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Employment Tips

What Employers Look For in a Candidate
By:Tanya Willette

We are all afraid of the unknown and one of the biggest anxieties individuals face is the job interview. Employers aren't always sure what will walk through their door and candidates aren't always sure what they are walking into. Now, I can't help employers but I can help you!

When I asked employers what things they look for in a candidate, from searching to selecting and interviewing to hiring, these were the most common responses:

Mistakes and Errors

This primarily applies to the resume. If you can't spell your name right, fail to include important information or are including too much "fluff," this may hurt you.

Gaps in Education or Career

It isn't the end of the world if you have a gap in your resume. What is important is whether or not you can justify the gap.

Confidence and Its Source

If you are confident in your abilities, why? If you are not confident in your abilities, why not?

Expressions and Body Language

Don't worry, employers take into account nervousness. Just because you look to the right or are twirling the tissue into a million pieces on your lap does not mean you won't get the job! Keep in mind, the only one who knows you are nervous is you; act confident and present yourself as being confident and you will be seen as confident!

Enthusiasm and Energy Level

Do you really want the job? How bad do you want the job? An interview doesn't just assess whether you are capable of doing the work; it assesses whether you want to be there and how much you will contribute.

Interview Attire

This is an often underestimated topic. What you where isn't a representation of who you are, it is a representation of who you want to be. I am sure you have heard of the term, "dress for success." Dress for the job you want, dress for the position you crave, dress for who you want to be. If you are interviewing for a position in the customer service industry but show up in a belly shirt and tight jeans, what does that say about you? That you don't care? That you are unable to analyze a situation? That you are not an independent thinker?


It is important to be who you are instead of trying to be someone you are not. Every company has a culture and if you are a good fit for their culture, you will be happy at that job; if you are a bad fit for their culture, chances are you won't be there long. You want to go to work happy and they want you to leave work happy.

Comprehension, Listening Skills and Articulation

In sum, do you really know what you are doing? Do you know why you are doing it? Do you know how to explain what you are doing to others? Do you listen and learn or do you talk and ignore?

Long Term Goals and Objectives

Where do you want to be in five years? How do you plan on getting there? Are you working just to get by or do you really love what you do? Is this a temporary fix or a permanent solution?


They don't look into whether or not you have them, they already know you do. They are looking into your ability to acknowledge your weaknesses and what steps you are taking to improve on them.

Tanya Willette, http://www.inovahire.com

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