No, this isn’t a piece about that ‘talent’ contest on the television, but it’s a relevant phrase in this case. The ‘x’ factor is often the term used to describe the one particular asset or ability that makes someone or something stand out from the crowd above all the others, making a real difference to the task.
Whether it’s a footballer who can beat three defenders with one small touch of the ball or an employee who can bring something that nobody else can, we’ve all got something that makes us ‘special’ or unique, but have we got what employers are looking for? Everyone can browse through www.jobstoday.co.uk looking for a new job, but with dozens of others also applying you need to make sure that you’ve got something extra that sets you apart from all the others.
With so many applications for the same position and all kinds of people with all kinds of qualifications sending their CVs to the employer, you need to show them what makes you stand out. One way of doing this is to show them that you’ve got some kind of knowledge of the industry and that business in particular. You don’t necessarily have to have spent years working in that industry specifically, but showing that you have a qualification in it, maybe some work experience placements or having done some research could stand you in a good position to nail an interview, second interview or even the position if you can explain your knowledge and suggestions well enough. Don’t tell them what they already know, show them you can help to take the firm forward with your existing knowledge and ideas.
Organisation is another key asset that employers look for in their staff. With all kinds of deadlines in place and demands from individual clients and customers, you need to show that you can not only manage your time but manage it effectively enough to still get the job done to the appropriate standards and expectations. This isn’t always easy and can make the difference between an employee who works their way through the company, and one who remains at the same level or ends up leaving for pastures new where there are less expectations.
Employers also want to see their staff showing that they’re willing to go the extra mile and get themselves, and others, motivated even if they’re not leading a team. Coming in with a positive attitude and a willingness to succeed and help others to develop is something all businesses want from their staff and it will have benefits in terms of morale and performance.
Researching the company and some of their latest product releases or news articles will put you in a great position to show you’ve taken a real interest as opposed to a brief glance ahead of your interview or application. Increasing numbers of businesses utilize the power of social media to reach out to their audience so find out what this employer has been saying, releasing and writing so that you can discuss the various topics in your interview; or even approach certain members of staff directly through the social networks by getting involved in a conversation about their latest blog post or their opinion on a specific topic. It shows initiative, another key asset.