4 WAYS TO TELL YOUR CAREER STORY
In a previous post, I talked about the 3 P’s to getting it together for an interview: Practice, Prepare and Pontificate. Well I want to focus on the preparation part. There is no substitute for preparation. With today’s access to information, there is no excuse for knowing little about the college or university you are looking to work for. But before doing all of that, you need to take a little time to research yourself.
1. Pull out the resume you submitted.
Review it and be prepared to discuss every and any aspect that you put down on paper. Some hiring agents might hone in on something you least expect and you don’t want to stammer about your experience with a volunteer organization. This is why you NEVER, EVER lie on a resume. If your resume says you speak Spanish then you better be ready to prove it if someone starts chatting with you in another language.
2. Google yourself.
Take an inventory of your digital identity. What will I find on Facebook or Instagram? Really think about what you are comfortable with your employer or future employer knowing about you.
3. Take stock of what you have done at your current place of work.
If you have been there for a really long time, you may not remember everything. Look at old emails or project files. Pull out your past evaluations. Those are great sources of information about you from year to year. As we walk through our daily grind, we don’t realize how much we do and and how much we accomplish. When someone points something out that you did really well, it’s not just about doing your job. Take stock in the skills that people appreciate about you. Think about how to formulate a narrative that will help you in an interview using this information.
4. Assessment and Data
As you reflect on your accomplishments, start thinking of ways to assess them quantitively. This doesn’t feel natural, but it’s a new day. If you are not already doing it, start. Keep records and data of the work you do in a file: paper or digital…like a portfolio. If you are involved in a project where the goal is to increase revenue, be sure you know how much revenue increased and what your part in that success was. If it was a team effort, elaborate. Let the hiring manager know your ability to work with others.How did you collaborate? If you did it alone, expand on your motivation, thought process and ability to focus and work autonomously. And by the way, data and success is not just about money. There are other kinds of quantitative successes – increased participation and engagement; policy development; efficiency protocol. Think more creatively about how to measure your worth at work.
If you can take the time to pull together an employment auto-biography, it will boost your confidence and allow you to learn more about who you are. You will make better decisions about the types of institutions that are a fit for you. A good story has a solid narrative that captivates the audience and is backed up with data. What’s Your Story?