What Recruiters Like To See In A Candidate

Joanna Tresa

Last Updated: August 2, 2023
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Welcome to the guide on becoming the candidate that recruiters can’t resist! In this blog, we spill the beans on what recruiters genuinely love to see in job seekers, from crafting a standout resume to acing interviews with finesse. 

The job market has evolved, and so has the mindset of recruiters and employers. Skills have become the key differentiator, and internal mobility within companies is on the rise. So, we’ll show you how to tailor your application, highlighting your relevant experience and skills while showcasing a personality that perfectly aligns with the company culture. 

Prepare to crack the interview code with confidence, leaving a lasting first impression with your professionalism, communication, and problem-solving skills. But it doesn’t stop there; your soft skills are the secret mix that can make you a standout candidate. 

We’ll guide you on how to level up those sought-after qualities and emphasise their significance in your application materials. With the right approach and guidance, you’ll be an unstoppable candidate, ready to shine and land that dream job. Let’s dive in!

what recruiters want to see in a candidate

Recruiters Mindset: How It Has Changed In Years

In the past year, we have observed significant shifts in the mindset of recruiters and employers. As the global economy slowed, labour markets rebalanced, granting employers more bargaining power. Businesses have recognised the need for a more efficient and equitable labour market, focusing on skills as the key differentiator. 

Notably, internal mobility within companies has seen a positive uptick, with 16 out of 19 global industries reporting increased promotions and internal role transfers. Despite this trend, employees seem less inclined to consider internal moves as viable career options.

To adapt to this changing landscape, recruiters and employers emphasise skills-oriented approaches. It means recruiting and deploying candidates based on their skill sets and investing in upskilling employees for future business needs.

As employee hiring evolves, the focus on skills will remain paramount. Employers and recruiters must adapt to this new reality to stay competitive and foster a more efficient workforce.

recruiting candidates

What Recruiters Love In A Job Application

All right, let’s talk about the bulk of job applications. 

  1. Recruiters select candidates who go the extra mile. Show them a tailored application to the specific job and company you’re applying to. It says, “I’m genuinely interested!” Oh, and keep it crisp and professional—no need to pull out the thesaurus or get all fancy with your language.
  2. Next up, recruiters support relevant experience and skills. Show them what you got! Flaunt those past work experiences, internships, volunteering gigs, or academic achievements. They want to see how you’ve rocked those skills in real-life situations. Be a storytelling champ with relevant examples.
  3. Last but not least, recruiters want someone who vibes with their company culture. Your cover letter should be about the required skills and personality. Let them know you’re the perfect fit. Do your research, understand what makes the company tick, and sprinkle some of that magic into your application.

Cracking The Interview Code

Alright, now that you’ve nailed the application stage, it’s time to rock the interview. Picture this: you walk in, represent professionalism in your presentations. How do you do it? Well, it’s all about the first impression.

  • First impressions are formed within seconds, so a clean dressing is necessary. Opt for a clean and well-fitting outfit that aligns with the company culture. Research the dress code beforehand, and it’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed when in doubt.
  • Arriving on time is essential, but reaching a few minutes early demonstrates your punctuality and eagerness. It also lets you gather your thoughts and calm your nerves before the interview begins.
  • During the interview, communication is key. Speak clearly and concisely, avoiding overly technical jargon. Active listening is equally important – nod, smile, and engage with the interviewer to show your interest in what they are saying.
  • Highlight your soft and hard skills using examples from your skill development phase or your freelance projects. Talk about successful projects you’ve worked on with a team, emphasising your ability to collaborate effectively and contribute to group achievements.
  • As for the radiant smile and can-do attitude go a long way in showcasing your enthusiasm and positive energy. Remember, confidence is essential, but avoid coming off as arrogant.

To further emphasise the significance of first impressions, as Will Rogers once said, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Let this quote remind you to put your best foot forward during the interview.

cultural compatibility

Cultural Compatibility Matters

Imagine landing a job only to realise you’re as compatible as a cat and a goldfish. That’s why meeting recruiters is all about cultural fit. They want to make sure your principles, work approach, and general vibes align with the company’s.

According to a Glassdoor survey, 77% of respondents believe that a company’s culture is crucial when considering job opportunities. And you know what else? That same survey revealed that a strong company culture could increase employee retention and make people more likely to appreciate their workplace!

Deloitte conducted another study, and guess what? 88% of employees said a solid workplace culture is also a great indication of business success. And it gets better – companies with a strong culture outperform their competitors, snag top talent, and have a team of extraordinary skills.

So, remember, the next time you’re preparing for an interview, show them that you’re not just a rockstar at your job, but you’ll also fit right into their business goals.
You can do basic homework. 

Research best of your capabilities into the company’s mission statement, history, and culture. Talk to current or former employees. And then, let your application say “I’m the one you are looking for!” 

The Secret Mix: Your Qualities As A Job Candidate

Now, let’s get to the action part. Recruiters want the whole package, and that includes those magical soft skills. Think teamwork, communication, and adaptability—those secret weapons that make you shine brighter.

Do you know what’s warm in the job market these days? It’s all about those magical soft skills that can make you a standout candidate. Let’s break it down with research-based insights and see how to level up these sought-after qualities.

Effective Communication: This one’s a total game-changer! Employers are really into candidates who can clearly articulate ideas, listen actively, and talk to stakeholders like a pro. So, how do you get better at it? Well, practice makes perfect! Try speaking confidently in front of a mirror or join public speaking clubs like Toastmasters to rock that interview.

Adaptability: It’s like having a golden ticket in a rapidly changing world. Show employers you’re up for any challenge and can navigate uncertainty like a boss. Embrace learning opportunities, be flexible, and share those fantastic examples of your aced adaptability in previous roles.

Teamwork and Collaboration: No room for lone wolves here! Employers love candidates who play well with others and respect diverse perspectives. Join group projects, volunteer for team activities, and flaunt your fantastic teamwork skills.

Problem-Solving: Be the creative genius that employers are seeking! Tackle complex problems with ease and show off those problem-solving skills. How? Take up puzzles or brain teasers, or dive into hackathons and brainstorming sessions to get those creative sides flowing.

Leadership: Leadership rocks, even if you’re not eyeing for a managerial role. Show initiative, take ownership of tasks, and inspire others with your actions.

Time Management: Juggling tasks like a pro is a superpower! Employers adore candidates who can manage time like a boss. Set priorities, use time-tracking tools, and create realistic schedules to level your time management game.

Emotional Intelligence: Understanding and managing emotions is the name of the game. Develop your emotional intelligence by practising empathy, active listening, and staying cool under pressure.

Creativity: Take your inner creative genius for a ride and stand out. Engage in creative hobbies, explore new perspectives, and develop out-of-the-box ideas to engage employers. 

When showcasing your soft skills, don’t just talk the talk; walk the walk. Please give them the goods with real-life examples. Have you led a team to victory and mentored a junior colleague? Boom! Drop those stories like a mic. Remember, it’s all about tailoring your application materials to showcase those soft skills.

The Power Of A Standout Resume

Ah, the resume. It’s like your own personal advertisement, designed to make recruiters think. So, let’s dive into the secrets of crafting a standout resume to post on recruitment portals or send to recruiters that will make you the talk of the town.

First things first, keep it clean and organised. Recruiters don’t have time for a cluttered mess. Use clear headings and keywords to highlight your experience, skills, and achievements. And for the love of all things good, don’t go wild with fancy fonts or neon colours. Keep it professional.

Generic resumes are so last season. Take the time to customise your resume for each job you apply to. Highlight the skills and experiences that directly relate to the position. 

Recruiters want to see results! Did you increase sales by 50%? Streamline processes and save the company buckets of money. 

And lastly, proofread typos and grammar mishaps are the ultimate resume buzzkill. Recruiters appreciate the attention to detail, so make sure your resume is squeaky clean. 

Remember, your resume is your ticket to the interview stage, so make it shine brighter than a shooting star. Craft it carefully, tailor it to perfection, and watch as recruiters line up to give you that coveted job offer. 

Some trusted platforms can help you create a standout resume. Here are a few worth exploring:

Indeed: Build your resume on Indeed and make it searchable by employers. The platform offers helpful tips and templates to create an eye-catching resume.

Canva: If you want to add a touch of creativity, Canva offers attractive and professional resume templates that you can build on your own.

VisualCV: This platform allows you to create visually appealing resumes that stand out, perfect for candidates in creative fields.

LinkedIn: More Than A Boring Resume

Hold up! We can’t forget the power of LinkedIn in this digital age. Recruiters aren’t just looking for a list of degrees and job titles. They want to see your skills and knowledge in all their glory. 

So, here’s the deal. Your LinkedIn profile should be on point. Rock that professional headline, write a summary highlighting your expertise and don’t forget the nitty-gritty details of your work history and education.

But wait, there’s more! 

Recruiters also want to see your active engagement on LinkedIn. Show off your knowledge by sharing industry news and insights. 

Join relevant LinkedIn groups, especially if you are a female and in search of work from home jobs for female or looking for remote jobs for freshers because it can help you get better jobs by gaining industry insights, accessing trustworthy job postings, showcasing skills, and building relationships with recruiters. 

Stay active, engage in discussions, and maintain a positive online presence for the best results.

And hey, build that network like professional influencers. Quality connections in your industry or at your dream companies? Now we’re talking!

If your peers think you’re a rockstar, let them sing your praises. Endorsements and recommendations give you that sweet social proof. It’s like having a bunch of cheerleaders rooting for you!

Wrap It Up: You’re An Unstoppable Candidate

Now, armed with this knowledge, you as a jobseeker will go forth and conquer that job market! Show recruiters your enthusiasm, passion, and willingness to learn. Be prepared, communicate like a pro, and fit in like a puzzle.

And hey, don’t forget LinkedIn. Build that killer profile, engage like a social media maven, and let your connections and endorsements do the talking.

Remember, the job search journey can be challenging, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you need expert career guidance, counselling, or mentorship to find the perfect future path, look no further than Mentoria. They’ll help you discover which path you’ll enjoy and excel at, setting you up for success.

So, don’t hesitate to seek support and guidance along the way. With dedication and the right approach, you’ll shine like the star you are and snag that dream job. Go forth and rock that interview with confidence – you’ve got this!