You wake up just like you do every morning and get ready for work. You grab your cup of coffee, get in the car and head into your office. You sit down in your cubicle, read through your e-mails. Your boss wants you to get a report ready by noon. Your wife wants to remind you about your dinner party Saturday night. Okay. You read on. Yada, yada, yadda. Now wait! What is that e-mail?!! “Hi, my name is Will Thomson, and I am the corporate recruiter for Rosetta Stone. I saw your Linkedin Profile and would like to talk to you”. You may ask yourself, “What just happened?”.

Candidates, this is my life. I am a corporate recruiter. My job is to find you. Earlier this year, I wrote a guest post which you can read here that talks about how recruiters will find you.  So now you know you are being looked for. It is no secret.  In these times, no job is permanent. If a public company has a few bad quarters, you are dispensable. If the economy starts going south, the company “has to make difficult decisions”. Believe me when I say to you, it is in your best interest to always be a passive candidate even if you are 100% happy.

Let’s talk about what happens next. Hopefully I have convinced you that you SHOULD BE a passive candidate. You have cleaned up your social media presence and you are FOUND. Here are 5 things that we look for that you may or may not know that should help you become more attractive to a prospective employer.

1) Your reputation. Since we are “detectives” we want to know what your co-workers, former bosses, former co-workers have to say about you. Sometimes we may ask someone in our network that knows your former boss to do a little detective work for us. If you have great work skills, but awful people skills, then we probably will pass. If you have crossed someone in your past, try to make amends. Never burn a bridge. EVER. If you do, try to reconcile it. You may get through the first couple of interviews, but you won’t get hired.

2) Your Growth. Some people like staying at the same company for years. I have friends that have been at companies for 20 years. I have other friends that switch jobs every couple of years. The important thing here is not to do the SAME thing for an extended period of time. Take on new responsibilities. Grow as an individual. If you are with the same company in the same role for 10 years, that IS LOOKED AS A NEGATIVE. If you have had 5 different roles and your career progresses with the same company, WE WANT YOU!

3) Your Beautiful Mind. I don’t care if you are 20 or 50. Can you do what the job requires? This is why it is SO IMPORTANT to stay current. Take continuing education courses, get certifications. Read. Be a sponge. Get involved with meetup groups. If you did COBOL in the 80’s, I could care less. If you can develop iOS apps now, I WANT YOU regardless of age. If you don’t, I’ll find someone else. Companies are now looking for the best and the brightest. Are you in that category? If not, do something about it!

4) Your Peers. You are who you hang out with. There are some great people in this world and there are some not so great people in this world. If you work for a company that compromises your integrity and you “drink their Kool-Aid”, we don’t want you. Make a change quick. You don’t want to be pigeonholed in this scenario.

5) Your Attitude.  I want someone who makes me feel excited about change. Excited about technology. Excited about the weather. Excited about anything! Leave your negativity at the door. When you are negative, you are going to be poorly viewed another candidate will be chosen!

What traits of a passive candidate do you exhibit?

Are you ready to become a passive candidate?

This post originally appeared on Marc Millers Career Pivot website