In today's job market, you need to stand out from the throngs of people lining up for every job that comes down the pike. Getting the interview is one thing, but being memorable is crucial to getting to that next step.
Why is using action-driven stories so beneficial in job interviews? Here are five crucial reasons SET Personal Marketing found:
- They are remembered. People forget the skills and strengths you mention just an hour after an interview ends, but days later, they still remember stories about how you used those strengths
- They give you a lot of credibility. Anyone can claim they have certain skills and strengths, but when you can back them up with stories of how you used them to contribute, your credibility increases tenfold.
- You're not 'overselling.' To prepare hard-hitting stories, people need to be specific about the challenges they faced, the precise actions they took to get things done and the outcome. As a result, you are very accurate – neither overstating nor understating your role.
- It creates a mental picture of how you will contribute. Employers get a firm grasp of the way you operate and how your approach would work for them. It's easier for them to envision you addressing their problems and challenges in the same way you solved similar situations for past employers.
- You reshape the job to fit you. When you come prepared with seven or eight stories, chances are one or more will be about a strength they haven't specified for the job. You can bring up any of the skills or strengths they haven't asked about, tell your story and persuade them to add it to their criteria. This stacks the odds in your favor because no other candidates will think to do it.
So you know why stories are so important, but what about the how do I implement them in my job search. It's really quite simple and it's something you may already be doing in limited degrees. The trick is to avoid listing out information, but instead put that information into a narrative form.
SET Personal Marketing recommends listing your biggest accomplishments in your career and consider which of these accomplishments are most relatable to the position to which your applying. Depending on the position, you might have situations that are appropriate for some positions, but not others.
Start formulating a beginning, middle and an end. Begin by stating the problem and the circumstances surrounding it and the challenges you and your company faced. Move into the problem-solving stage and how your expertise assisted in identifying and understanding the problem and how a solution could be offered. After that, detail the results and positive consequences of your implementations. More than anything, results are what employers are looking for, so drive these home.