How to Become a More Valuable Job Candidate

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - September 24, 2018
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Searching for the perfect job can be challenging, but there are ways to make the process easier. With some thought and preparation, you can make yourself a more valuable job candidate that stands out from other applicants:

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#1 Meet All Job Requirements

Just getting into the door for a good job opportunity in business requires technical competence. To be a candidate for a position, you must show that you meet the listed requirements for the job. But note that this vetting often happens before you even get the interview. So, your resume and Linkedin profile should clearly list all of the job skills and technical requirements that are requested in the job listing.

#2 Have the Correct Perspective

You should have a good understanding of the unique perspective or angle that you want to sell before you sit down for the interview. If you are coming from another company in the same field or industry, you should bring a bigger picture point of view on the opportunities and challenges in the industry, major chances in technology or some of the skills that will be in demand in that field in the future.

For example, blockchain technology is one of the biggest innovations in financial transactions in recent years. It is a digitized, decentralized public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. If you are applying for a job in a financial company that is integrating blockchain technology to reduce trading bottlenecks, you should understand how blockchain can help the company in this situation. Blockchain can provide complete transparency to both parties in a financial transaction to reduce the cost of letters of credit transactions, as there is no need for a third party to verify the transaction. Blockchain technology also can really cut the time necessary to settle a financial transaction because there is no intermediary involved.

Another example is if you are going from one consulting company to another. You should have a detailed opinion ready on trends that you have seen with corporate clients recently. What are the services that they most want? Is there a trend to pay more or less for certain services.

#3 Offer Additional Skills

Your basic level technical skills are probably want got you in the door for the interview. If you have a chance to guide the interview at all, try to mention on one or two other specialized, relevant skills that complement the basic requirements.

For example, if you are an excellent writer and are trying to get a developer job, perhaps you did not highlight writing skills on your resume, but the hiring manager and your potential supervisor could be very interested. Also, having skills in building diverse teams and in cultural competence are highly attractive to most employers. As you respond to the interviewer’s questions, mention examples of how you would bring those additional skills into your job.

#4 Offer Fantastic References

Many job candidates only think about references after they have received a conditional job offer. But you should be thinking about references much earlier in the job search process. By taking time to seek out good references well in advance of the interview, you can ensure that each person fully understands you, the career path you are on and vital points to cover when the employers calls them. You might ask each reference if they will give you a short reference that you can post on your Linkedin profile.

#5 Remember Previous Interviews

The hiring process for most jobs today involves several interviews. The best and valuable job candidates remember what they heard at earlier interviews. They integrate what they learned and heard into later interviews. A hiring manager can be disheartened if he meets what seems to be a great job candidate in the first interview, but the person then seems to forget everything that was covered before when the second interview is done.

#6 Be Meticulous With Communication

The most valuable job candidates are highly meticulous in how they communicate before and after the interview. They will respond to emails and voicemails quickly – in at least one business day. You also should follow up after a job interview with a personalized thank you note that you send by mail or email. The thank you note will extend the conversation from the interview, and will hopefully keep you in mind as the top candidate for the hiring manager. A properly written thank you note can seal the deal and get you the job, so make sure that you spend enough time on this.

#7 Give Detailed Answers to Interview Questions

As a valuable job candidate, you should never answer an interview question with a thoughtless answer. If the hiring manager asks you what most interests you about the job, you should not say ‘It is a business development manager job, and I’m a business development manager.’ You should go deeper than that. You might say that you were looking on Linkedin and you saw that several people in your network were business development managers at the company and were later promoted. You like being a business development manager, but are interested in the possibility of growing into other roles later.

#8 Research the Employer

It essential as a strong job candidate to perform extensive research on the company before your job interview. In fact, some experts recommend spending two or three hours researching a company before every interview. Spending that kind of time learning about the company’s business often will pay off with a job offer, because many candidates do not bother.

#9 Be Seen

If you have a specific type of expertise, such as software development, you may be more likely to get a good job opportunity by networking than by replying to help wanted ads. Recruiters and hiring managers for many positions may ask people around them who they know that have the needed skills in software development. Asking for referrals is a major way that many companies find the best candidates.

For your name to come up, you need to have a network that is plugged into hiring managers and recruiters in that industry. To do so, you should be attending conferences and various professional events to do face to face networking. Follow up and stay in contact with your old colleagues even when you switch jobs. You need to be out there as a thought leader in that job specialty.

Being able to make yourself stand out during the hiring process and interview can make you not just a good candidate; it can make you the only candidate if you do it right. In doing so, you are solving two problems — for the company and for yourself. You are making the job of the hiring manager easier so there is a greater possibility of getting a job offer.


  • Why Being Different Is Better When You Are Looking for a Great Job. (2016). Retrieved from
  • 10 Things Outstanding Job Candidates Do Differently. (2017). Retrieved from
  • Five Ways to Become the Job Candidate Recruiters Want to Poach. (2018). Retrieved from
  • 3 Biggest Fintech Trends for 2018. (2018). Retrieved from

Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

"It doesn't matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once." - Mark Cuban