Storytelling creates a powerful visual picture that is memorable, long after you leave the room. Why not incorporate some stories into your networking and job search efforts?
According to an article by Vanessa Boris in Harvard Business Review, stories are a powerful way to influence, teach and inspire. We can use these concepts to create a powerful visual picture that transcends the typical interview format. Vanessa shares some points that we can apply to job search:
A story can forge a connection between people and ideas to solidify relationships in a more engaging way than facts and numbers.
Before going to a networking meeting or interview, check out the other person’s LinkedIn profile to find connection points. What stories do you have that can build bridges to that other person? They are interested in golfing? Do you have a story about golfing that can build a connection?
Stories convey our values and achievements, without bragging.
Most people hate talking about themselves and are reluctant to sound like they are bragging. But you can tell a story or talk for hours about that great project or how you achieved that special accomplishment. Telling stories is not bragging. It is sharing experiences.
Sharing experiences through a story conveys values without specifically saying it. It is one thing for me to say I am a team player. It is quite another to share a story that demonstrates I am a team player.
Stories build familiarity and trust with folks we network with that beckons the listener into your world. We all have many accomplishments. Each one is a story. Select five or six stories that you think will appeal to the folks you are networking with then practice your stories out loud so you sound engaging and interesting.
When your stories are engaging, you invite the listener into your experience, making you more memorable and appealing. I guarantee they will remember your stories long after the interview is over. They will say, “Did she tell you that story about how hard they worked to land that big account? Wow! She really went out of her way to make it happen!”
People remember stories long after they forget the details in your resume. Don’t miss the opportunity to bring people into your experiences with powerful stories that forge strong connections.
You can allude to stories in your LinkedIn profile too, to add interesting connection points to your target audience. Instead of saying, “Exceeded quota,” consider a headline that adds a story. Something like, “Landed the largest account in company history enabling the sales team to achieve a record sales year in 2018”. What a stronger impact, just from adding a story to your LinkedIn profile!