I hope that the “getting a job” articles have been useful for you. Now it’s time to put it all together and learn how to tell a story.
Where have we been so far?
All of the previous articles have, in essence, been leading to this one. If you haven’t read them, I strongly recommend you do so that this article makes sense to you.
In Part 1 we looked at why a unique story was a critical component to your job hunt, and some elements you could consider to form part of that story.
In Part 2 we considered how you might add some depth and breadth to your story.
Part 3 considered the big picture elements of how to write an effective resume that will get you through the door.
We then turned to social media in Part 4, and considered how it might impact on your job hunting.
And here we are – story telling 101
Stories have been told for thousands of years. Knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation, children have learned about their ancestors and history, myths and fiction have been remembered and survived for generation after generation.
Because stories are compelling. They engage the listener or reader, and they strive to build relationship with their audience.
Why do people cry in movies, or when reading books? It’s not because they know the characters (in fact usually the characters are fictional) – it’s because they are emotionally responding to the story. They have been engaged.
Hopefully you’re not looking to make people cry when they read your resume or conduct an interview – but you are looking to get them engaged.
What’s a Story Look Like?
I’m not going to write your story for you, or give you a formula. What I’m going to do is give you some tips related to telling a story. These tips are really marketing tips, so if you can capture them in terms of your personal story, then you will be well placed to translate them into a marketing tool for your practice.
Your story has to:
- be about you. not somebody else, or somebody you’d like to be, but you. If it’s not authentic, then there’s no point in it.
- capture the essence of you and what you do. Remember we talked about aspirations? They are a big part of you
- be malleable in terms of length. Sometimes you’ll have 10 seconds to tell a story, sometimes 10 minutes. You need to have a long, medium and short version of your story, each of which captures the necessary components (yes – the 10 second version is very hard)
- have some soul. If your story is sterile, then that’s how you will seem.
If you’ve been following along so far, then you should have enough information, tools and experiences to tell your story. It’s just a matter of practice. Rob Davidson marveled in Part 3 at how little time people invested into their resume. Well this is a component of your job hunting investment. Telling your story both in your resume and in your interview (and for that matter any time else) will serve you well into the future. The story may change, but the ability to craft it will stay with you.
That’s our final article in the series. In a sense it should leave you dis-satisfied, and that is deliberate. I cannot give you all the answers, nor can I write your story for you. If you want to try out a line or two in the comments, I’m happy to offer any feedback I can, but at the end of the day your story is your own. All you can try and do is get your prospective employer engaged with your story, so that they become interested in you as becoming a part of their firm.
Best of luck if you are hunting for a job.