Every individual has a personal brand, whether you are conscious of it or not, a digital footprint that has been crowd sourced by friends, colleagues, and bosses that tells the story of you. Your personal brand is both what you are known for and the experiences people have of you.
The challenge lies in identifying what your brand is and being able to convey that in your next job interview. An effective and powerful way to articulate your personal brand is through storytelling. Stories paint a picture, capture the imagination, and tap into emotion. Stories help your audience connect with you and your message.
The stories you share that paint a picture of your uniqueness for example, as a team player, or having initiative help to shape your personal brand and set you apart from the competition.
Steve Jobs is a clear example of a great personal brand story. Even after his passing, Jobs continues to inspire and engage us through the stories around his personal brand. In Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography, Steve Jobs, there is a story that Jobs used to explain his perfectionist streak:
As a young boy, Jobs had helped his father build a fence around their backyard, and he was told they had to use just as much care on the back of the fence as on the front.
“Nobody will ever know,” young Steve said. His father replied, “But you will know.” A true craftsman uses a good piece of wood even for the back of a cabinet against the wall, his father explained, and they should do the same for the back of the fence. It was the mark of an artist to have such a passion for perfection.
Isaacson explains that Jobs applied this lesson to each and every computer machine, much to the frustration of Apple engineers who were asked to make the chips line up neatly inside a tightly sealed box. “Nobody is going to see the PC board,” one of them protested. Jobs reacted as his father had: “I want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if it’s inside the box. A great carpenter isn’t going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody’s going to see it.”
Perfectionist is a part of Jobs’ personal brand. So, how do you find your own stories that capture your brand?
Here’s a good place to start:
- Find the stories that meet your purpose and the criteria the job requires. If the job involves someone who can consistently meet tight deadlines and that’s a quality you possess— find a story that meets that purpose.
- Use stories to support your hard data. Did you increase efficiency by 15%? Tell a story on how you accomplished that.
- Be authentic. Don’t embellish or spin stories and put your credibility on the line to make an impression.
Finding and sharing purposeful authentic stories, in your next interview that articulate your personal brand will help you connect with the interviewer and be memorable. Power up your personal brand using storytelling in your next job interview and you could land the job of your dreams.