Between the Trapezes - On Job Search! | January 2023
Help for when you’re between two career certainties

January 2023 - Happy New Year

Storytelling has become a vital tool in job search. A tactic that's been used for decades in marketing, sales, and other fields is now at home in job search.

Why? Because it appeals to something very human in each of us, AND it makes the connection, in the hiring manager's mind, between YOU and the role they need to fill.

It is no longer enough to just list your skills, and hasn't been for at least a decade. That just doesn't do it now.

So how can you best make the "match" between you and that role you want?

Read the article below to learn how you can not only tell a story, but one that is compelling and memorable.


Joanne Meehl
Resume expert whose resumes land interviews. Holds "The Resume Queen"® trademark, lives up to the title.
LinkedIn profile creator if you want yours to be an employer magnet. Double your profile views.
Networking guru who coaches you in elegant (not needy, gimme gimme) networking, finding hidden leads.
Interview prep that puts you at ease matching what they need and describing why they need you.

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Your Career Is The Treasury of Your Life ©

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When Networking and Interviewing,

In the interview, telling the PAR story (Problem – Action – Result) or STAR story (Situation – Task – Action – Result) or SOAR story (Situation – Obstacle – Action – Result) – whichever format you choose – is essential for you to give evidence you are the right match for the job. And it's the same when networking.

But there are ways of telling a success story that excites and impresses the listener rather than leaving them flat. Don’t waste the opportunity to showcase your success: grip the listener!

So create some images as you tell your success stories. A story isn’t just a sequence of events, recited to get it over with. Instead, it is images, it’s atmosphere, it’s emotion you can relate to, it’s just enough background to set it up -- AND it gets to the point.

All of that means that your story is putting the listener IN THE ROOM with you as if they were there when the story happened. And that’s what is memorable the listener.

Look at these two ways of telling the same story, about how you manage your team during tough moments. And how the stories differ:

The question: "Tell us about a time when two valued team members didn’t get along until you interceded."

Blah version
“Well, someone on the team had an issue with someone else on the team…I talked with them both and they talked with one another about adjusting their styles, and it was better after that.” 

“Puts the employer in the room with you” version
"Josh was new to the team and just starting his career, and Margie was 22 years in the division. Each of them was (and is) a major contributor of ideas but Margie took an instant dislike to Josh, and Josh found Margie tough to talk with in any productive way. I knew I’d lose one or the other of them or both, if something didn’t change.

"So I spoke with each of them individually so I could hear their unvarnished opinions. It came down to a difference in style which caused them to irritate one another.

"Then I had them in together. I stressed that each of them had gifts and talents that the team and company needed. That the success of the projects would depend on their being able to work together. And I asked for ideas from each of them – on the spot – about how they could work well together. And I gave my expectation that things would improve.

"At first there was this silence. I wasn’t sure they would even answer. But then they began to talk, and it ended in a more positive way. While I don’t think they’ll ever be 'pals', they now get along productively – a problem I enjoyed solving."

The first version is vague, too brief, too rushed, there’s no emotion we can relate to, and we get no pictures. While the second is longer, it engages the listener AND clearly demonstrates the storyteller’s successes in this common conflict situation.

Which version makes the better, more memorable impression? The compelling one, which pulls in the listener.

Engage the listener with your stories and you’ll make your point that YOU are a fit for their role.
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This month’s Tip from Joanne:

How to put your Skills in a different order, on LinkedIn

You probably set up your LinkedIn profile's Skills section a long time ago. It's due for another look, and because YOU have changed, the importance of various skills you listed years ago has probably changed. So bring them up to date to match you NOW.

How to put your skills in a different order, so that colleagues can properly endorse you for those most important ones?
  1. Go to the Skills & Endorsements section of your profile.
  2. Click on the 3 dots in the upper right corner; the dropdown has 2 choices.
  3. Choose Reorder. This will then show your list of skills in this section.
  4. To move a skill, "grab" the lines to the right of the skill name, and drag the whole row to the position in the list where you now want it. When you're finished, you will have updated your skills, with the most important at the top.

Next: Ask colleagues to endorse you! Each endorsement tells LinkedIn you're very good at this skill, so that LinkedIn shows your profile more often to those looking for someone with those skills, meaning YOU - a very good thing!

Thought of the Month

When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.

—George Washington Carver

Joanne Meehl Career Services LLC | Zoom or 612.440.6765 (by appt) |