The Story of Your Work Life
If you had to imagine your life story as a book, what kind of book would it be? Would it be a detailed encyclopedia of everything you have done, an exciting crime thriller (- I hope not -), maybe a picture book of all the great moments you’ve had with family, friends, traveling? Would it be a journal sharing feelings about things that are important to you? Would it be a graphic novel with the most exciting events of your life, and your success stories?
In terms of work and employment, and when it comes to looking for a job, the format of your work story is as important as the story itself.
How long is your resume? What style is is? (chronological or functional) What information do you leave in, and what do you leave out? Is the hiring manager interested in the encyclopedia of “everything I have done”, or the exciting results of “What I Can Do For You”?
The Story of Your Work Life and zenPeak Recruiters
We always begin to learn the story of a Candidate’s work life by talking and listening to you in a telephone chat. Sometimes we move on to a face to face meeting. This is part of the process we call internalizing.
When we work with Candidates, we assemble a number of formats, and specialized content, that showcase your work life. First, we start with a unique 3 second style resume so its easy for a Hiring Manager to figure you out. Its your job to create that. Then we write up a profile of less than a page, call them “talking points” with everything we’ve learned about you.
- Back to you…, and this is probably the most important thing you can do, within our system. In our face to face meeting we ask you to think about the 2 or 3 major success stories we’ve talked about, and write up short paragraphs (3-4 sentences max) on each. These success stories capture the interest of the reader; in this case a hiring manager. Once you have their attention, they will look deeper into “What You Can Do For Them” in the organization.
- A success story should follow these basics:
(1) the problem and the risks of not doing anything about it
(2) what you did, and the results
(3) the feedback you got which confirmed your success
- Final Thought: Although I think cover letters should be just long enough (maybe a few sentences) to get someone very interested in reading your resume right now, and not a rehash of the entire resume, a well-selected highlight from a success story can have a place on the cover letter too.
As the saying goes… When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen