If not, you better be.
Here are a few good reasons:
1) A clear personal story makes it a lot easier for me to remember you. As in, “oh ya! The guy with the harmonica! I remember him!”
2) A clear personal story makes it easy for me to understand what you can do. As in, “We need somebody who can play the harmonica – we need to hire that guy.”
3) A clear personal story will probably make it easier for me to relate to you. As in, “I play the harmonica too!” or “I wish I knew how to play the harmonica, maybe that guy can teach me.”
Life is messy. So, chances are that your personal story isn’t as clear as “guy who plays the harmonica.” So what can you do?
You must craft, cull, and edit your story. Decide the image and message you want to convey for the occasion at hand. Convey that part of your story. Don’t get me wrong – you’ve got to be authentic. It can’t be baloney.
However, you don’t have to tell your whole story all the time. Tell the part of your story that matters when it matters. If you’re applying to an internship that wants harmonica players, then be the harmonica guy.
On the other hand, if you’re applying to the internship that wants drummers, then be a drummer guy.
One last thing, as you do internships or have other professional experiences, make sure to take note. Once they happen, those things are part of your personal story now too.
About the Author: Eric Woodard is the author of “Your Last Day of School: 56 Ways You Can Be A Great Intern and Turn Your Internship Into a Job” and founder of GreatIntern.com, a site that teaches students to be great interns and successful during internships. Eric created and managed internship programs for the White House and U.S. Senate. He’s also consulted with a variety of national non-profit clients to create and manage successful internship programs. Over the years Eric received zillions of thank you notes from interns, and has kept every single one. Follow Eric on Twitter!