I love a good story. What really enhances it is a good storyteller.
Someone who can captivate you with their words, take you along for the journey, and make you feel that you are right there in the thick of it.
Not everyone is a good storyteller. I’ve found there to be two distinct groups that are not good storytellers:
1. My greats
2. Job seekers
My greats are my great-niece and great-nephews, all under the age of 8. Young children are hilarious, but bad story tellers. Nimble is the mind that can follow along one of their twisty-turvy paths of a story. I’m never quite sure what their point is – did they have one when they started their story? Or are they just weaving together bits of colors, nouns, exclamations they pick up as they talk?
I’ve discovered my greats’ audience isn’t me, it’s themselves, I just happen to be in the general vicinity. They don’t really care what I want or expect out of their story, it’s all about them expressing themselves, and hearing their own voice.
Job seekers have a point. They are trying to convince the audience that they are the one. The one to lead the team, do the task, launch the product, build, grow, do… They don’t stray quite as much as the greats, they just get bogged down in detail. They forget about their audience and the point.
For career storytelling, it isn’t about what you want the audience to know based on what is important to you. It’s about what the audience needs to know based on what is important to them.
That’s where the storytelling gets convoluted. They will read a resume and think one question over and over: “so what?”.
If you want to significantly improve your story, start telling it from the perspective of the audience:
“Here is what you need to hear because it answers your biggest question: ‘What’s in it for me?’”
Make it all about them for a real connection, which leads them to reach out and ask you to “Tell me more”.
Thank you for reading, I hope this was helpful. If you’re struggling with your storytelling, now is a great time for us to talk, I’ve discounted private resume coaching sessions for a limited time. Together, we’ll work on exactly what you need to take your resume from good to great! Sign up here: Private Resume Session
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All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own, unless attributed. They’re normally pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (maybe because I’m his meal ticket).