Today, some perceive storytelling as a fashion trend, while others have already managed to fill their teeth with this word. That being said, although the term has come into use recently, the practice it denotes has been around for thousands of years. This is the art of storytelling, known to mankind since ancient times. I must say that over thousands of years, the methods of creating stories have not changed so much: people are still interested in intriguing plots, adventures, character development and unexpected endings.
Today, when the number and variety of content is endlessly growing, it is increasingly difficult to impress with a boring textbook page or a standard listing of biography points. Therefore, for example, gamification is becoming more popular – few people are surprised that it is more efficient to train employees through a game. And about storytelling, which until recently could seem frivolous or redundant (“what fairy tales when it comes to important things?”), They are talking more and more often.
The general principles of storytelling can be used to tell about yourself as a specialist, your ideas and professional successes. Here are some tips on how to create a narrative – that is, a story that will unfold in the imagination of the audience as you tell or read the text and provide you with advantages.
When an HR or future manager reads your resume, he seems to see the history of your path. The more gracefully you miss something that is not relevant to the case (non-core experience in the presence of a profile, strange hobbies, photos on the beach in the style of Odnoklassniki), the more clearly you “hit” the description of your wishes in the value of the company and the open vacancy, the more likely it is that everything will match.
HR and the future leader look at one resume for jobs for Indians in Kuwait after another. Most often, this person is so tormented by the search problem and the fear of making the wrong choice that he thinks in very narrow categories: yes-no-maybe. Therefore, in order to help him (and yourself at the same time), you need to follow three tips.
1) Remove all inconsistencies, unnecessary moments and oddities from the resume.
Consult with someone who has already recruited his employees and can look from the back of the table.
2) Write a clear story between the lines in your resume.
Have a weird short work experience? Attribute an adequate reason for dismissal briefly to remove an unasked question, or remove it altogether.
Man thinks in stories. If you don’t clarify yours, the reader will figure it out on their own, and it’s not guaranteed that the guesswork will be in your favor.
3) Talk about exactly the experience and skills that are needed in a particular case.
At the same time a secretary and layout designer? Make two resumes and send a suitable one to the corresponding vacancy. Of course, they will differ not only in the title, but also in the emphasis in work experience, skills and responsibilities.
Read the vacancy carefully and mention the experience of performing similar tasks (this, by the way, can also be done in a cover letter).
Storytelling on your resume is the first step in verifying you as a professional. After all, it is here that you can show your writing skills, presentation of thoughts, or the ability to express yourself succinctly and clearly. It is important to pay special attention to storytelling to specialists who send resumes to such creative and humanitarian vacancies as:
- host of events;
- animator and many others.
In order for your storytelling to be relevant and competent, follow the following rules:
First of all, storytelling is not meant to entertain the audience, but to convey ideas. This is noticeable even in the folk tales and fables of La Fontaine and Krylov. Fairytale plots may seem absurd, but all the details and actions lead to the final plot twist or moral.
Make your story work for the specific message you want to convey: “I am great at what I do,” “Our methods are innovative,” “This is how we built the process to get results.” Having put the idea as a basis, it is easier to build a story about yourself – it will immediately become clear what to talk about in the first place and what to lead to.
Not all people always move along a well-defined professional trajectory. There are moments when we are carried away into different spheres. There are projects that we take on out of interest or to try something new. This expands the skills and abilities, however, too “variegated” resumes can give the recruiter the feeling that the applicant is chaotic and does not know what he wants.
A strong diversity of experience is a reason not to keep silent about the points of one’s own professional biography, but to turn them into strengths. Combine disparate facts into a single story, outlining how different projects are connected and what exactly each of them gave you as a professional. For example, working in two fields that are far from each other in the sum can provide rare interdisciplinary skills.
When something depends on us, we always become more attentive. Therefore, the method can be used in speeches and interviews when the audience begins to get bored and its attention is scattered. It is also suitable for presentations and stories about yourself in a free form: it is difficult to tear yourself away from the text that has already caught your attention, putting the reader in front of a challenge.
Let the problem be sharp and interesting. Then other people will become full participants in the narrative, who will get the role of detectives, arbitrators or experts. In this form, you can talk about quite trivial projects, whether it is the creation of a special project or the development of a logo. The main thing is that the task is formulated as an exciting case – this will not only involve others in the solution, but will show you as an interested specialist.
Just as in video games, specific mechanics can be combined with different plots, the ways in which a story is told can be the same for different themes. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. It doesn’t matter if you want to talk about why you are a natural leader, or why you want to freelance and become a “free artist”.
You can talk about your skills, experiences, or ideas using the same flow that works best for you. For example, start with self-determination and coverage of goals, then talk about interesting cases, and end with a direct appeal to the audience.
We are sure that in your experience there will be enough tasks and solutions that deserve to be told about them. Feel free to remember and think about them in advance, you can even make a list. Examples are made up of small details, the listing of which will show your attention to detail.
This is how English economist Tim Harford describes Steve Jobs’ work on the Pixar Building. The description not only makes it clear exactly how the office was built, but also recreates the feeling of deep passion that owned Jobs:
“The building of Steve Jobs is made of steel, glass, wood and brick, and the designer thought through every detail with obsession. Choosing to finish the huge gleaming sheets of steel, Jobs studied samples from around the country and pointed to one steel plant in Arkansas. He insisted that the beams should be bolted, not welded.”
However, it is important not to overdo it. Too detailed and heartfelt descriptions, leading away from the main thing, waste the recruiter’s time and may not play into the hands of the applicant. In each case, it makes sense to decide separately how appropriate a detailed story is. If the most important thing has already been said, and you are still being listened to, you can give free rein to inspiration a little.
In the works of psychologist Paul Goodman, understanding how a person realized a desire is called the “post-contact phase”. According to Gestalt psychology, first a person prepares for contact with a phenomenon (including information), then enters into it, and then analyzes what happened. They wanted to listen to you, now it is important that this experience be evaluated as positive and useful.
The story needs a beautiful point that will help solidify the material and prevent the audience from forgetting it: “That’s why you listened to me for a reason.” This is sort of the moral of your speech. In addition, it is useful to guess what big results you could achieve in the future.