Telling Your Professional Story

Boost your confidence and ability to know and share your strengths
Telling Your Professional Story

“I have your resume here, Ms. Paddison, but I’d like to hear from you: What makes you the right candidate for this position?”

“I’m glad you asked. As you can see, I have the industry experience, but what’s more, I have experience in taking growing companies like yours to the next level. I’m a team-builder, because I know that to be a strong company you need strong, motivated employees. I’ll use my network to help you establish key connections in the industry and put my experience to work in advising where and how fast to expand into new markets. I grew up on a farm, and at heart I’m still a farm girl; that means I work hard and I don’t give up. Based on everything I’ve read and heard about your company, I can see that it’s on the cusp of something big. I’d like to help you take it there.”

I didn’t simply recite information, I told a story—one in which I’m the hero.

See what I just did there? I turned this interview on its head in the very first question. I did it with a compelling, confident, narrative explanation of who I am, where I come from, and where I’m going. That answer is powerful because it shows that I understand the particular needs of the company as well as how I can apply my strengths and expertise to address them. Rather than explain why I want the job, I told them why they need me to take the job. I didn’t simply recite information, I told a story—one in which I’m the hero.

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Diane Paddison

Diane Paddison is a business professional and founder of 4wordwomen.org, local groups of professional working women committed to faith, family, work, and each other.

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May 25

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