Two men sitting across from each other at a desk for a job interview
Two men sitting across from each other at a desk for a job interview

When companies seek the perfect candidate to fill an open position, there are specific traits employers look for that set candidates apart and significantly increase their chances of landing the job. To help you succeed in your job search, we’ve compiled a list of essential traits and qualities employers look for to help you land that coveted dream job:

  1. Meet the Minimum Job Criteria: Ensure you meet the basic requirements outlined in the job description to be considered a viable candidate. These specifications are the foundation for building your resume; position yourself as a promising candidate by making sure your skills meet the job criteria.
  2. Relevant Experience: Highlighting your experience and the skills that directly align with the role you’re applying for is crucial. Showcasing a track record of measurable success in similar positions and demonstrating traits employers look for will give you a direct advantage over other candidates.
  3. Alignment with Organization’s Mission: Embrace the company’s values and demonstrate your understanding of its mission by giving examples of how you can support its values and goals. Showing your enthusiasm for their causes can make a compelling argument for your candidacy.
  4. Providing Specific Examples: Back up your qualifications with examples showing your ability to excel at the job you apply for. Including examples of measurable accomplishments adds depth to your resume and showcases your ability to work effectively in different settings, one of the top qualities employers look for!
  5. Competent Communication: Connecting with your interview audience and displaying competent communication skills will help you articulate your value to the employer. Your written and verbal communication skills during the application and interview process will convey your value to the hiring team.
  6. Confident Interviewing: The interview is your opportunity to showcase your knowledge. Acing the interview by projecting confidence, providing well-thought-out responses to interview questions, and asking pointed questions will leave a lasting impression on the hiring team.
  7. Building Rapport: Beyond qualifications and experience, building rapport during the interview is crucial. Demonstrating resourcefulness, intellect, and genuine passion for the role can create a positive connection with the hiring manager. Remember, a personal connection can play a role in their final decision!
  8. Asking Thoughtful Questions: Exhibit your interest in the organization by asking well-researched and relevant questions that reflect your preparation. Research shows when you do your homework and ask good questions it comes across as genuine engagement and enthusiasm, demonstrating your investment in the company–a major trait employers look for.
  9. Enthusiastic References: Offer references that attest to your enthusiasm and work ethic. Positive endorsements from previous supervisors can reinforce your candidacy and give hiring managers added confidence in your abilities!
  10. Growth and Development: Employers look for and value candidates with continuous learning and professional development qualities. Highlight ongoing education, certifications or training that showcase your commitment to personal growth within the organization.
  1. Likability: While possessing the right qualifications is vital, one critical factor can make a difference: your likability. How you connect with the receptionist, hiring manager, and anyone else you meet during the interview process is essential. A candidate who may be slightly less qualified could secure the job because they had better chemistry with the hiring manager. It’s important to remember that being likable is yet another invaluable trait employers look for when interviewing candidates!

When applying for jobs, try to keep these traits in mind in order to leave the hiring manager with the best possible impression and a higher likelihood of getting the job. If you are beginning your job hunt, check out our job listings and reach out to one of our recruiters at resumes@whitmanjobs.com to get started with your career search.

Julie Lindgren, President, Whitman Associates, Inc.

Julie Lindgren is the President of Whitman Associates, Inc. and has over 25 years of staffing experience. Julie brings a wealth of insight and knowledge to the staffing sector and has built many longstanding relationships with industries and individuals throughout the DC area.