Storytelling is hot right now – it has become clear that the ability to tell a compelling story is an indicator of potential success for businesses, the media, politicians, and the list goes on. This is true for job seekers as well, and there is a name for job seeker stories: SARs. SAR, in case you haven’t already stumbled upon this in your research, stands for Situation, Action, Result.
These short stories are your chance to explain how your experiences will be just what this potential new employer needs to solve their pain points. You want to show that you know your stuff and you can apply it to help them to meet their goals.
For instance we all know that money is a big driver – this is what we are pursuing and what keeps the doors open at the business where you are interviewing. Have you found ways to make or save money at your past employers? Polish up those stories, they need to be told. And told well.
How do you tell the story well? Remember back to your school days when you were taught story structure – beginning, body, conclusion and marry this to situation, action, result. Set the stage briefly by sketching out the situation, tell what you did to create your solution, and end with a strong emphasis on the results.
Write it down, yes seriously. Read it out loud to yourself until it sounds smooth and natural. Then find a family member or friend to tell it to. Practice is as much an important part of the SAR as deciding the right story to tell. As a hiring manager, I can’t tell you the number of people who have sat across from me and couldn’t come through in telling a compelling SAR for even the most straightforward question. This wasn’t even about research for my company, this was about identifying their own pertinent stories to share with me and getting them ready to tell.
I’ve barely skimmed the basics here, but even with just this little bit you will be ready in your next interview to say confidently, ‘I have an example’.
Beth Anne Reed has a background in Customer Relations, Process & Project Management and a deep interest in Written Communications.
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