Having operated in the staffing industry for almost two decades, one question people often want to know is what recruiters look for in a great candidate. Considering most people’s experience with job searches have been a solo endeavor, this question is completely understandable. 

Getting a new job can be a time-consuming (and sometimes stressful) process, even amidst a market that favors the job seeker. From finding an available position that interests you to crafting an eye-catching resume to nailing the interview, there’s a lot to consider in order to have a successful outcome. That’s where a recruiter comes in. Before we dive into what recruiters look for in a great candidate, it’s important to understand what a recruiter does.  

So, what does a recruiter do?  

In short, a recruiter is the bridge between an employee looking for a job and an employer who needs to fill an open space on their team. It’s the recruiter’s responsibility to find candidates who fit the needs of their client and ensure the candidate is well-suited before they meet for a face-to-face interview. They also advocate on behalf of the candidate; showing the client exactly why they’re a great match and making sure the candidate’s goals align with the goals of the employer.  

There’s another side to the life of a recruiter that isn’t commonly considered – researching and networking. These tactics make LGC’s executive recruiter’s experts in their field. Our recruiters regularly research employment trends, pay history, and more to fully understand the industry they’re servicing. By connecting with a variety of people (employees, owners, managers, etc.) in said industry, LGC recruiters can build a network of influential players who become key to matching candidates with employers. And we know what recruiters look for because we’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best in the. business. 

How does working with a recruiter benefit my job search?  

Partnering with a recruiter can be the extra help you need to land your dream job. Some of the ways they benefit candidates include:  

  • You have someone to consult with during the entire process. As the liaison between employee and employer, your recruiter can answer any questions you have about the position, the company, next steps, and more. Not only that, but recruiters will help you stay on track, creating a more efficient and quicker experience.  
  • Recruiters know about jobs before they’re publicly advertised. Networking allows us to have relationships with clients where they come to LGC with their needs before going to websites like Indeed or LinkedIn –– meaning you can be one of the first people to apply before the masses get ahold of the job listing.  
  • Learn how to market yourself and your skills. Our team will provide tips on improving your resume, how to market your skills and experience during the interview, and other consultative approaches to finding new employment. 
  • Working with a recruiter is especially beneficial for passive job seekers (people who are open to new opportunities but aren’t actively searching). Recruiters can keep you and your career goals in their thoughts as they hear of open positions, saving you the time of scrolling endlessly through job listings.  

Now that we know exactly what a recruiter does and how they can benefit your job search, we can better understand what they’re looking for in a great candidate. We’ve asked our executive recruiters – here’s what they had to say.   

What Recruiters Look For in a Great Candidate

A Well Put Together Resume  

It’s important to make a great first impression, and your resume can do just that. We suggest referring to common do’s and don’ts when creating a resume, that way you know what’s important (and what can be left out). Some key points 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 they’re are the liaison between job seekers and employers, recruiters look for someone who can efficiently communicate their career goals and work experience so 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 to 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 back more than 7-10 years because it may mean you don’t have necessary recent experience. Be mindful when listing work experience; each time you apply for a job, your resume should 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, what recruiters look for in a candidate is what matches their clients’ requirements; but it’s also 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. Working with a recruiter can be the boost you need to stand out amongst the competition. In addition to the benefits described above, there’s no cost to you, so why not? Contact LGC to learn how we can help you find the right job.