How to Tell a Story That Will Get You Hired

How to Tell a Story That Will Get You Hired

In this line of work, I talk to countless people who have incredible experience, skills, and credentials, but just can’t land an interview or new job.

The problem is almost always the same. They think the hiring process is about them.

It’s not. It’s about them and their problems…and how you can solve them. And it’s on you to show them how you can solve their problems and make their lives easier.

Whether we’re talking about an elevator pitch, networking, resume, cover letter, or interview answers, your job is to convey that you understand their pain, and know-how to ease it (and even better, have demonstrated success in the matter). You have no choice but to talk about you, but do it from the perspective of what you can do for them.

Imagine a world where superheroes interview for their job and Tony Stark is meeting with Nick Fury about joining the Avengers.

With all of that Tony Stark arrogance, he talks about having finished two Master’s degrees at MIT by 19, how much Stark Industries is worth…and then prattles on about all the technological details about the Iron Man suit and how he built it.

Turns out, Iron Man CAN be boring!

Instead, even with his volatile personality, Fury would know immediately that Tony Stark belongs in the Avengers if he had said, “I fight all manner of bad guys with my scientific know-how, ability to fly, sound logic and planning, and repulsor beams, so that the Earth doesn’t get destroyed and you can go on living your life.”

Not a superhero? You can totally apply this rule as well.

The first step is truly understanding who the main character is, what their goals are, and what is standing in their way. Why? Because they will feel understood on a deeper level. It’s like when you meet someone new and they’ve been through the same struggles as you, whether they’re familial, medical, professional, or whatever…you connect more quickly because of those similar experiences. You feel like they understand you, like you can relate to each other.  

Once you determine what their new services, mergers, growth opportunities, etc are, you narrow down to your specific expertise that will solve their problem. Do you excel at rescuing failing projects? Can you sell ice in a blizzard? What is your unique skill set that will allow them to succeed?

Take time to go through your accomplishments and determine which ones demonstrate your ability to solve their problems. This is what you will want to highlight in your resume. And note: we’re talking about results and accomplishments, NOT responsibilities.

Write your resume with your audience at the forefront of your mind and you will be on your way to an interview!