Green Flags that recruiters look for in candidates

What are the Top Candidate Green Flags in Hiring?

We all know the red flags that recruiters may be on the lookout for while trying to place candidates. Someone who lies about their experience, or has poor references, or is flat-out rude in conversation... truly, those are just a few of the deterrents for recruiters. But what about the green flags that recruiters are looking for? And how can you be sure you’ll be one of those attractive candidates that recruiters will reach out to? Here are a few tips to make your professional profiles green-flag-worthy.

A Clear, Scannable Resume and Portfolio

Whether a recruiter stumbles upon your resume laid out on Linkedin or finds a PDF on your personal website, every iteration of your resume needs to be scannable and clear. We’re talking about concise, clear bullet points for each place of employment. Bonus points if you’re able to showcase easy statistics on how you directly helped each company reach any milestones. Remember, too, that this resume should sound like you, coming from your voice—so simplified, clear sentences in your resume (and all other communications) will indicate that you’re a great communicator, too. As for your portfolio, put your best and most advanced work first in a clear presentation. Fancy animations or odd formats might make it hard for recruiters to pass along your work to potential clients. And always reach out to an honest friend or colleague to get a second pair of eyes on your resume and portfolio. If you’re having trouble with the revamp, hire a professional that you trust to work on your resume with you. After all, you’ll want to know how your resume appears to others so there’s no reason to do any resume revamping alone.

Growth and Adaptability in Your Experience

While longevity is a great hallmark of someone who can stick around to solve problems, many recruiters will also be looking for growth and adaptability, too. If you’re able to demonstrate growth with clear advancement (like leadership skills or cutting-edge software knowledge), that signals to the recruiter that you’re serious and have grown with the positions you’ve taken. Adaptability is another green flag for recruiters—do you demonstrate that you’ve come across challenges and adapted by learning new strategies, new software, or a new industry? Or have you turned uninteresting projects into personal triumphs? Growth and adaptability can be showcased through your resume, portfolio, and even your cover letter if you make them your focal point while writing and formatting each section.

A Team Player Mentality

Recruiters will always look for empathetic, team-oriented people, and you can show this personality trait through your resume and case study writing. In addition, you’re the type of person who can admit they can’t do everything—that they need help and value teams of diverse thought. Show that you’re the type of team player who clearly loves putting their brains together with others to solve problems. You can display this trait in your resume by naming the departments and people (by job title) that you directly worked with to achieve daily tasks and complete projects. Another way you can demonstrate a team-player mentality is by networking with coworkers you trust in swapping recommendation write-ups for your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters will love seeing that you understand there is no “I” in team. They’ll also love hearing about these traits from your strong network before they even reach out to you!

TLDR; the green flags that most recruiters will look for are clear communication, growth, adaptability, and a team-oriented, humble person. By making these traits the focal points of your resume, profiles, portfolios, and cover letters, you’ll have a better chance of a recruiter reaching out to you. Of course, there are ways of reaching out to recruiters professionally instead of waiting around for recruiters to discover you. In the end, you’ll have to rely on two-way communication to find your next dream job.

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