How to Build a Trustworthy Career Narrative That Lands You Jobs

Nietzsche once said “There are no facts, only interpretation.” 

As someone who grew up focused on science and theories and hypothesis and facts, I found this unsettling. 

Of course there are facts! But as I’ve learned nuance and empathy, I’ve realized that interpretations are vital to the way that we live our lives. 

The Great Cilantro Revelation

I used to think that, indisputably, cilantro tastes amazing.  How can one even think about eating a proper taco without it? However, genetic differences make cilantro taste great to some people, and taste like soap to others. 

This great cilantro revelation, as well as more information about empathy, worldviews, and psychological narratives have caused me to rethink my previous stance. I’ve since learned the power of nuance and how important interpretation is to how we interact with the world around us. The most important part being: how I interpret something is probably different from your interpretation.

Your Career Credibility is in the Eye of the Beholder

Whether it’s what cilantro tastes like, or how credible one might seem, we can’t discount the interpretations of others. This is why interpretation is crucial when it comes to job hunting, as the interpretation of the value we can bring to a role is what companies are evaluating us on. Regardless of your qualifications and your skills, have you thought about how those valuable traits are actually being interpreted by recruiters or hiring managers?

You can be 100% qualified for a role, but if the gatekeepers don’t think so, you’re not landing that job.  This is not fake it ‘til you make it. It’s about crafting and sharing an honest, authentic representation of yourself that others will respond positively towards.  At Spotlight Trust, we call it Crafting your Trustworthy Career Narrative, and doing so has three main steps.

  1. Name your narrative.  
  2. Get clarity.  
  3. Build consistency. 

1. Name Your Narrative

The first step is to figure out how you want to be perceived.  This should be done through researching as much as you can about both the company and the specific role that you want to apply for.  Once you’re clear on how you want your narrative to read, you can then focus on getting clear on how others view you.

2. Get Clarity

How can you get that clarity and better understand how others might interpret your narrative? Ask. 

Find others and ask them to share their interpretation. Invite them to take a look at your resume, LinkedIn profile, portfolio, etc. and let you know what they perceive.  Find out what they remember after scanning your resume – most resumes get about a 8-10 second first read, so you actively want to discourage them from thinking this is a reading comprehension test.

3. Build Consistency

Finally, it’s building the consistency that is at the core of your narrative.  Consistency is the Third Facet of Trust-Centered Leadership. Having a consistent narrative is the difference between someone trusting you or not.  I can’t tell you how many people have alignment errors and typos in a cover letter, and then claim to be “detail oriented.”  Your entire goal is to make sure that whatever you’re saying about yourself consistently shines through in every situation.

A Compelling and Credible Career Narrative Helps You Build the Trust Needed to Land Jobs

What does this representation look like when it’s successful?  It’s a specific, relevant, and memorable narrative – a trustworthy story you tell others about yourself, and they in turn remember it and spread the word.  From how you present yourself on your resume, LinkedIn profile, or portfolio website to what you say in an interview – it’s a specific, thoughtful, and consistent way of presenting your best self so that the hiring manager interprets you to be a trusted hire.

Crafting Your Trustworthy Narrative – FREE Workbook

These interpretations of you as a high-value asset are crucial to earning the trust needed to land a job. In our 10-page FREE Crafting Your Trustworthy Narrative Workbook, we’ve broken these three steps down into actionable questions to help you get specific with crafting your own Career Narrative.  If you or someone you know is looking for work, please share this with them. 

Learn How to Earn the Trust Needed to Land Your Next Job

While Crafting Your Trustworthy Narrative workbook is a great resource and starting place, we’re offering a much deeper dive into Trust-Centered skills for job seekers in our Hire Me, I’m Trusted Superclass. In this interactive live online session we’ll be focusing on developing the Trust-Centered skills needed to build trust with hiring managers, including the “CC4C” interviewing framework, Additive Networking, and the Spotlight Method for resume building. 

To find out more about our next session of this Superclass, click here to learn more and register now.

Best of luck on your job hunt!   

1 comment

  1. Shane Delaney

    This is an amazing post and couldn’t be better timed. I’ll certainly be working through the workbook!

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