Detail Oriented

Detail Oriented

What is Detail Oriented?

Definition: A detail oriented person pays close attention to the job at hand and has the ability to stay focused throughout the working day. When handling complex tasks, a person with this attribute will look closely at every aspect of the issue before going to the next step.

What does Detail Oriented mean?

Being detail oriented is absolutely necessary if you want to succeed in certain professions. Jobs that require you to be involved in scientific research require that you have this quality. Additionally, computer programmers, those connected with the medical profession, and individuals who deal extensively with numbers in their daily work should be detail oriented.

If you are a financial analyst or an accountant, it is absolutely essential that you have this characteristic. No detail should be too small to escape your attention. Forgetting to write a number on a spreadsheet or inserting it in the wrong column can lead to the entire report being incorrect.

People who are detail oriented share certain common traits:

  • They check and recheck every action that they take. If they are entering numbers on a document, they are unlikely to ever make a mistake. Similarly, if they are writing a report, they proofread it several times.
  • They don’t assume that a fact or a figure is correct just because they have read it somewhere. A detail oriented person will verify data from multiple sources before accepting that it is correct.
  • They don’t ignore the big picture. A question that a detail oriented person constantly asks is how the work that they are currently engaged with fits in with the overall objective.

Example of Detail Oriented

Rochelle is an accountant with a medium-sized company. She is good with numbers and carries out every task that is assigned to her very carefully. Rochelle is genuinely interested in her work and tries to understand each aspect of the job that she has been entrusted with.

While reviewing a set of expense vouchers, she notices that a particular item has been purchased by the company at two different rates. Digging a little deeper, Rochelle finds that in all the instances of the more expensive purchase, one particular employee has submitted the request for payment.

She takes up this issue with her supervisor, who promises to look into it. A week later, Rochelle is informed that her observation has led to the detection of a fraud.

An employee had entered into an arrangement with a supplier to submit inflated invoices. These were subsequently approved and paid, and part of the excess was paid in cash to the employee.

Rochelle’s attention to detail and her refusal to carry out tasks in a superficial manner had resulted in the company saving thousands of dollars and more importantly, in getting rid of a dishonest employee.


Being detail oriented can be a great strength if you want to make a career as an accountant or a financial analyst. Your ability to produce error-free reports and spot trends and patterns in areas where others don’t see them can make you very successful at your job.