What is the best way to communicate your value to a potential employer? Through the use of career success stories. A career success story simply recounts a specific example of how you solved a problem for or added value to a past employer. The career success story has three basic parts:
- Challenge – Describe the situation you faced.
- Action – What steps did you take to solve the problem or get results?
- Result – What was the end situation? (Use quantifiable figures when appropriate)
Career success stories are particularly useful during an interview because many employers rely on the use of behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interviewing is based on the premise that your past performance and behavior is a good indication of how you will perform and behave in the future. It offers a glimpse of how you've added value to past employers and makes it easier for hiring managers to envision how you can benefit their organization.
Employers don't want to hear about what a professional, customer service-oriented team player you are. They want you to prove that you were a valuable asset to your last employer. Relating a compelling career success story is an effective way to do this.
Think back to past situations in which you've demonstrated the qualities or skills that a potential employer is seeking. Prepare five to seven career success stories and practice relating them to a friend or family member. You'll be better prepared to communicate your value to a potential employer during your next interview.
Roxanne Ravenel is a Job Search Coach & Consultant; author of The Savvy Jobseeker's Guide & Workbook; and host of The Savvy Jobseeker Podcast. Visit SavvyJobseeker.com to learn more.