Do you tend to remember stories instead of facts? I know I do. Most of us do, because we are people who love stories — movies, tv shows, books, gossip, family lore, and all the rest of the ways one can tell a narrative. Even jokes are stories, if you think about it! I don’t know the fancy reasons why this is so, but it probably has something to do with being able to identify with the story teller or a character in the story.
This love of story plays out in your career in several ways:
- Your brand is a synopsis of your story; a general overview of who you are
- Your references are anecdotes of your story; testimonials from people with memories about you
- Your resume is a capsulation of the highlights of your career story; the highlights that affect a potential job opening
It’s a good idea to remember that people usually will think in terms of story. That person interviewing you has sifted through a lot of resumes to choose the best character to introduce in their next chapter. They will try to figure out if your story, who you are, and how you will fit into the ongoing narrative of their enterprise. When you sent that thank you letter after the interview, you remind them of that story.
Not all story is going to be profitable for your career — gossip, backbiting, etc. are not things you want people to remember about you. The way you act and speak today will become the story people remember about you tomorrow. You can change parts of the story they remember by apologies and reforming, but it is really better when you realize that the narrative of your career and life is being written by you every day.