10 Traits of The Ideal Candidate in 2021
By Sydney Ingrassia and Lynn Hazan
If you’re driven, dedicated, and determined – you’re already halfway there. This year has taught us that it is hard to anticipate the future. That’s why we think being an ideal candidate in 2021 means being mindful and dynamic. Here are our top 10 job seeker traits:
- Naturally Curious.
There is more to your career than what you do from 9-5. The naturally curious candidate doesn’t clock in, and forget about the job when it’s time to clock out. You stay on top of what’s new and innovative because you care deeply and holistically. Then, you can apply that spirit to your profession and never get bored.
- Committed to Continuous Lifelong Learning.
Henry Ford said: “Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
What are your individual interests: professional growth, arts, family life? What gets you fired up? How do you stay interested in life? It is easy to be a lifelong learner if you focus on what you care about. The list is endless – it doesn’t have to be industry related.
Reading is an excellent habit. It teaches us about human nature, history, and patterns.
If you want to be a writer, reading is especially important. Being exposed to good content strengthens your own ability to write.
Reading helps nurture your brain and your soul. When you read, you connect with the author. Those “aha” moments teach us about each other and ourselves.
- Follows News.
Ideal candidates treasure and understand their worlds. To do that, you need to follow the news, daily.
Being disciplined about the news cycle allows you to see the development of stories, track what is trending, and what will be trending next.
These habits help make you a more discerning and thoughtful person. You will learn the difference between fact and fiction, be a more effective communicator, and a better writer.
- Up to Date on Industry Trends.
No matter what business you are in, strive to be an expert. The changes we saw in the past year showed us the absolute necessity of being a leader in your niche. Watching trends is important. You must anticipate the needs of your audience before your competitors do.
Candidates who can adapt to industry trends become “resource people.” If you can be an idea generator, you create demand for your talent.
- Participates in Professional/Industry/Trade Associations.
This tells employers that a candidate is committed to the profession and growing within it. Associations provide continuous education, peer-to-peer support, and leadership development opportunities.
As a recruiter for 36 years, Lynn has always looked for these traits in candidates. She knows these traits make the best employees!
- Cares About The Next Generation of Talent.
“Mentoring is the human part of what we do – I love seeing our interns grow.” – Lynn Hazan, LH&A President
Being a mentor/mentee is not just about professional growth – it is very personal. For Lynn, her mentees are candidates she comes to feel very proud of. She often places them in new jobs. Many of her past interns become clients!
- Pays It Forwards.
We all have a duty to give back to our communities, and recognize how they have helped us.
Reflect on the good experiences you’ve had and how you have grown. Ideal candidates know they have a duty to share their talents. When you contribute your strengths, society thrives.
- Committed to a Healthy Lifestyle.
Take personal responsibility for your own health and welfare. Mind, body, and spirit are all connected.
A healthy balance helps prepare you for what life might throw at you. If you take on this commitment, you have a stronger capacity to handle challenges.
You can use the tools at home and work to help you function. Family time could help you stay grounded. A walk with coworkers during lunch can clear your head. Lynn exercises every morning to help set the tone for the day. These holistic methods of self care make you a more dynamic contributor.
- Practices Kindness.
Bring kindness and joy to the professional space. Kindness is the foundation of any strong relationship.
As a professional, use kindness and joy to humanize the workspace. Remember we work with people.
Being the ideal candidate is beyond the perfect resume and the most niche skills. Being an ideal candidate means being a productive team member, and one who is committed to personal and professional growth.