How to Be the Ideal Candidate

how to sell yourself to employers

Landing a job isn’t easy. As a job seeker, you’re up against a lot of competition. On average, 118 people apply for a single job, and only about 23 of those candidates may get called for an interview.

The competition has only become fiercer in recent years due to many companies closing or reducing staff due to the impact of the pandemic. That’s why it’s more important than ever that you come across as the ideal candidate when applying for any job.

Five Tips for Being an Ideal Candidate 

You can increase your chances of being the ideal candidate hiring managers are seeking by following these tips.

1. Perfect Your Resume

Your resume is the most important tool in your job-seeking toolbox. It’s your first chance to impress recruiters and hiring managers.

Here’s how you can create an attention-getting resume:

  • Use a standard resume format. These days, resumes are first being scanned by computers (ATS). Using non-standard resume formats or including graphics will cause your resume to be rejected before a human even sees it.
  • Include the right keywords. This will increase the chances of your resume getting past the applicant tracking system.
  • Add a professional summary. A good summary will give the hiring manager a snapshot of who you are and what you will bring to their organization.
  • Make it the right length. Many will tell you that a one-page resume is a must, but if you’re a professional with years of relevant experience and accomplishments, then a two-page resume is fine. Three pages is too long!
  • Proofread. Did you know that 77% of recruiters will reject a candidate outright if they find spelling or grammatical errors in their resume? Make sure your resume is error free before sending it out.
  • Call a professional. Using a professional resume-writing service will guarantee that your resume is the absolute best it can be. And remember, most of your competition is probably using a pro resume writer as well.

Visit Empire Resume’s blog page to learn more about creating an awesome resume.

2. Learn to Love LinkedIn

how to sell yourself to employers

In today’s world, LinkedIn profiles are just as important as resumes when it comes to the job search. Recruiters and hiring managers will absolutely check out your LinkedIn profile. You need to make sure that your profile is as bulletproof as your resume.

The ideal LinkedIn profile should include a professional headshot, a brief summary, your work experience, education, industry awards, and recommendations from colleagues.

In addition, you should show that you are active on the site. Follow companies and thought leaders that you admire. Leave insightful comments on others’ articles or post them to your feed. Write recommendations and reviews for friends and colleagues.

If you need a LinkedIn profile, but don’t know where to start, keep in mind that professional resume writing services like Empire Resume will create a LinkedIn profile along with your resume.

3. Have the Right Experience

This may sound like a no-brainer, but to be an ideal candidate, you should have the right experience for the job.

You don’t have to match every requirement of the job description, but you want to make sure you’re at least an 80% match.

A lot of job seekers view job searching as a numbers game, and decide to apply to as many jobs as possible. There is some logic to that. However, if you apply to jobs you’re obviously not qualified for, then that can lead to you feeling discouraged and burnt out by the process.

For example, you may say something like “I’ve applied to 100 jobs and haven’t heard anything!” But if you were only truly qualified for 25 of those jobs then you wasted your time and caused yourself a lot of unnecessary stress.

Be discerning in your search and only apply for jobs you truly think you have a shot at.

4. Research the Company

how to sell yourself to employers

As an ideal candidate, you should know about the company you want to work for. Do some research about the history of the company, who the founder and CEO are, and where they may stand among competitors.

Take note of any prestigious awards or accolades the company may have received, such as being named to Forbes’ Best Companies to Work for List. Or maybe they’ve made strides in reducing their carbon footprint in recent years.

All of this information can be found on the company’s website and social media pages. Doing a bit of research can go a long way in helping you appear like the ideal candidate. In fact, 47% of recruiters say they would not consider a candidate if they did not know anything about the company.

5. Perfect Your Interview Skills

The ideal candidate knows how to handle an interview with confidence.

Here’s how to come across as your best self in the interview.

  • Dress for success. When you interview, be sure to wear business attire and make sure your hair and nails are neat and clean.
  • Give a warm, confident smile when you greet your interviewer.
  • Maintain eye contact. Nothing says “I’m interested in what you’re saying” more than appropriate eye contact.
  • Be prepared for the typical questions. “What’s your biggest weakness?” “Why did you leave your last job?” “What are your greatest strengths?” Have answers to these questions at the ready.
  • Ask intelligent questions. Be prepared to ask the interviewer questions of your own. “What is the most important skill the person in this role needs to have?” “What are you hoping the person in this role accomplishes in the first six months on the job?”


Be the Candidate Employers Want 

Landing a new job is never easy, but you can use the tips in this article to present yourself to hiring managers and recruiters as the candidate they want to hire.

Empire Resume Will Help You Get Hired

how to sell yourself to employers

We have greater than a 97% success rate landing our clients’ interviews!


Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.


Related Articles: