The rise of the global phenomenon known as ‘The Great Resignation’ is not over yet and one in four people are looking to switch jobs in the next 12 months. Knowing this, it’s now more important than ever to know what recruiters and headhunters are looking for and to make sure you stand out from the crowd.

We spoke to our Kilpatrick Consultants and asked them what advice they have for people on the search for a new job, and what they should consider.

What do recruiters and headhunters look for in Candidates? We summarized their observations, common mistakes and recommendations here:

1. Candidates do not research/understand the position they are applying for 

Make sure you read through the position, find similar job descriptions, and research the company (if listed) to have a better idea of what will be required of you. During this research you will probably also come up with some questions. Asking questions during the interview about the company and position will make you look truly interested and can get a good conversation going.

2. Applying without considering skill set and requirements

Read the full job description, and make sure your skill set aligns with what the company is asking for. Are the requirements listed compatible with your experience? Do you meet the basic language, location, and visa requirements?

3. Being unsure of their strengths and differentiators

Know how to sell yourself. Nothing is more attention-grabbing than a candidate who dominates their strengths, can glide through their achievements easily, and makes themselves stand out. We recommend checking out this article to give you ideas on how to stand out during your job interview.

4. Prioritizing economic benefit over the long term or professional growth 

“All that glitter is not gold”, a saying that can be true if you place the wrong intention into your career choices. Most candidates can be blinded by economic rewards but before you say yes, take a step back and make sure the job fits with your long-term plans and goals. Does it make you happy? Will it be fulfilling on a personal level?  Make sure you write down the pros and cons taking into consideration all factors.

5. Entering a full application process being unsure 

Your time is valuable, but so are the recruiters’. If you applied for a job but are unsure if it’s the right fit for you, didn’t really want to switch jobs, or just want to see what’s out there, make sure you do not go through the entire process when you are sure you will end up rejecting the offer. By doing so you can maintain a good relationship with the headhunter and may get in contact again when you are ready or when any other opportunities pop-up.

6. Keep a neutral and professional outlook on your previous company or job positioning

Even if you had a terrible experience with a previous company or employer, keep it professional. Try to shift the interview into your vision towards the future and not bad-mouthing the past or companies you have worked for, it’s a “red flag” for recruiters.