Your career story is the tale of how you got to where you are today, your aspirations and interest in a next career move, and how well suited you are for the job you’re applying for. If you tell it right, you’ll have your interviewers fully engaged, on the edges of their seats, excited to offer you a job and bring you on board as soon as possible. If you tell it wrong, you risk boring your interviewers to the point that they’re counting down the seconds until they can wrap things up and usher you out the door. Here are some tips on how to make your career story the most compelling tale ever told.
Start at the beginning
Not the very beginning, like at the start of your life, but at the beginning of your interest in your current career. Explain where this interest originated, either early life experiences that triggered a curiosity, an inspiring professor, or a hobby that ignited the flame. People love people who have passion, so if you can share a heartwarming story that makes your interviewers feel good, you’ll be sure to stand out from the competition.
Share the relevant experience
Next, it’s time to share your goals, accomplishments, and transitions for each of your previous jobs. But you shouldn’t just summarize your resume, in fact you don’t even have to share in chronological order—make it more interesting than that. Share the highlights that support your theme and reinforce the narrative of your career trajectory. Keep mentioning what motivated you and what you learned that prepared you for the opportunity in front of you right now. Everything you’ve been through, the mistakes you’ve made, all your achievements, and everything you’ve learned that led you up to this moment.
The moral of the story
Once you’ve explained how you first got started in this industry and what your experience in it is, illustrate what a great match you are for the position you’re interviewing for right now. Explain what appealed to you about the job or why you were attracted to this particular company. Be clear about how the company’s mission, values, and priorities align with yours. Continue to bring up your strengths, skills, and traits that make you uniquely qualified for this role. If you can, use specific examples of what you’ve learned from your past experiences and how you can apply those lessons to this new role.
Rehearse and edit
Remember that to make your story effective, you must believe it and you must tell it with enthusiasm. So, practice until you practically have it memorized and can tell it confidently, without effort. Don’t worry about sounding too rehearsed, it’ll help you overcome your nervousness. Instead, try to sound passionate, positive, and genuinely excited about the role and the company you’re interviewing for.