Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Spice Up Your Story to Land a Job

jay reevesIs your job search not getting the results you want?                                         

Are call-back interviews few and far between? Are your follow-up inquiries ignored? 

Maybe you need to tell a different story.

That doesn’t mean fabricate your resume or start lying about your identity. It means put some thought into what story you’re telling prospective employers and how you’re going about telling it. The goal is a story that grabs their attention early and ends with a job offer.

Now all you have to do is fill in the middle.

Write a Memorable Lead Character

Along these lines, a recent post on LawCrossings got my attention.

The author describes how Middle Eastern merchants use the power of storytelling to sell rugs. They weave elaborate stories so buyers understand they’re not just buying a rug. They’re buying a piece of history, a cultural artifact, a family heirloom.

As a job seeker, you are the rug. Prospective employers are the rug buyers. Try to weave a compelling, empathetic story about yourself so that the employer will no longer see you as a commodity but as a valued new hire. The better your story, the more likely you are to get hired:

“Some common characteristics of stories that get people hired. The best stories typically revolve around the employee being very motivated to do a good job and continually wanting to improve in his or her employment. The person is generally portrayed as someone who works hard, has a positive attitude, is loyal, and, due to forces entirely outside his or her control, can no longer grow in his or her position or company. When the story is developed correctly, each job move is shown as part of this quest for continual self-improvement. A well-written story will also detail the candidate’s daily life. It will mention his or her family and friends, so that the prospective employer can come to identify with the candidate as a person.”

Don’t be afraid to add personal details to your story. This makes it easier to identify with. But don’t go overboard. This isn’t confessional or a soul-baring session. Make yourself look good by showing all the good things you’ve done.

And don’t forget to rehearse. Practice telling your mirror why investing in this rug would be a genius move.


About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

Read More by Jay >

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