How to be the perfect candidate

Source Lipton Flemming's Matthew Woods reveals how to be the perfect candidate:

You’ve got the relevant skills and experience but what makes you stand out from all the other qualified candidates out there? What additional qualities and attributes can you bring to a role that makes you the perfect candidate? Here are our top 10 candidate attributes that recruiters just can’t say no to.

How to Be the Perfect Candidate
Every agency and employer looks for different attributes in a candidate; some traits are more important than others for certain jobs. Yet there are common attributes that are on every potential employer’s wish list, these are the ones recruiters can’t say no to.

Of course if you don’t have the relevant skills and experience, having our top ten candidate attributes is not going to help your case. But for those candidates who tick all the essential requirements, these desirable qualities with give you the edge and make you the perfect candidate:

Top 10 Candidate Attributes:

An Ability to Listen. Surprisingly listening is a skill that not everyone has. Of course most of us can hear; but how many people actually listen to others, comprehend what they are saying and use this information when responding, making decisions, and taking direction?

Communication Skills. It follows that if you’re a good listener then you might also be a good communicator. Agencies need candidates who communicate well; whether it’s with clients, suppliers, within a team or between colleagues. Good communication means less opportunity for mistakes and misunderstandings.

Intelligence and Competence. In the simplest terms this is the ability to get the job done with the least impact on anyone else’s resources. We’re talking about being able to prioritise, organise, delegate, plan, problem solve and use common sense.

Confidence, not Arrogance. Confidence in an individual is reassuring.  Confidence in your own abilities to do the job and confidence in dealing with other people conveys that you’re a “safe pair of hands”.

Integrity. Are you honest with yourself and others? Can you discuss your mistakes and what you’ve learnt from them? Do you demonstrate loyalty to your existing and previous employers? Integrity is an attribute that not only will help get you a job, but is an important quality for success throughout your career.

Ambition. Personal ambition is great; recruiters want candidates with drive, who want to do the best, get to the top, and be a success. Ambition is also a collective goal; are you ambitious for the agency you want to work for? Do you want to contribute to their success?

Perseverance. Determination, drive, inner strength are all desirable attributes in a demanding, stressful work environment. Employers don’t want quitters, they want individuals who will persevere, keep calm, carry on and find solutions in adverse situations.

Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is infectious. Individuals who are enthusiastic about their job, their work, and their workplace, help others to see the positives and appreciate these things. Enthusiasm helps sell services, creates excitement around a project and energises the work environment. It also makes it very difficult for a recruiter to turn you away!

Likability. Personality is important whether you work closely in a team, or remotely from your home office. Warm, easy-going, friendly people oil the cogs of the work environment through cooperation, team work and a willingness to get along.

Flexibility. Employers want candidates who can adjust to changes in the workplace, who can step up when needed to, who view change as an opportunity or a challenge. Agencies have to be responsive to external factors such as economics, trends and developments, and therefore need employees who are along for the ride.

If you share these common attributes use them to your advantage. Highlight them in context of your work history, demonstrate them in practical terms at interview, and continue to develop these key qualities for long-term career success.

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