Job seeking can be a daunting and tiresome process, but it is important to present your best self during each interaction with potential employers or others who might influence their decisions. As recruiters, we view hundreds of resumes a week and speak to dozens of candidates over the phone and in person. So how do you make a strong impression and be a standout candidate that will be foremost in our minds when we speak with hiring managers?
To make sure you aren’t overlooked when the most desirable positions become available, keep in mind that the following qualities represent some of what our recruiting team values most in a candidate:
1. Professionalism. This starts with the first contact, so excellent phone manners are a must. Punctuality (or lack thereof) is our first indication of your ability to actually manage your time and meet deadlines regardless of what you state on your resume. And no matter your career level, a candidate who walks in professionally dressed, well-groomed, and offering a firm handshake is more likely to make a lasting, positive impression both on the recruiter and hiring managers than those who do not.
2. Confidence. Not to be confused with arrogance, this attribute can distinguish an excellent candidate from similarly qualified but less exceptional one. An interviewer is more likely to trust in your skills and abilities when you are able to articulate and provide some details about your competencies and accomplishments. Confidence is also evident in body language. Candidates who have good posture, no crossed arms or fidgeting, and maintain eye contact often come across as more confident in an interview.
3. Strong test scores. While it may seem insignificant from an outside perspective, we are always impressed by strong test scores because it shows that the candidate is willing to put forth the necessary time and effort to confirm their proficiencies. Further, refusing or complaining about completing the assessments can signal a generally uncooperative attitude or other less than desirable attributes in a candidate. Unless there is a compelling reason not to, it is usually best to comply with whatever steps are requested of you during the application process. This leads us to…
4. A great attitude towards your job search. Candidates who proactively research our company, the local job market, and our clients show that they are willing to go the extra mile necessary to find a great job. Not everyone lands a position the first time they interview, so maintaining a positive attitude and friendly demeanor may require some deliberate focus, but it could be the detail that sets you apart from your competition. It is imperative to treat every person you encounter during your search with the same measure of respect and courtesy – from whomever answers the phone to the secretary to the hiring manager to the CEO!
Recruiters may not make the final decision when it comes to filling a position, but the enthusiasm with which we present our best candidates can be a big influence. Keep the above in mind while you search for employment and you may gain yourself the advantage of being considered your recruiter’s most placeable candidate!