Wednesday 25th of November 2020

Become the perfect job applicant

Most job seekers wish they could unlock the secret formula to winning the hearts and minds of employers. What, they wonder, is that unique combination of skills and values that make employers salivate with excitement? 

sarah huntley

Sarah Huntley, MD of Equine Elite Recruitment, guides us through the certain traits employers look for in the ideal job seeker when recruiting.

While we’re not born with every desired trait, it’s imperative we gain these attributes as we continue in our career and, subsequently, during our next job search.

You should remember that no job applicant is perfect, though each and every one should strive for consistent improvement. With that being said, recruiters and employers alike will prioritise hiring job seekers who can be described as having the following five traits:

Competency – In simple terms, be good at what you do. You don’t have to be the most experienced candidate, but if you are thorough in your job, don’t cut corners and work to the best of your ability, this will stand you in good stead when looking for a new role. In addition to your character and personality, your level of competence will be the single most important factor in determining your success in your career. The importance of continually striving to upgrade your levels of competence cannot be emphasised enough.

Credibility – Credibility is made up of reputation and your character, and has been shown to be the most important single quality about an individual in terms of getting recommendations and referrals from your contacts. In a small industry like the equine industry, reputation is everything – both for job seekers and for employers. The majority of employers will require references from a previous role – and if you cannot provide these, it is unlikely you would be offered a job. Ensure you consistently maintain the highest of standards in both your professional and personal life – and never say or do anything that could be misconstrued by anyone as anything other than excellent conduct and behaviour

Integrity – Probably the most important single quality for long-term success in life and at work. Integrity can be defined as ‘the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles’. It is no surprise that employees with integrity shine. They do not undermine their fellow workers, work just as hard whether they are being watched or not, and can always be counted on to do their best, and will be honest enough to admit it if they have made mistakes. They are an inspiration to others, creating a positive and upbeat work environment.

Likeability – Employers like people who are warm, friendly and cooperative with others. They are looking for people who can join the team and be part of their work family. Studies have shown that individuals with good personalities are invariably more popular and effective at what they do. Being able to work as part of a team is nearly always required in a job – even if it a sole-charge role, being able to communicate effectively with the yard owner is essential. When applying for a new role, show how you have worked well in a team in the past and your willingness to work with others in the future.

Willingness to learn – In order to increase your levels of competence it is important to view learning as a career-long process. If you know you lack skills in certain areas – e.g., clipping – and a potential new role requires this skill, then take the initiative and either teach yourself how to do it, or enlist an instructor or knowledgeable friend to assist you. Practise makes perfect, so be patient and dedicated, and before long you’ll be a pro! Furthermore, sometimes a new skill / qualification can be hugely beneficial. For example – obtaining an HGV licence. If you’re working as a groom, this skill will increase your employability hugely – and if you’re working as a competition groom – you will make yourself invaluable!

Personality traits are difficult to demonstrate on a CV, so it’s important to really make them shine through during the interview. The best way to express your personality is to simply be yourself. From there, the employer — and, just as important, you — can evaluate if your traits are a match for the workplace and your potential colleagues. If you’re a great fit, it will be apparent. If you’re not, it will also be apparent. The most important thing to remember when walking into an interview is that it is completely two-sided — you’re interviewing the employer as much as they are interviewing you.

Good luck! Check out our current vacancies HERE – or if you need some advice as to where to start your job search, give us a call on 07907 794196 or drop us an email to

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