Storytelling: Going beyond the résumé in an interview

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Ever heard the saying ‘read between the lines’? This phrase is definitely something to think about, especially in regard to storytelling. Being able to story tell is a great way to engage your listener – a potential employer in an interview – and share an understanding of the intricate parts of your professional past, rather than just telling them word for word what you put on your résumé. Articulating all the experiences you have gathered from previous work or volunteer positions is a key element to consider when preparing for an interview.

Storytelling can help you go beyond your résumé. Here are a few ways how it can work for you in an interview:

Storytelling conveys enthusiasm and emotions that separate you from just another résumé. Many interviewers go through a number of résumés and cover letters but what makes you stand out from the crowd of applicants is how you communicate your experience. Instead of simply talking about experiences, try to think about the “Why” – e.g. why did you pursue this experience and why did it stand out to you?

  1. A great story is more than just a summary and it’s important to remember that connecting with a potential employer doesn’t have to be scripted. Bringing in authenticity by sharing relevant experiences and stories that are exciting to you shows the employer your interests, strengths, and values.
  2. Telling your story shows how you are impact-driven. Every good story has a beginning, middle and an end, and there’s always a problem that needs solving. Putting into your own words how you have grown in your career, achieved goals, or developed new skills show that you have assessed what you have learned in your past experience and know what you bring to the table.

Developing a dialogue with your interviewers allows them to see much more than just your past experience and can lead to emotional connections being made. Everyone has a story to tell and using it in the right context can work wonders. Next time you apply for jobs, prepare for an interview, or get ready to network, don’t hesitate to share more about yourself.

Looking for support in crafting your résumé with storytelling in mind? Book a virtual one-on-one appointment with a Career Advisor at the Centre for Career Action.

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