Ask a Recruiter: How Our Team Finds the Ideal Candidate

Sep 21, 2023

Are you frustrated with your job search and wondering how you can position yourself as the ideal candidate? It’s time to learn from the experts! Our seasoned recruiters have revealed their best tips for owning your space in a competitive job market, from tuning up your LinkedIn profile to nailing your next phone interview.


What makes someone an ideal candidate?

Recruiters review countless applications per day, and it may only take a few seconds for them to determine the candidates they want to move forward with. Increasing your chances of getting your resume in front of a recruiter starts with a resume that is concise and scannable.

What does this mean? Temporary Solutions’ Lead Talent Acquisition Specialist Michael Bonnema suggests formatting your resume using bullet points. Under each job, list no more than six bullets that best describe what you achieved at that workplace. A great resume bullet highlights the value you brought to your past positions. Instead of simply stating your responsibilities, try including numbers to quantify your impact or elaborate on how your duties fit into the bigger picture.

For Temporary Solutions’ Executive Recruitment Consultant Kristopher Quinn (and all recruiting experts), first impressions are everything. He says that professionalism, humility, honesty, and integrity are fundamental traits of an ideal candidate.

Quinn also emphasizes the significance of having a LinkedIn profile. “Without even looking at a resume or work experience, does the LinkedIn profile sell me? We can only make one first impression and some on LinkedIn do not care, where others go above and beyond—I want those folks,” he says.


What features do you look for in a candidate’s LinkedIn profile (beyond their work experience)?

On a basic level, Bonnema says regardless of what details are on a LinkedIn profile, it should be clean and professional. Always check that your information is mistake-free and up to date. This is critical when it comes to the experience section, as recruiters are looking for an accurate representation of your work history.

“I think it’s really cool if you’ve worked for the same employer for 8 years, but it’s frustrating as a recruiter and a candidate if you actually left them 3 years ago and have been involved in a separate line of work”, says Bonnema.

Other attributes of a strong LinkedIn profile include a professional profile picture and a well-written “About” section that contains keywords that pertain to your area of expertise. LinkedIn makes it easy to add projects, certifications, and other accolades to your profile, and Quinn says to take advantage of that. Having recommendations from previous managers or colleagues on your profile can also attract a recruiter’s attention.

While not required, Bonnema recommends selecting the most relevant industry for your experience. For example, while HR may be the most applicable choice for your skillset, consider choosing the industry you currently do HR for such as construction or computer software.


What impresses you the most during a phone or video call with a candidate?

A phone or video screening is often the first step of the hiring process after a recruiter deems you an ideal candidate for the job. It is an opportunity for the recruiter to learn more about you and your experience. It also provides you with a chance to further express interest in the position and gauge if it is the right fit for your employment needs.

One of the easiest ways to impress your recruiter, Bonnema says, is to be on time. Allow yourself 10-15 minutes before the scheduled call to ensure that you have a strong internet connection and a quiet place to complete the screening. When preparing for a video call, test your camera and microphone before joining the meeting.

Bonnema also stresses that a good attitude during the call can go a long way. “Most candidates treat the conversation as extremely transactional. While we are trying to provide you a service, the best way for us to get you the best job is to treat it as a partnership,” he says.

Quinn adds that a candidate must present well on the phone, much like how one would for an in-person interview. During a phone or video call, he is impressed by those who are amiable and articulate. He wants to see that the candidate knows what they want and can concisely communicate that. Researching the company, preparing what you want to say in advance, along with practicing common interview questions beforehand are excellent ways to make sure you ace the call and impress the recruiter.


What’s your best advice for job seekers?

Job searching can come with feelings of uncertainty, which is why it’s important to stay grounded during the process. Bonnema suggests listing out the top three to five things that are most important to you and letting those factors guide your search. If you don’t know where to begin, think about your current situation and what you are hoping to get out of your future job. What gives you a sense of purpose? What are your professional goals?

Now you have the inside scoop on what recruiters are looking for in their ideal candidate, and it could be you! Visit the Temporary Solutions Job Portal or contact our recruiters today.

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