When I moved back from the UK to Spain 5 years ago I realized that the storytelling concept was only starting to get known. Nowadays almost everyone has heard about it and they know more or less how to define it. However knowing what it is doesn´t mean people are making use of it. Some people might think “it’s ‘only about a business trying to sell their products” but can it also be about you?
Using stories to network with people
Telling a story that reflects on your CV/ LinkedIn Profile/presentation
Using a cover letter that tells a story
Shining at a job interview
Getting a clear story when you are in a Career change process or Moving abroad.
What´s storytelling then?
The word itself indicates it is the action of telling a story, but behind this we can highlight the following:
“Ideas that catch on and are wrapped in a story”. Carmine Gallo, Best Selling author & CNN reporter.
“Storytelling has been used for thousands of years for cultures to pass on their values and morals. We are hardwired to communicate in narrative”. Nancy Duarte, Persuasive presentation expert.
“Humans enjoy observing transformation stories, sharing success, tragedy, failure, it´s not enough to have facts on your hand”. Nancy Duarte, Persuasive presentation expert.
In summary we can say that if you share a personal story you will connect to people and you will become more memorable that if you only talk about data and facts.
Why is important for me as a job seeker?
When I help someone preparing for a job interview or crafting a CV or Linkedin profile we are aiming to create a narrative that helps the job seeker to connect with the audience: employers, recruiters, contacts. The better you are able to create this narrative and tell your story the more chances you will get to be memorable and to get that job you are targeting.
If you are job-hunting abroad or in a transition/change process it´s essential that you explain why you are embarking on that change. It´s not only about technical expertise and quantitative facts but also about you as a person; telling your story will make you unique and memorable.
What makes a good story?
In the video added above Nancy Duarte highlights the following:
“Great stories will resonate with an audience, when you are listening to a really great story your body reacts to it, the power is how it connects us and how it makes us feel” “As we are in route with that hero, we are changing in the process, and then after that is about applying that learning of that story to ourselves to make sure that we too are transformed”
What steps can I follow to create one?
If we go and check the movies sector we can see that nearly all successful modern stories follow the hero´s journey in a 3 Act Structure- from Carmine Gallo-:
The Set-up: introducing the person to the world you live in, your background
The Confrontation: introducing an obstacle or a challenge, what´s happening to you that you are in need to look for another role or change direction
The Resolution: what actions have you taken to be successful on your objective, a new course, new sector, country or job to acquire or develop the skills you need etc
As an specific example Carmine Gallo talks about different well-know people, from Steve Jobs to J.K Rowling but the one that caught my attention was the competitive advantage gained by a 27 years old guy from Silicon Valley:
He decided to study coding, after finishing the coding class he embarked on a job-hunting process but he hardly had any experience. When he landed into a job interview he was able to communicate his story in a way that made him stand out from everyone else, he got offered the job. The hiring manager highlighted that even though he had less experience than the other candidates he was able to communicate better than everybody else.