In my 20+ years of working with some of the business world’s brightest and best, I’ve noticed a trend: The executives who stand out, who easily make connections with their colleagues, hiring influencers, and employees are almost all great storytellers.
Storytelling is a skill you will need as an executive and as a job seeker. What better way to forge a connection than a great story about your career achievements? Stories like this show your passion, knowledge, and skills, as well as speaking volumes about your value to an employer. Stories are useful at networking events and on social media, in interviews (and after), and forging connections on the job.
I help my coaching and resume clients become better storytellers by showing them how to construct a concise, evidence-based story that shines a light on the bright spots in their careers. I call them STAR stories, because these stories set out the Situation, articulate the Task, put the attention on the Action, and describe the Result with honest simplicity.
My clients are asked to write up as many of these STAR stories as they can, and to focus on each letter of the acronym as they do:
Situation: Set the scene by describing the project or problem
Task: Explain the task and skills & expertise needed to perform it.
Action: A detailed description of steps taken to reach the outcome.
Result: Use figures, percentages, & metrics to describe the outcome.
When your storytelling is based in fact, about a task you accomplished, taking actions based on your skills, knowledge, and experience, which got results that were meaningful to both you and your employer…no hiring influencer can resist!
Write out your own STAR stories, carefully constructing them. Keep in mind some of the most common interview questions, and cover some of that material in a few stories. The simple act of writing out, organizing, and polishing your stories will improve your storytelling skill.