The Top Five Things Recruiters Notice About Candidates

By Hannah Whittenly

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The Top Five Things Recruiters Notice About Candidates


There are several elements recruiters pay close attention to when evaluating a candidate for a position. While not every recruiter will examine the same qualities in a candidate, most look at some basic indicators of competence and trustworthiness. Below are the things which stand out the most to recruiters and the hiring managers to whom they report.



A professional resume should be concise, easy to read and free of personal details such as marital status or references to children. It should include education, prior work history in a field related to the position sought and noteworthy volunteer work.


Experience And Ability

In terms of both the resume and the interview process, a recruiter will look at how much experience a candidate has and how that experience relates to the position that needs to be filled. If a candidate has stand-out achievements in the field they are pursuing, they should add them to their resume and work them into the interview conversation.


Positional Differential

Recruiters need to know what a candidate's goals are to determine if they are a good match for the organization and vice versa. The positional differential refers to what the candidate currently has versus what they are seeking; usually, a person leaves a position when it fails to meet their basic salary, commute or morale standards. A recruiter will look at how long a person held their last position and the circumstances surrounding their departure. They will generally ask questions to determine why the arrangement didn't work out; keep answers honest, short and upbeat.


Personal Hygiene

Nothing will dismiss a person as a potential candidate as fast as a poor sense of personal hygiene will. One’s appearance should be neat and polished, with clothing free of wrinkles and stains. Recruiters will generally dismiss an applicant who looks as though they neglect their own upkeep—and interviewers are even more likely to reject and applicant with a personal odor problem. A specialist from Health Centered Dentistry recommends that candidates have a dental cleaning performed prior to an interview, to minimize any decay and halitosis that could put interviewers off. Candidates may also want to consider going in for a haircut and shave (for male interviewees) before meeting with their interviewer.


Confidence Fosters Confidence

Some attributes a recruiter looks for when evaluating a candidate cannot be found on any resume or as a box on any checklist. Personality traits such as confidence, positivity, adaptability and being a team player are worth their weight in gold in the business arena.

It is important to always focus on the positive. Candidates should avoid bad-mouthing past companies and should maintain a confident demeanor throughout the interview process. Candidates should ask their own questions, use positive language and be honest about how many other companies they are or aren't interviewing with. In conclusion, recruiters are looking for indicators a candidate has the experience, training and attitude required for the position; quite simply, it is up to the candidate to make known what they have to offer.

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