That’s great, but that’s what everyone says. You need to demonstrate HOW you exhibited these traits.
The most effective and most intriguing way is to tell a story.
The best stories have a setting, a conflict, resolution, and a result. You will learn how to craft your story today.
A great narrative draws in the listener and makes them more interested in you. You don’t need an amazing, mind-blowing story to be effective and get your point across.
First, set the scene. Present the status-quo. Make it as different as you can from the result you are going to hammer home.
For example, if you found a way to cut the time of a project by 50%, you want to present the original setting i.e. the status quo as inefficient and unproductive.
What you’re doing is setting yourself, the knight in armor, up for a big entrance.
This is the problem, the pain that stands in the way. Managers want their problems solved, and your goal is to present your problem-solving, creative-thinking skills.
What conflicts arose? How did they affect the team, how did they affect your boss? Again, you want to stress the severity of the problem and the negative effects it had. The worse the conflict the better you will come across as a leader in the workplace.
Here’s where you make your big entrance to save the day! Outline the steps you took to solve the conflict. How did you go above and beyond the call of duty?
Get specific but cater to the strengths needed for the position you are interviewing for.
Before you go into an interview, you should have an idea of what is important for the position and for the manager.
They want to make the right selection and it’s your job to find where the pain points they want solved or filled. The resolution, when tailored to the wants of the manager, becomes that much more effective.
In the previous situation where you cut time by 50%, if you know HR wants someone who doesn’t need micromanaging, your resolution would outline the steps you took independently to get to a result. You didn’t accept the status-quo, but changed your mindset to an entrepreneur, and solved a problem without bothering your boss.
You made it to the quantifiable result, the meat, the happy-ever-after of the movie. What changed after the resolution? If you made others lives easier, especially your manager’s, you want to express this.
The results can be drawn out on your Resume to drum up interest, but you keep the story for the interview.
Make Your Story Today
Companies pay for results, and when you bring results, you can bring in more pay.
Get specific in your story-telling, but make sure you keep it brief. Set the table and problem quickly and then focus on your results and resolutions. Another quick tip: Make sure you practice each story before presenting. Research shows that a well-rehearsed narrative is always more effective than a last-minute, off-the-cuff ramble.
Throw away the generic “problem-solving” phrase plastered on so many Resumes, and actually show how you have those skills. Stand out from the pack with memorable stories.
Joe Cassandra, a personal brand equity strategist, is the Founder of the 7Minute Entrepreneur, where he shows you how to change your mindset and personal brand today from passive “employee” to thriving “entrepreneur” in your early career. You can follow him on Twitter.
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