X-factor? What? Isn’t that that singing show on TV?
X-factors aren’t usually discussed a lot in the recruiting world because a lot of people don’t identify it as something related to recruitment, but you’ll be surprised at how relevant it is!
Why is it noteworthy?
Like the TV show, we define an x-factor to be that special ‘something’ that makes someone stand out, that makes them unique. In terms of job-seeking and graduate recruitment, we believe it is the key to your resume, your cover letter, and what you should say during your interview as well. Why? Essentially, it answers all the important questions in recruitment:
Who are you? Are you suitable for our company? Why are you unique? Why our company? What are your strengths?
Choosing your x-factor
Although the x-factor isn’t something complex, it may take a lot of time and self-reflection. However, once you’ve decided on it, it will really help streamline your thinking process, making resume, cover letter, online questions and the interview much less stressful. One quick warning however, make sure you have lots of scenarios you can use to back up your x-factor!
In the infographic, we’ve split x-factors into two categories: activity-based and personality-based. Activity-based factors show the employer what you’re passionate about; whereas personality-based factors help exemplify how you may act in a work-environment.
However, even though we’ve made the distinction between the two, it doesn’t mean you have to pick one or the other! In fact, it’s a good idea to pick one of both and join them together. For example, I am constantly curious and question everything, and love to travel!
Phrased this way, the synergies (or links) between the two factors can give you even more to talk about! For the above example, during the interview you can talk about all the places you’ve travelled, and how you know a lot of interesting trivia about many landmarks and cities because you often bombard your tour guide with questions.
We understand that personality-based x-factors are generally harder to pinpoint, so here are some ideas:
- Are you more of a shy person who prefers chipping in from the sidelines?
X-factor: a team-player who is sensitive to everyone’s opinions.
- Do you prefer working by yourself?
X-factor: an autonomous worker with a strong sense of responsibility towards work.
- Always super excited about wacky ideas?
X-factor: an persistent go-getter who is a strong advocator of innovative ideas.
Applying your x-factor to the recruitment process
After you’ve got your x-factor, all you need to do is showcase and explain why it means you’re the student fit for the job! Taking the first example, here’s how you would answer typical questions and appeal to recruiters:
Q: Why our company?
A: Your company places a large emphasis on respect for the individual. That is exactly what I am about: I believe that everyone has good ideas, and by being receptive to all my team-members, I can build on their opinions and improve the quality of the service we provide to clients. I think that discrimination based on race, gender or even an individual’s past performance is unwarranted, because it is thanks to the team diversity that makes us able to arrive at the best solutions.
Q: What are your strengths?
A: I am very receptive to everyone’s opinions and like seeking all views before making decisions. I don’t jump to conclusions, and am able to keep a cool head in heated situations. People often think that I am a very good listener, and that I generally provide helpful insight that directly addresses their issues. There was one time when a team member complained to me about another team member, and instead of directly confronting the other team member, I had a civilised conversation with them and realised it was all a big misunderstanding.
As x-factors become more well-known in the recruitment world, showcasing your x-factor as a straight-forward alternative to the traditional executive/skills summary will definitely make you stand out, fast! Which is why at TGA Graduate, we have given you the option to showcase your x-factor on your infographic resume.
Being aware of your x-factor can make a definite difference to your application. What do you think your x-factor is?
Please head on over to TGA Graduate to download today!
UC Grad Recruiter