Today’s blog post is all about you!
Well, it is about you and your stories to be precise. Not the soaps you watch during the day when you’re bored, I’m talking about the stories you should be telling on your Social Media outlets.
Speaking of You…
By now, you should be well aware of how important saying the right things on your platforms can be. Keeping things professional and concise are likely what help guide your posts and writings. It is time for you to grow into a more mature SM user. The fortunate part for you is that to become better, you only need to look inside yourself and in the work that you do. I’m going to have a look at how stories from your personal life and professional life can be best utilized to increase the benefits of your SM.
We all have plenty of stories to talk about. I think it is natural that we split the stories up into “personal events” and “professional events”. It’s an easy way for us to recall information quickly in a conversation depending on the conversation itself. That isn’t to say that personal and professional stories can’t seep into one another, but we tend to split up the two. I’d like to first talk about your personal stories. These can happen anywhere, including work! These stories are of vacations, hectic days, adventures and personal growth. You derive personal stories out of everything, every day. What makes a personal story different from a professional story is where you emphasize the value of the story. For example, the story about your dog scarfing down half of last night’s dinner probably won’t do much more than entertain your audience.
Based on the ideas of this “emphasis of value”, I will generalize that most “personal” stories will be most valuable when trying to entertain, teach, and communicate. While these three dimensions aren’t always directly focused on your career, you should still use your personal stories to help bolster your career branding. You know what is appropriate for your brand goals, so go ahead and write up some personal stories on your blog, or throw a few tweets or LinkedIn posts that aren’t directly related to your career but that help show a recruiter who you are and what you enjoy. You can use your personal stories to help provide insights into your personality and reasoning that may not show through in other professional stories. Remember, a recruiter wants to know you just as much as they want to know what you can do!
Chronicling Your Workday
You are also very aware of the wealth of professional stories you have. These are things like relevant project experience, challenges that you overcame in your career and other things that have happened in your career that show your abilities and career direction. The emphases of value that are placed on these stories are their ability to quickly tell someone your work ethic, professionalism, and critical thinking skills.
As you look through your blog posts, tweets and LinkedIn updates and projects you should see a clear theme that keeps your professional postings on track. For example, you may post a project to LinkedIn that describes a very analytical project you finished. The next step would be to write up a brief story detailing the project. You can post it inside the project notes on LinkedIn, then expand on it in a Blog post and promote it on twitter! The story should be written from your personal perspective because we want the recruiters to see how you worked through these professional challenges.
When writing these stories, feel free to speak your mind and be candid about your likes and dislikes of a project. Mention the strengths and weaknesses that you found in yourself while working on the project. A great way to facilitate the creation of these stories is to continually review your workday experiences. Jot a few notes down as projects progresses so that you can review them and remember your feelings for later storytelling. If you’ve worked with others on the project or other workflow activities, go the extra mile and see if they’ll be kind enough to have an impromptu interview about their thoughts on a project. When you bring others into a professional story, you are able to show a recruiter you attention to the people you work with and how fantastic your communication skills are!
Why You’re Writing
The two types of stories above are of different realms in your reality, but collectively serve the purpose of building and enhancing your personal brand. This is the part of the conversation where I remind you that your content on all platforms needs to have a clear direction and call to action.
As you’ve told your stories and posted you blogs, you’ve done a great job of telling people stuff; stuff that makes no difference if you don’t have an end goal. Are you currently working on getting a new job, transferring to a new field or department? Your call to action is the reason you are writing, so don’t forget to actually put it out there.
If you are trying to show a recruiter that you have great customer service skills, keep your stories focused on success and failures you’ve had when interacting with customers. Your call to action comes in at the end of all the storytelling by keeping your contact information around and making remarks that directly affect a recruiter’s impression of you. Try nesting your call to action as a sort of “summation” of the story. For example, as you’ve told these stories about how good you are with customers, wrap up your post with “As I continue to develop new ways to interface better with customers, I seek opportunities to employ these methods in a corporate environment. As previous posts will attest, I have a strong interest in communication and sales and feel that working within the third-party marketing firm would provide a great environment to showcase my skills.”