• Michelle Coy

What Makes Me Stand Out to a Recruiter?

If you’ve been looking for a new job, it’s likely that a recruiter has taken notice – especially if you’ve been using LinkedIn (one of a recruiters’ most used tools). If you’re not familiar with partnering with a recruiter, there are several benefits that will help improve your job search. These include:

  • You have someone to consult with during the entire hiring process.

  • Recruiters know about jobs before they’re publicly advertised.

  • You can learn how to market yourself and your skills.

Working with a recruiter is especially beneficial for passive job seekers (people who are open to new opportunities but aren’t actively searching).

Once you choose the right recruiter to assist in your job search, you may be wondering, “what are recruiters looking for in a candidate?” We’ve asked our executive recruiters – here’s what they had to say.

A Well Put Together Resume

This one may sound obvious, but in many cases your resume is the first impression a recruiter will have of you. We suggest referencing do’s and don’ts for creating a resume, that way you know what's important. But some key things to remember are listing concrete examples/numbers that show your past success, be simple yet creative with the design, and always (ALWAYS) triple check for any errors. This will help you wow every recruiter that comes across your resume.

Great Soft Skills

In some positions, soft skills are even more than your technical expertise. Described as “non-technical skills that relate to how you work,” soft skills are what make you a great employee and help you interact with the world. Some of the most popular soft skills recruiters and hiring managers look for are strong communication, great time management, and reliability – just to name a few.

Because recruiters are the liaison between job seekers and employers, they’ll be looking for someone who can efficiently communicate their career goals and work experience that way it can be relayed to the client. Make sure you let your soft skills shine in every interaction with a recruiter.

Relevant Technical Experience

When looking through do’s and don’ts for making your resume, you’ll notice the importance of how you list your work experience. If you have a lot of it, you won’t want to include anything that’s irrelevant to the job you’re applying for. Recruiters will take notice if you’re going more than 7-10 years back because it may mean you don’t have the necessary recent experience. Be mindful when listing work experience; ideally, each time you apply for a job your resume will be tweaked slightly to reflect the job posting.


Recruiters interact with a lot of candidates, so showing motivation is a great way to stand out. When you’re excited and interested in the job they’re telling you about, let them know. Don’t hesitate to show your recruiter that you’re motivated to find a great opportunity.

Overall, recruiters are looking for a candidate that matches their clients' requirements; but it’s more than that. They’re looking for someone who can stand out and show why they would be the right fit for the job. Put your best foot forward and they’ll take notice.

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