What makes great candidates stand out?

Especially at this time of year, leading into the warmer months, the competition in the job market is high.

There is something about Spring that makes people invigorated to take the leap to their next perfect job. Unfortunately for you, that also means that there are more and more candidates actively looking for work too.

So what makes a great candidate stand out?

I consulted one of my colleagues who interviews regularly and she outlined these key qualities:

  • an easy to read resume
  • a smile and a friendly, positive manner
  • professionally presented, they have made some effort to make a great first impression
  • brings energy to the interview
  • stays on topic, and doesn’t go off on a tangent, but answers the questions asked of them.
  • articulates their skills and experience clearly and concisely.

This also relates to a previous blog: FACT or FICTION: Is appearance/presentation a key factor to put you ahead of the rest when it comes to a face to face interview? Most employers stated that while appearance was important, having the skills and qualifications for the role were a vital component of the application.

It is essential that you ensure that you are not only professionally presented, but also have the skills and experience relevant for the job. Apply only for those jobs that you have experience, target your applications, and practice your interview questions according to each and every new job opportunity.

Take time to prepare for the interview as much as you can, this can include: research the role or organisation (if mentioned in the advertisement) and reviewing the job description. Match your skills and experience to the requirements of this role.

Depending on the job you are applying for, the qualifications, skills and experience required may vary. But based on my personal experience I would also suggest you bring along with you copies of additional information that that sells your skills, qualification, and experience – certificates, written references, transcripts and anything that is relevant to the role.

So how can you prepare to ensure that you are that candidate that stands out? Here is a summary of the tips from Job Search Success Handbook: Tools, Tips and Tactics

  • Tailor your resume to the jobs you are applying for
  • Practice interview questions
  • Know the job requirements
  • Know your resume in detail
  • Be ready to market your skills and experience
  • Dress for success – and be ready to put your best foot forward!

And one more thing that I cannot stress highly enough – know the jobs you applied for. If you are applying for multiple jobs, keep track of the jobs that you have applied for. There is nothing more embarrassing than finally getting that call from an Employer or Recruiter and not remembering the role that you applied for!

Did you know Challenge Consulting is on Facebook? If “like” us on Facebook today you will receive a PDF copy of your must-have handbook for a successful job search: Job Search Success – Tools, Tips and Tactics.