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Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

What skills should you always look for on candidates CVs?

As a recruitment specialist we work with all manner of industries, clients and candidates.

There are of course very different skills required for each role but over the years we’ve found

some skills that you should always look for on candidates CVs. Read on to find out more!


Communication is a key part of any workplace. Failing to communicate or miscommunicating

can cause a huge array of problems.

Look for ways in which candidates demonstrate their communication skills in their CV – are

their sentences clear? Is their grammar correct? Do they demonstrate situations in previous roles or hobbies that would demand good communication?  Captain of teams, members of committees, public speaking or similar interests.


A disorganised person can often have a ripple effect on a business. They’ll run late, miss

deadlines and forget important tasks. Someone who has excellent organisation skills will

make everyone’s jobs easier and help your company to grow – you’ll be able to trust them

with important projects, they’ll be able to work to tight deadlines and prioritize tasks.

We find it’s often quite easy to spot poor organisation skills throughout the recruitment

process. Does the candidate take a long time to reply to emails and return phone calls?  Do they change plans at the last minute?  You should also ask your recruiter about how they have found dealing with their candidate.

Problem solving

Problem solving is a valuable skill for any role. An employee with excellent problem solving

skills will be able define goals, assess alternatives and evaluate situations.

At some point in the recruitment process it’s important to ask applicants to describe a time in

their career when they have identified a problem along with an effective solution in order to

overcome said problem.


It’s likely that you’re looking for a candidate who’s very well suited to a particular role.

However, throughout their career with your business there’ll often be occasions when an

employee needs to be able to adapt. Perhaps they’ll need to help another team member with

their projects or take on a new task as part of their role as your business grows. The last

thing you want to hear from an employee is ‘I can’t do that it’s not part of my job description.’  Ask the candidate to give a detailed response to a situation when they have had ot react to a situation in the workplace or outside, that wasn’t strictly speaking their responsibility, and how they managed it, and what the outcomes where in the short and longer term.

At Nicholas Howard we can screen to these above factors as part of our candidate interview process, and include our findings on our candidate presentation document -0 contact us now to find out how we can do this and more to add value to your recruitment support.

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