Last week I was perusing Facebook when I came across a post from a magazine I had applied to work for. The post was introducing the person who was hired to fill the position I had applied for.
More curious than anything, I clicked on the link that would introduce me to the winning candidate. The position was for an online communications manager with a women’s outdoor/adventure magazine. Responsibilities included blogging, managing social media and managing the website. Let’s take a little peek at the victor’s credentials, shall we?
First of all, she is a web designer. Nothing out of the ordinary, but that seems like a key position for someone to have held if they want a job managing someone’s website. She already beat me, there. She also lived in Russia as a journalist for eight years. Oh, and while there, she was part of a vocal jazz group with nine Russian guys. They recorded multiple records and toured Europe. Which means that she’s traveled all over Europe, plus Mexico, the Caribbean and much of the United States. And one final kicker: She loves skiing and was married on a mountain at a ski resort, decked out in her ski gear.
After reading this, all I could think was wow. Just, wow.
You’d think I’d be discouraged after reading something like that. After all, if this is what all of my job competition is like, you can count me out of the game entirely. But I actually felt inspired and a little humbled after reading this woman’s bio. I was reminded of how young I am and of how much I still have ahead of me to learn and experience. I want to call this woman up and say, “How did you do all of that?”
In a tough job market, a wow factor can play a big part in getting hired — or at least in getting noticed. To me, this woman had three wow factors: her travel experience, the fact that she toured in a vocal jazz group (in Russia!) and her wedding at an elevation of 11,500 feet.
Wow factors are great to bring up during interviews or squeeze into cover letters if you can relate them to the position. Don’t think of it as bragging. Think of your wow factor as your key to being remembered.
So what’s your wow factor? You might say, “I don’t have one. My life is excruciatingly boring.” But go back and really think about it. It’s easy to see your own life as boring because you’re living it. It seems average because it’s your definition of normal. But other’s will think it’s fascinating.
Here are three wow factors of mine to get you thinking:
1. I moved to Colorado, where I’ve hiked several 14ers and have gone on rock climbing trips. (Maybe this will be more relevant when I’m no longer in Colorado.)
2. I was part of two collegiate 4×400 relay teams that placed at nationals.
3. I studied abroad in Spain.
Can you list three wow factors of your own? If you aren’t satisfied with what you’ve done, what’s an attainable wow factor that you’d like to be able to add to your list?