Today’s Solutions: May 23, 2022

If you’re among the millions of Americans who decided to leave their jobs in the past year, then you’ll likely find yourself preparing to interview for new positions now or in the near future.

To help you land your new dream job, an important thing to consider is your “career story,” which is basically a narrative that tells the story of your professional life clearly and honestly, and in a way that will convince people of your transferable skills. This is something that is especially important if you’re looking to change direction completely. Honing your story will help you deliver better elevator pitches, finesse networking conversations, present your resume, cover letter, and eventually interview well.

Though the form and length of your story will vary depending on your circumstances, the best career stories start with these five steps.

Decide on your storyline

First things first—for a compelling career story, you need to know who you are and be able to articulate a general backdrop of your identity that includes where you’re coming from, what you’re looking for, why you’re ready for a new role, what you’re looking for in a company, and what you can bring to the table for the hiring company.

Once you’ve figured out the meat of your story, each networking meeting, interview, and answer given should align with this story. The narrative doesn’t have to be linear (it can include exciting pivots or weave its way from one point to another) but the key is to establish its trajectory beforehand.

Develop your character

As the storyteller, it’s your objective to paint a winning picture of yourself, but in an authentic way. As one senior recruiter puts it: “I get turned off when candidates tell me things they think I want to hear. They might say, ‘I’m goal-driven,’ but I want to know what makes them goal-driven. I want to find out about them personally. When I do meet with a genuine person who speaks from the heart, they get my attention more than 100 resumes do.”

Try to pinpoint what your best qualities are and highlight those. Also, be sure to remember that your story is exactly that—a story. It doesn’t have to be focused on work experience alone, but also on other accomplishments that you’re proud of, or other areas and experiences that you feel you truly learned from.

Have a message

Once you have your story trajectory and main character down, it’s time to develop your message. Establishing a strong and consistent message about who you are will invigorate your conversations. More often than not, your job journey is not decided during a one-off interview but is a culmination of the many encounters you have along the way, so ensure that all of the meetings, chats, and discussions you have are cohesive with the message you decide on.

Structure your scripts

So, you’ve followed all the steps and now have a clear broad story and message. Now, you’re ready to write out scripts for each encounter. For every occasion, be it a networking event, initial interview, a meeting with someone that you’re hoping will provide you a reference, or final call-back, you’ll want your script to be well structured and thought out. Each script should have four parts:

  1. An opening or grabber
  2. Your message
  3. Reasons that support your message
  4. Engagement or a call to action
Learn your lines

Lastly, you’ll have to learn your lines. While reading over your scripts and quietly internalizing the message will help, practicing out loud is the best way to learn your career story inside out. Practice delivering it to yourself first, and then when you’re ready, try it out on a trusted friend or family member. If rehearsing with someone else isn’t an option, try recording yourself with your phone or computer camera so that you can analyze your performance and note areas you can improve upon.

If you do all of this, then you’ll be better prepared to present yourself and your career story with confidence and enthusiasm that will hopefully inspire others to seek you for their team and get you the job you’ve always dreamed of.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

New program seeks to break the cycle between jail and homelessness

Several factors can lead to homelessness: a lack of affordable housing, high costs of living, and even, sadly, mental illness. Another factor that contributes to homelessness, which is often overlooked, is incarceration.  Many individuals serve ... Read More

How a century-old cargo schooner is bringing back emissions-free shipping

The shipping industry is responsible for 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions — putting about 940 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Before 1960, however, when containerization started to take off, ... Read More

Dam! Europe removes record number of river barriers in 2021

In 2021, Spain began a movement to remove dams from the country’s rivers to restore fish migration routes and boost biodiversity across the nation. They successfully took down 108 barriers and inspired other European countries ... Read More

This contact lens releases glaucoma medication

While it is treatable, glaucoma remains a serious eye disease that can damage the optic nerve and lead to blindness if left untreated. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease, and research ... Read More

US soccer and national teams reach agreement to close gender pay gap

In a historic win for women’s rights, US Soccer and both the women’s and men’s national teams have proclaimed a collective bargaining agreement to close the gender pay gap and ensure that each player, regardless ... Read More

New immunotherapy drug combo slows liver cancer growth in mice

There is something of an art to the science of medicine. We’ve all heard that everyone’s different, and so is their biology. Sometimes, developing the right treatment for a patient’s condition takes dedicated and creative ... Read More