The Key to Landing Your Next Job? Storytelling.

By Janine Kurnoff and Lee Lazarus | Harvard Business Review | May 13, 2021

Today’s workforce is hyper-competitive. It’s hard to stand out, and if you’re hunting for a job, you need strategies to appear more credible, authentic, and memorable than your peers.

What’s the best approach?

In his bestselling book, Brain Rules, molecular biologist John Medina shares a surprising insight that explains why one job candidate’s application gets them noticed while another’s lands them in the reject pile: emotion.

Recruiters may think they make decisions based purely on logic, but their feelings play just as large of a role. It’s human nature. Emotions drive how connected we feel to other people, and those connections lead us to perceive someone in either a positive or a negative light. The quickest way to land on the “positive” side of that equation is simple: Tell a good story on your resume, in your cover letter, and during your interview.

Storytelling is a powerful tool when it comes to influence and persuasion. Science tells us that voicing our opinions is often more polarizing than persuasive, and statistics, even when used as evidence, are difficult to retain. But if you blend the two together and weave them into an engaging narrative, suddenly, you can tug at heart strings and change minds.

This means you, job candidate, have a lot of power. With the right narrative, you can make anyone you want feel great — about you. All you have to do is organize your ideas into a story that elicits positive emotions, resulting in a rush of the feel-good hormone, dopamine, in your listener’s brain. As Medina points out, “Dopamine greatly aids memory and information processing … it creates a Post-It note that reads, ‘Remember this.’”

So how can you weave storytelling into your next job application? Here are four tips that will help you get noticed — and get ahead — in your career.

Read the full article here.

By MIT Sloan CDO
MIT Sloan CDO Profile Picture