I’m a Career Coach — This ‘It’ Factor Instantly Makes Me Want to Hire a Candidate

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 14, 2024 at 10:53AM UTC

“When you're looking for a job, you need to have the 'it' factor.”

That’s according to Jackie Ghedine, a career coach for Gen X women. 

But what, exactly, is that “it” factor?

When you’re going on interviews, like it or not, the hard, technical skills and know-how simply aren’t enough. They might get you in the door, but the soft skills — critical thinking, strong communication, problem-solving and so on — that will push you over the top and make you stand out among other qualified candidates.

“When I ran a media company, I was interviewing people all the time,” Ghedine said. “I remember 'them,' the candidates I had to have. I wasn't settling. I wasn't making an offer out of interview fatigue. I had to have them. You see, when that happened, there was a tremendous shift in power, away from the organization and in favor of the candidate.”

Now that Ghedine is a career coach, she’s helping others attain that critical quality — the thing that will make them sought-after in the job world.

“It is the way they show up, self-assured and engaged,” she explained. “It is how they articulate their skills and separate themselves from the pack of candidates. It is the conviction in which they know, without a doubt, they'll impact my bottom line. It is likeability, an approachableness, an ease.”

While there is no one right or wrong definition of what makes an exemplary candidate, these are certainly words that will serve you well as you head into interviews. You can practice being confident and self-assured. Even if you don’t feel those qualities now, you can fake it 'til you make it.

“There is no reason to keep foundering through interviews, hoping to be picked by a boy to dance,” Ghedine said. “YOU are magnificent. You get to choose who to dance with.”

About the Career Expert:

 Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and The Haven.

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