Need something to separate you from the pack? Here’s our story. It’s especially true for older job applicants that you need something to separate yourself from the pack of other candidates. Sometimes the answer to that dilemma is obvious: your experience in that role or in that industry; glowing recommendations from a colleague or supervisor; education, etc.
Sometimes, however, the lines of demarcation are not so clear and obvious. That’s when you need to reach down into your bag of tricks. You can talk all you want about your past positions, etc., but what will be most memorable in the mind of that interviewer? What is going to make that interviewer remember you when you’re stacked up against the other candidates? There is an old adage that says that “facts tell; stories sell.” If you want to “sell yourself” to that interviewer, you had better be able to spin a good yarn. [Truthfully, of course, this no time for fiction writing.] From the interviewer’s perspective, anyone can recite where they worked and when they worked there, and what positions or titles they held. But if you can make it real with a story, now you’ve got something. Tell us how you opened a new sales territory, or returned a stagnant product to profitability, or cut costs by 15 percent. The experts say that a good story consists of three components: the challenge you faced; the action you took; and the results you achieved. Increased productivity. Lower turnover. Those are all good tales to tell. And, if you’re not certain that your stories will sell, test them on your job search buddy, or your spouse, or a friend or colleage. Make sure that they are as honest with you as you are in telling your story. Get to that point, and you’ve got a story worth telling.