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Jonathan Greenhalgh client, job hunting...

5 Things that make a great candidate

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This week we asked our recruiters what they think makes a top-notch candidate? How do they pick the diamonds in the rough? Just what exactly gets their recruitment motors running? 

We took the data, boiled it all down, ran it through excel and exported it as a pdf, and this is what we came back with!

The top five things that make the perfect candidate according to recruiters are;

  1. Relevant Qualifications or Work Experience
  2. A Stable work history
  3. Demonstratable achievements
  4. Honesty
  5. Flexibility

What is it about these five things that get a recruiters juices flowing then?

Relevant qualifications/work experience Shown on the CV.

It's a bit obvious this one. Isn't it? You'd expect applicants to have the appropriate expertise shown on their CV right. Right? Not always, it's up to the recruiter to find the applicants that hit the mark. It's not always difficult. But when you're after a particular skill, say Eplan Design Engineer, and you get 200 designers 199 of which don't have Eplan applying... well you get the gist. 

A stable work history on CV

Let's be honest if you're looking at a CV, the last thing you want to see is 1000 jobs over six months. If an applicant has moved posts every few weeks, months or every year, it should raise a red flag. This doesn't mean that you should disregard people without the full story, though. Just make sure that you're getting into why they've had so many jobs.

Demonstratable achievements.

What has your candidate achieved? What impact did they have in their last job? And, how did it help the business? Being able to show their achievements will help sell the candidates CV to your clients. Your client will be able to see any potential added value that they could be getting from hiring the person. A boring list of dates and job isn't going to inspire them to hire.


No one likes a liar. Candidates shouldn't lie. There's a special place in recruitment hell for people who lie on their CV.


Being able to attend interviews at the drop of a hat! Taking a call every time on the first ring! That's the dream candidate! Right? Ok, so maybe not as flexible as this. But candidates that show a little bit of flexibility are a recruiters dream, whether it be for interviews, screening calls, start dates whatever we love it!  

There are a million and one other things that go into being a great candidate, what have we missed?