What to Look for in a Candidate’s Job Application

EMPLOYERS, Interview tips, TIPS   25 September 2023

Top 5 things to look for in a CV

In today’s competitive job market, finding the right candidate for a position can be challenging. As a recruiter, you want to ensure that you’re hiring someone who will not only perform their duties effectively but also contribute positively to your company culture and growth. What should employers look for in a candidate’s job application? These are the top 5 things to consider.

1. Relevant Skills and Experience

The first thing that should catch your eye when reviewing a candidate’s job application is their relevant skills and experience. This includes both hard skills (specific, teachable abilities such as software proficiency or foreign language fluency) and soft skills (interpersonal attributes like communication, problem-solving, and teamwork).

Look for candidates who have demonstrated these skills in previous roles or projects. For instance, if you’re hiring for a project management role, you might look for experience with project planning tools or evidence of successful team leadership.

2. Educational Background

While it’s true that many successful individuals didn’t follow the traditional educational route, education still plays a crucial role in shaping a person’s knowledge base and skill set. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the educational background of your potential employees.

However, don’t just focus on the degree or institution name; look at what they studied and how it relates to the job they’re applying for. A candidate with a degree in an unrelated field but with relevant work experience could still be a strong contender.

3. Cultural Fit

Cultural fit is another critical factor when considering what employees should look for in a candidate’s job application. This doesn’t mean hiring people who are all alike; instead, it means finding candidates who share your company’s values and will thrive in your specific work environment.

To gauge cultural fit from an application, pay attention to how candidates describe their ideal work environment or how they’ve adapted to different company cultures in the past. Their answers can give you insight into whether they would mesh well with your team.

4. Potential for Growth

Hiring is not just about filling an immediate need; it’s also about investing in the future of your company. Therefore, the potential for growth is something employers should consider when reviewing job applications.

Does the candidate show ambition? Are they eager to learn new things? Do they have long-term career goals that align with your company’s direction? These are all signs of potential growth that could benefit your organisation down the line.

5. Attention to Detail

Finally, pay close attention to how well-crafted the application is itself – this can tell you a lot about a candidate’s professionalism and attention to detail. Spelling errors or sloppy formatting may indicate carelessness, while personalised cover letters show effort and an interest in your specific company.


Good Hiring = Growth

There is a combination of soft and hard skills that should be assessed in a candidate’s job application – relevant skills and experience, educational background, cultural fit, potential for growth and attention to detail stand out as key factors. Are there any that we haven’t covered?

Every hire is an investment into the future of the company; therefore making informed decisions based on these factors can help ensure that you pick the talent for your company, who will work well with others and drive success within your organisation. If you do need help with checking through CV’s to find the right one contact us to discuss how we can help make that easier for you.


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