdays, or deadlines, your attention to detail doesn’t let anything slip your mind. 

2You proofread

You don’t just proofread; you proofread. Emails, reports, technical documents, even birthday cards. Not a single written word gets sent in without you going over every letter multiple times. If you find yourself checking your work, then double checking, and then triple-checking until it’s close to perfect, you’re definitely focused on the details. 

3You’re a grammar nerd 

Let’s say your grammar is impeccable and you can’t help but cringe when you see it done poorly. That means you’re probably a detail-oriented person. To you, something sounding or looking right is no excuse for poor grammar. That’s why you know the differences between “there,” “their,” and “there” and maybe have some strong opinions on the Oxford comma (don’t we all?).

4You have strong time management skills

Most people feel like they don’t have enough time in the day to do everything they want to, but you don’t waste a second. Your time management skills are second to none – there isn’t a task or project you can’t find room for in your schedule.

5You’re a perfectionist to your core

You have high standards for what counts as high-quality work, and you don’t turn anything in unless you meet them. You’ll check and double-check every inch of your work to catch any and all mistakes. And given your ability to stay on top of things and organized at work, you’ve probably already decided to spend part of your day just editing, not creating. Now that’s attention to detail.

6You ask critical questions

You ask a lot of questions – the kind of probing questions that might not be out of place in detective work. Except you’re not trying to poke holes in the game plan – you’re trying to understand it down to the smallest detail. Knowing the plan and being able to ask the right questions can help you and your team members iron out any kinks before you put it into action.

7You can read people

Detailed-oriented skills help with more than paperwork; they can also help you be a people person. Think about it: So much of a conversation is the subtle nonverbal cues, not just the actual words. With your high-level observational skills, you can read people like open books and change how you talk to them based on this.

8You’re organized

Your life is so organized, you know what meal you’ll have at the start of next month. There’s always space on your desk because all your documents and office supplies have proper places, and no one can tell you otherwise. And, your work life revolves around color-coded to-do lists and alphabetized, well, everything. 

9You’re always well-prepared

If you’re a detail-oriented person, the idea of starting a project or task and “winging it” until it’s done sends a shiver down your spine. This is why you basically have a tool belt of possible solutions for every situation. You’d much rather have everything you need to succeed already lined up and ready to go. 

10You’re as efficient as they come

Not a second of your day goes to waste, and not a drop of effort is used without good reason. You can set goals and tirelessly progress towards them because you choose to work smarter. Cutting unnecessary steps, setting strict timelines, and delegating tasks when there’s too much on your plate are all signs that you’re focused on the details.  

11Your work is second to none

Maybe it goes without saying, but with your sharp attention to detail, you typically turn in pretty high-quality work. Your efficiency, attention to detail, and time management skills all come together for the best results possible. 

12You’re curious

You’re as inquisitive as Sherlock Holmes when it comes to your job because, to you, there’s nothing worse than working off incomplete information. Getting a full understanding of the big picture is a top priority because it helps you respond to any sudden problems. 

13Your team values you

Admittedly, this one isn’t exclusive to detail-oriented people, but your attention to detail has probably made you one of the star players on your team. Plus, if people have noted your talent for fixing mistakes, scheduling, and noticing small details, it’s safe to say you’re detail-oriented. 

How can you become more detail-oriented?

If you didn’t relate to any of the above descriptions of detail-oriented people, don’t worry. While some people have a natural talent for noticing the small things, you can learn to be this way too. Just follow some of the tips below to start honing your attention to detail.

1Use a task management system

If you’re not someone who writes out their work for the day, task management software could change everything for you. Task management platforms often come with features that make tracking your progress, locking in deadlines, and working with your team members a total breeze. 

2Give yourself a daily routine

Following a consistent morning routine can help you adapt to setting schedules until it’s basically second nature. A rigid schedule may sound a little dull at first, but trust us – it’s worth it. Having enough time in the day to do everything you want (including sleep) is an excellent trade-off. 

3Stay healthy

Finding the devil in the details can require a lot of brain power, and that starts with good physical and mental health. Take care of your well-being first so you can do your best at work. 

4Track your time

Generally, the more pressed you are for time, the harder it is to be thorough. With good time management skills, you can make the most of your day and get as much work done as possible while maintaining high quality.

5Ask for clarity when you need it

Attention to detail won’t be as useful if you’re working from information you just don’t understand. When you get a new project or task, ask questions to fully understand what’s expected of you and avoid miscommunications.

6Proofread your work

Not many mistakes will jump out at you while you’re actually doing the work. At that point, your brain is focused on other things – namely, getting to the finish line. Instead, take the time to proofread and edit your work (multiple times if you have to) before turning it in. In a professional setting, you could incorporate proofreading by another colleague into your content strategy. could even have This way, you know you’re always putting your best foot forward.

7Write everything down 

Don’t just rely on your memory when you’re getting important information – you never know what you will and won’t remember later. Instead, try taking notes so you can refresh yourself. For example, taking meeting notes can help you keep track of your team’s progress and solve problems before they really get in the way.

Success is in the details

A detail-oriented person sees the bigger picture and then looks deeper to keep everything in focus. They use all kinds of important skills and tools to make this all happen, including time management and note-taking. With Fellow, you can take meeting notes right from your meeting agenda. With these features, you can collaborate in real time with your team – all while keeping an eye on all the details.

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