9 Lives for Women Blog

Tell Your Story, Find a Job | February 26th, 2013

The buzz in marketing now is telling a story about a product or service—not just listing features on packaging or advertisements. That story concept is spilling over to the marketing of human talent, too.

Companies hire people—but it’s hard to tell if a candidate is interesting, dynamic or compelling from a standard issue resume. A well-written resume hints at a good career story—but it really doesn’t give a lot of color about how or why you got from Point A to Point B.

Marketers and social media strategists are now advising job seekers to turn all their career facts and figures into a story that shows personality as well as talents.  Your Linkedin profile summary, for example, has plenty of space to grab potential employers or networking contacts with information about what inspires you, why you enjoy the work you do, and where you’re headed in your next act.

One of the best places to tell your career story is in an actual biography, which is, along with your resume, a powerful sales document in your job search portfolio. On this subject an article by Kris Plantrich caught my eye, “Freshen Your Executive Bio”. Kris is a Certified Career Coach at  Summit View Career Coaching Services in Michigan.

Proving that a bio piques interest, I read in the short bio Kris has on Twitter that she is a “lefty who loves gardening and antiquing”. It’s not a bad idea to include some personal information in your bio so that employers have an idea of the person you are in your spare time. Since gardens and antiques play a big role in my life, too, I’m more likely to remember Kris than the hundreds of other career coaches I’m in contact with every day.

You just never know what information could keep you and your job search top of mind. Here’s what Kris has to say about the value of executive bios…

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Many executives find their next job with a biography. An executive biography can make you memorable and can be full of punch if written correctly.

Biographies are perfect for showing a different side to your accomplishments. They offer more character because they are written in paragraph form with full sentences. It’s a great tool as a stand-alone introductory document or as part of an interview portfolio–something that can make the hiring manager remember you.

An executive bio is more flexible than a resume. You use it on your website, for professional articles or books you author (and related promotional events), and for an easy cut and paste when you’re asked for a bio area in online applications.

Many public speakers use an executive bio to help them secure more engagements. After you deliver a speech, you can hand out copies of your bio to interested employers, stockholders, board members, and other VIPs who might hire you for future speaking engagements or employment opportunities.

Overall, a bio gives you a different voice–maybe the one that will get you the job.

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Kris advises that just like a resume, a bio should be updated annually, whether or not you are in the market for a job. She can be reached at Kris@SummitViewCareerCoaching.com  –KAS

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