5 Qualities Recruiters Look for

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What makes a successful candidate stand out from the crowd? Their superior intellect? A ruthless ambition to climb the corporate ladder, crushing anyone who gets in the way? Their dashing good looks, expensive haircut and irresistable charm? Quite possibly. But not every company wants to employ the Wolf of Wall Street. We spoke to guest speakers at the EU Careers Fair 2017 to get some insight into the qualities recruiters really look for in a candidate.

Aligned values

Susy Bobenrieth, former vice president of HR Latin America for Nike, states that sharing the same values as your potential new employer is crucial. If you’re applying for a job at an environmentally friendly, sustainability start-up and one of your hobbies is to race around the countryside in your gas-guzzling sports car, you’re probably not the one for the job.  If, however, you’re an ethically-minded eco-warrior, you’ll fit right in.


Paula Mariani, UX Director at Schibsted Spain, says the number one attribute she looks for is flexibility. There’s no place for a stubborn, rigid attitude in today’s fast-paced business environment. Change is good and you need to be ready to embrace it. Companies want innovative, visionary thinkers, not someone who’s stuck in the past. Having the flexibility to go beyond your job description and keep an open mind is very attractive for modern employers.


Paula also says that, if you want to impress, showing your natural self is important. If you talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, employers will know immediately. As your nose grows, your chances of employment will shrink. Just be yourself! Honesty shines through, and showing that you are open, earnest and aware of your strengths and weaknesses shows that you are trustworthy.


Stepan Kondratenko, high velocity sales at PTC, wants proactive people with a dynamic curiosity, who are starving for knowledge, success and opportunities. If you’re motivated, energetic and inquisitive, you’ll catch plenty of interest.

The perfect CV

Is there such a thing? Regardless, you’ll want to get as close to perfection as possible. Víctor Carulla, managing partner at Headway Executive Search, says he knows immediately whether he will contact a candidate or not, based on their CV. List your relevant skills and experience, previous roles and responsibilites, and your education, all in a clear format with flawless spelling and grammar. Your CV should be short (no more than two pages), clear, concise and should sell you as the perfect candidate. Tailor it to the company you’re applying for and keep personal details to a minimum. Listing your interests are fine, but try to keep it brief. Equally, using humour is a big draw. But you’re not trying to laugh your way into the job. Subtlety is key.

To find out more about what recruiters look for in a candidate, click here. For an insight into the EU Careers Fair, click here.

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