10 Feb, 2023

How can storytelling help your job search?

You are probably thinking… storytelling? Why would I use storytelling for my job search? Job hunting is difficult as it is, why would I complicate it with storytelling? What even is storytelling?


I can completely understand why you would be surprised and perplexed at the suggestion. Storytelling is not often incorporated into job search, even though it is a brilliant way to get the readers involved into your career journey.


Storytelling or the art of storytelling is an artistic and creative way to create an individual story of self-discovery, adventures, and personal and professional growth. Storytelling can be anything that involves you – whether it be personal or professional – and you can tell your tale in a variety of formats – including auditory, visual, tactile, and much more. The centre of the story is your experience and the ‘telling’ part is how you personally want to share your journey.


You can use storytelling in your career journey – in writing your CV, personal statement, cover letter, answering interview questions, attending networking events, asking for a promotion, or advocating for a product in a meeting. However, as a jobseeker, you would be most interested in the job search support storytelling can provide. So, let us dive into that!



1. Nurture your idea


What you need to do first, is nurture an idea on how you want to tell your personal and professional journey in your CV or resume. You should consider whether you want to create a portfolio, a video essay, a TED talk type of resume, a creative CV or a more average typed up CV such as a usual pdf document. Once you decided on the format, you can think about how to put your idea to action.


2. Create your storyboard


Once you have your format and idea, you can start drawing up your storyboard. You can picture a storyboard as you would imagine a manga or a comic book – full of images, less text, and more action. This does not have to fully incorporate your whole life journey, the more you focus on personality, the more personalised your storyboard becomes. If you have a creative portfolio, it is also a great idea to incorporate that. When you imagine how you had set up your CV, visualise where you’d implement the more visual elements and where you’d input the more contextual features.


3. Add facts and acts


You have got the outline of your new story CV; you’ve got a great visual idea of where the different sections get outlined and what else you’d like to incorporate. Next, you can start filling up your storyboard with facts and acts – meaning that you can start compiling a list of your own skills and accomplishments. However, do not think about this as a reminiscence of every job you have ever had and every duty you have ever held. Think carefully – what makes you unique? What makes you stand out from the crowd? Why would an employer want to choose you as their new team member?


4. Edit, edit and proofread


When you have a full story template, make sure you edit it, then edit it again. Employers do not take kindly to grammatical errors and typos in CVs and cover letters. Even if these are honest mistakes and can happen to anyone, it is still not acceptable in a professional setting. So, please make sure you edit your document, also make sure the whole story flows nicely and there are no glaring gaps. You can always ask someone else to proofread your work for you. There is nothing wrong with that!