Storytelling, Not Extreme Job Hunting, Scores Employment

These days, it’s not easy for the jobless to stand out from one another. Even those lucky enough to land interviews have a tough time making themselves memorable to hiring managers. That’s why some individuals have turned to extreme job-hunting tactics.

From wearing sandwich boards that announce their job objective to sending singing telegrams into target companies, job seekers are getting pretty creative in their pursuit of jobs. And while these strategies certainly get job seekers noticed, they haven’t won the support of many career experts. Katharine Hansen, author of the recently released book Tell Me About Yourself, believes there are better ways to make a positive, lasting impression in the job hunt.

“Extreme job-hunting is risky because it smacks of desperation,” Hansen says. “While employers in this economy can understand the desperation, many simply won’t respond favorably to extreme tactics, thus ultimately rendering them less effective.”

Instead, she encourages the job seekers she counsels to stand out through storytelling. “Rather than deploying far-out approaches, job-seekers can turn to a technique almost as old as human history—storytelling. Most job-seekers know they can use stories to respond to interview questions, but they don’t realize they can also apply stories in resumes, cover letters, portfolios and in networking to make themselves memorable and create vivid pictures of their skills and accomplishments.”

According to Hansen, an engaging, articulate story about an actual experience can do a handful of things a sandwich board or singing telegram cannot, including:

  • Establish your identity
  • Reveal your personality
  • Boost your confidence
  • Make you memorable
  • Establish trust
  • Illustrate your potential
  • Provide explanations
  • Reveal your response to change
  • Demonstrate your communication skills

“Consider that many job seekers vying for the same position you seek probably have qualifications that are similar to yours. But will they be describing those qualifications to employers in evocative story form? Probably not. If you do, you’ll distinguish yourself from those who seek to sell themselves to employers in less engaging ways,” notes Hansen.

Tell Me About Yourself: Storytelling to Get Jobs and Propel Your Career is available at all major bookstores and from the publisher ( or 1.800.648.JIST). The author, Katharine Hansen, is immediately available for print, broadcast and online interviews. To speak with her or to request a copy of her book, contact Selena Dehne.

JIST Publishing is the leading publisher of job search, career, and occupational information materials. As America’s Career Publisher, JIST has helped millions of people focus their education and career goals to achieve success in the world of work and beyond. JIST’s authors are the nation’s leading experts in the fields of job search and career information.

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