- Stories explain key life/career decisions, choices, and changes. Especially revealing to employers are personal and career stories about coping strategies, risky moves, choices made under pressure, imperfections, and lessons learned from mistakes, failures, and derailments. Chapter 1 explains more about these change stories.
- Stories told well help you portray yourself as a strong communicator. Effectively using stories in job-seeking venues offers the further benefit of demonstrating your communication skills, which is significant because most employers seek candidates who communicate well. David Boje, a well-known scholar in the organizational-storytelling field, wrote in 1991 that “people who are more skilled as storytellers and story interpreters seem to be more effective communicators than those who are less skilled.”
This book is rooted in my dissertation research for my Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University. I’ve made an exhaustive study of what scholars and experts have to say about the uses of storytelling and how those uses can be applied to the job search and career advancement. I’ve also conducted interviews with job-changers and people in changing organizations as well as focus groups with hiring managers, recruiters, and human-resources professionals to obtain their reactions to storytelling in resumes, cover letters, and interviewing.
Part 1 of this book explains why storytelling is especially useful and effective in conveying how a job-seeker has handled, led, and communicated organizational change, as well as how to craft stories, not just about how they’ve dealt with change, but how they’ve demonstrated many other skills that employers demand.
Part 2 delves into the specifics of integrating stories into networking, resumes, cover letters, interviewing, portfolios, and personal branding.
Part 3 describes how you can deploy storytelling within an organization “ to advance in that organization as well as to communicate about and cope with change.
Your story is unique and special. My goal is that this book will guide you in telling your story in many ways that will propel your career.