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4 minute read

Finding a Job: What Are Recruiters Looking For?

Knowing what recruiters are looking for in candidates can help you streamline your job-hunting efforts and secure your next job much faster.

From customising your resume for different job roles to attending multiple rounds of interviews, job hunting is a laborious process. Whether you’re looking for a career change or better growth opportunities, the journey to finding a new job is much easier and faster when you understand what recruiters are looking for.

The recruitment process is a detailed one, assessing candidates from their resumes up to their actions post-interviews. An employee in today’s business world is expected to display hard and soft skills, be agile in their thinking and be flexible with different working styles.

Recruiters are mining for details before, during and after interviews to determine if you’re a good fit for the company. Here’s how you can cover all your bases.

Before the interview

First impressions count, even when they’re on paper. You may not realise it, but the quality of your applications is essential to getting the interview.

A well-written resume free of errors is non-negotiable, but impressing the recruiter takes more than that.

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Using your achievements to demonstrate your skills 

As recruiters have to scan through hundreds of applications, they spend an average of only six seconds on any given resume. Likewise, many companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to filter candidates out with pre-screening questions, searchable text filters, and keywords.

Make sure you quantify your achievements with numbers as far as possible and match them with the relevant skills. Use the ‘STAR’ method to structure your accomplishments.

  • Situation: Set the scene by outlining the context of the problem.
  • Task: Define the problem or goal you were trying to accomplish.
  • Actions: Explain what, how, and why you did it, linking it to the relevant skill.
  • Results: Reflect on how you attained success with that particular skill.

A technical qualifications section

Keeping your hard skills listed at the top ensures that you don’t get filtered out. It allows recruiters to quickly take stock of your qualifications, especially if the job you’re applying for requires technical skills.

Using functional and hybrid format resumes are a great way to list important skills and competencies at the top of the resume, keeping you top of mind during the screening stage of recruitment processes.

During the interview 

The interviewing process is arguably the most important part of the entire recruitment process. It’s your opportunity to pitch for the job role, interest the recruiter, and convince them you’re the right fit for the job.

Your demeanour and interest in the job

Your recruiter will be looking for a number of things during the interview rounds. Not only is it vital that you’re able to demonstrate your skills effectively but also display an eager and positive attitude.

Recruiter for Amazon, Lindsay Mustain, notes that the “single greatest thing a candidate can bring to a conversation is enthusiasm.”

Aside from verifying your qualifications, recruiters are also looking for a candidate that is the right culture fit for the company. You can show your enthusiasm by researching the company beforehand and coming prepared with copies of your resume.

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Good communication skills

Having the right qualifications is one part of the selection process, but recruiters are also looking for professionals who are good communicators. Coming to the interview with your army of hard and soft skills can put you in good standing for progressing further.

Be proactive with your answers. Practise your responses to common interview questions prior and prepare a couple of questions for the interviewer.

After the interview

After having come this far, it’s only satisfactory that you also follow due processes post-interview. Sending a simple thank you email to your recruiters and interviewers lets you end the process on a good note and leave a positive impression.

If you end up getting selected for the job, being helpful during the onboarding process is how you can start on a good note!

The recruitment process varies from company to company, but in essence, recruiters are looking for professionals who walk the talk from the get-go. Recognising the different qualities they look for can help you focus your search and secure the job faster.

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