What Makes You a Dream Candidate?

Dream Candidates

As a recruiter with over twenty years of experience, I have recruited for some very desirable jobs.  Jobs with high salaries, equity opportunity, 401K plans, unlimited vacation time, excellent benefits, etc.  Jobs with amazing companies in amazing cities—doing really interesting work. Many people don’t pause to think what makes you a dream candidate.

Dream jobs.

Jobs filled by dream candidates.

And, let’s face it.  No matter how naturally skilled a candidate is, some have done the work to make themselves “dreamy” to employers, and others have not.

So, what makes a candidate a dream candidate—from a recruiter’s (and employer’s) point of view?

Dream Candidates Have Robust LinkedIn Profiles

When looking at LinkedIn profiles, I am drawn to ones which highlight specific achievements.  For example, performance data versus quota for salespeople.  Specific information on team performance for managers.  In marketing, I look for data on a product’s performance based on the candidate’s branding or strategy.  If analytics, I look for specifics on models that have been developed.

These achievements should be clearly presented on LinkedIn- perhaps with bullets in a summary instead of only in paragraph form.  Remember that a LinkedIn profile is a candidate’s online resume, and is one of the first things hiring managers seek out.

A dream candidate’s LI profile will also include many recommendations and skill endorsements.  To beef these up in a profile, candidates should write recommendations for others in hopes that they reciprocate.

Dream Candidates Have Longer Job Tenure

Most recruiters (and hiring managers) tend to place a greater value employees who have staying power.  (This can vary by position type, company and industry).  If candidates make job moves every 12 to 18 months, employers will want to know the reason.  Is it because they are unsuccessful in each job?  Is it trouble with interpersonal relationships?

If job moves are frequent, it could be interpreted as bringing increased value due the increased job experience. But I know this raises suspicion about their ability to perform a minimum standard. So, I recommend candidates make sure they have references who praise their accomplishments during the shorter tenure.  This will help put employers at ease.

Dream Candidates Continue Education

While it’s great to see that a candidate graduated from a prestigious university back in 1996, it’s even better to see recent certifications, training, and continuing education—from the past few years.

A dream candidate will be involved in networking organizations, will be actively liking, sharing (and producing) articles on LinkedIn related to industry trends, or speaking at conferences and seminars.  Dream candidates will be experts in their subject matter and others will be able to see this expertise.  I’d recommend candidates look for relevant Google Hangouts to join.  I’ve seen some excellent networking and idea sharing come from a Google Hangout.

Dream Candidates Have Dream Interpersonal Skills

A dream candidate who becomes a dream hire will also have skills that go beyond what’s on paper. Some managers hire on “DNA” over specific job experience. I’ve seen hiring managers interview two people and hire the one they “like,” even if the skill set is not quite as strong.  They are looking for how a candidate’s personality fits into the company culture, which is all a part of the position. It’s be said that hard skills are primarily responsible for getting you the job. But it’s the soft skills keep you there and get you promoted.

It’s harder to prepare for this “dream” quality, but a candidate can work on soft skills. Practice interviewing, be aware of industry trends, and learn to smile and be confident.  Evaluate how you come across to others on a daily basis and always strive to improve interpersonal skills.

Artemis Consultants strives to recruit dream candidates for our employer clients every day. If you have a hiring need , check out the many service options we offer. Looking for a new position? Check out our careers page. Either way, we’re here to serve and look forward to being a resource for you.

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