[Image] Magnifying glass hovering over candidate resumes (What Do Employers Look For in Executive Candidates?)

Experience isn’t the only aspect that employers look for when it comes to hiring. Having worked with clients for over 50 years, Bristol understands the complex wants and needs of employers searching to fill a role at their company. It takes the right mix of experience, skill, personality, and fit within company culture for a candidate to land an executive position. Our seasoned recruiters share their insight regarding what employers commonly look for when searching for executive candidates.

One of the first impressions candidates make on employers is their resume. It is important for this document to be precise and free of typos, in order to even be considered for a position. Beyond aesthetics, a tenured work history is essential to presenting an outstanding resume. While it is understandable for a candidate to have explored various opportunities throughout their career, it is a red flag if they show the inability to settle into a position for an extended period of time. Another attribute employers look for is career progression. Having a resume that shows advancement implies that you are someone who enjoys overcoming challenges and strives for growth. Alternatively, on paper, it can raise concerns if the applicant has recently accepted roles with less responsibility and/or a lower title from their previous jobs. A final resume tip Bristol’s recruiters point out is that candidates should include their accomplishments in a quantifiable manner, in order to stand out from their competition. Numbers are your friends. Exaggeration is not recommended, and will often backfire.

In addition to work experience, employers take into account education, certifications, extracurricular interests and community involvement. Highlighting this information to employers demonstrates a passion and personality outside of one’s qualifications. Impress your readers and separate yourself from the pack by providing specific examples of your social skills and leadership abilities outside of the office.

If a candidate receives an interview, the employer will ask a series of questions that not only show how qualified they are for the position, but also determine if they will be a good fit for their company culture. Some of the more prevalent qualities that Bristol’s recruiters have noted employers look for in executive candidates include:

  • Adaptability
  • Confidence
  • Conscientiousness
  • Flexibility
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Motivation to learn and grow
  • Positive Attitude
  • Reliability
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Team Player

These insights from Bristol’s recruiters provide a deeper understanding of what employers commonly look for in applicants. Knowing this, candidates can reflect on these factors and prepare for a job search ahead of time. They can determine which of their skills can be improved upon, what strengths they already possess, and how to showcase themselves as a valuable asset to a company. By following these tips, a determined executive will be able to stand out from other qualified peers and enhance their odds of receiving a job offer.


Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital/healthcare, hotels/resorts, travel/tourism/attractions, facilities/concessions, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

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