Have you ever felt that potential employers really didn’t sit up and take notice of your skills? How do you stand out in a crowd of resumes? In a CIO.com article, career consultant Katharine Hansen tells us that story provides the answer.
Story-telling, when done right, reveals a job seeker's personality, makes him or her more memorable, and helps a job seeker establish an emotional connection with hiring managers.
The article goes on to provide a structure for creating your interview story. Although, I do want to point out that when telling your story you should never say directly that you are a great marketer or amazing software developer. Instead, that bit of wisdom is hidden in the story.
I know, it seems natural that we use the story to tell the interviewer, “I did this and I did that.” There’s a problem with this approach. She’s already heard this tale of talent a hundred times, and it bores her because she is not actively involved in the story.
Screenwriters are faced with this issue on many levels: Dialogue, providing information about characters, and the message of the story. To keep the audience interested and curious, screenwriters often imply information, leaving a gap so the audience is engaged in the story.
Instead of looking into the camera and saying, “I am very smart,” tell a story that implies your brilliance through the actions of the story. This method allows the interviewer to actively participate in your story, discover your message, and have the message stick with her.
Creating a compelling story does more than telegraph the fact that you have good communication skills. It implies that you have a certain level of design talent... that you understand how to apply design to words.
"Fifteen years ago companies competed on price. Today it's quality. Tomorrow, it's design. No doubt about it, tomorrow has arrived."
— Professor Robert Hayes, Harvard Business School
Here’s a final tip. When you finish the story, be silent. Why rattle on about your story. Let the listener absorb the hidden meaning. To see how the pros in Hollywood pitch a story, read this Blake Snyder post – Watch our words.