Make The Time to Tell Your Career Story
Published: 10 Apr 2014 By Olivier Vidal for CareersinAudit.com
Research tells us that we learn the most through experiencing memorable narratives and this is no different when it comes to job applications. Too many candidates let themselves down by fading into the background, but turning your CV into an engaging narrative of your working life to date can help you to stand out.
Careers are difficult things to manage at the best of times, so making sure you avoid the trap of a dull and lifeless chronologically ordered CV is definitely worth it. By treating careers as stories, candidates can help convince prospective employees that they are the right person for the job. After all, no one can resist a truly engaging storyteller and as much as employers will have a set checklist, they will also be looking to make a genuine connection with potential employees. Language can be the thing that makes your personality and talent leap off the page and straight to the top of the interview pile.
But as a nation of self-deprecators, many will find the process of selling themselves far easier said than done. However, following a set of key questions can put you on the right path to reach your career aims. Before completing any application form, you should carry out a thorough audit of your skills. Having completed this audit, you will be in a far better position to show a prospective employer the exact level of impact you could have on their organisation.
The next step is to map your skills audit on to the person specification, and in doing so you must avoid stating the obvious and using clichéd phrases that will simply see your application become another face in the crowd. For example, the need for a hard-worker will come up in every application whether the vacancy is for careers in audit or jobs in a high-class restaurant, and as such it must be avoided. Instead, you must give specific examples that prove your assertions are true.
It is also important that you demonstrate a sense of ambition by clearly mapping out where you started, where you have been, and where you hope to find yourself in ten years' time. Lastly, you must consider and consistently promote your USP. What is it about you that no one else can match? Once discovered, you can make this the thread of your story or the main character if you will.
It is well worth regularly updating your online CV, not only because your new skills and experience are fresh in your mind but it puts you at the top of the pile for employers to find.
It may seem that storytelling and careers do not go hand in hand, but following this advice will help to sell you and your talents in a truly memorable way.