Kieron O'Connor: A Candidate’s X-Factor

While a candidate may tick all the boxes concerning the technical qualifications and experience required to do a particular job for which he/she has applied, recruiters often look for the candidate's "X-Factor", that something extra that will make them stand out and be more appealing than the other candidates in the running for that particular open position.

The key to this is the candidate's personality. While almost all the time recruiters are looking for people who will be a team player and fit into the existing corporate structure, recruiters are also looking for a particular personality who will work to bring the company forward within the strategic approach adopted by the company. This could be "at the coal face" in terms of business development or equally in a back-office role.

Sometimes recruiters may to looking for a "Steady Eddie" to work in a team and who they believe will put their head down and get on with the job, and be there for a number of years. In other instances, recruiters may be looking for "Fast Eddie" to lead the way and get things done their own way, where (quick) results are paramount. In both cases - and there are certainly variations on these example stereotypes - it is crucial for the candidate to do their homework beforehand to understand what the recruiter is looking for before they customise their curriculum vitae and step into the interview room. This is something that we at KR Recruitment address on the candidate's behalf.

So, apart from having an outward personality and/or one in which will blend into the role identified by the recruiter, what can you do to give yourself the "X-Factor"? Are you active in the community? Do you volunteer your time for a charitable cause? Do you participate in team sports? Or do you mentor others, based on your experience from business or even in sport? Being able to answer Yes to one or two of these will certainly help your cause. On the other hand, if you are seen to be too busy with extra-curricular activities, recruiters may sense that you will never have any time for doing your job that they would be paying you to do.