Today, the 19th day of the #60Day Challenge, we take advantage of the weekend – and what is a hopefully more quiet time to reflect – and focus on your “Hire Me” story…
In today’s marketplace, everyone needs a “Hire Me” story – a short, compelling tale that (once they have gotten to know you a little bit and know that you can do the job they are trying to fill) that compels the recruiter to say: “She gets it… I need her on my team!”
It is important to note that your Hire Me story isn’t your elevator pitch… but what comes after your eloquent delivery of that confident self-introduction. Specifically, your Hire Me story is what you say in response to the question that a truly interested conversation partner might ask next:
“What made you want to go into <insert career choice or industry here>?”
To help us understand the power of a convincing, sincere Hire Me story let’s look at a bad, good (but not good enough) and really good answer to this question:
Far too many of us are caught off guard when we’re asked this question; we simply aren’t prepared. So the worst case answer is the one recruiters, mentors and influencers hear most often:
“Wow, that is a really good question… I… um… well, I wanted to… um… you know… become a nurse because I… um… could… um… you know…”
At this point, it doesn’t matter what is said next. The opportunity to impress is lost.
Good Answer, But Not Good Enough:
Even well-prepared candidates typically rely on regurgitation of their elevator pitch when asked this important question; it may go something like this:
“Healthcare is a growing field and I’ve always been interested in medicine and helping others. With my degree in nursing from USC completed, I’m ready to step up to the challenge.”
Not a bad answer, especially when delivered with confidence. But this will only get you in the top 10% of all candidates going for the same position. To get to the top 1%… you need to get to the next level…
The Winning Answer
A gripping, “I need her on my team!” Hire Me story goes something like this:
“When I was 11 years old, my grandfather, who was dealing with Alzheimer’s, came to live with us. He needed around the clock care, and we had nurses in and out of the house all day. There was one nurse, Andrea, who took really good care of my grandfather. She didn’t tolerate his grouchiness, but was very respectful and patient. She actually listened to him, no matter how many times he told the same story. As his condition got worse, Grandpa could not remember my mom’s name, or mine. But he knew Andrea. Every time Andrea came in the house, Grandpa would just light up.
Andrea made a real difference in my Grandpa’s life. And ever since then, that is who I’ve wanted to be; that is what I knew I wanted to do with my life.”
Now, your story may not be this dramatic… but it certainly needs to be this sincere – and hopefully this powerful.
Employers want to know who they are hiring. They want to get to know the human behind the application. They want to know your reason for working goes well beyond a paycheck. Your Hire Me story is sometimes your one and only chance to help the employer understand your motivations and passions better – and to impress in a unique, captivating way.
To get your Hire Me story going, take some time today to think about the “why and “what” behind your career choice (hint: to generate a really compelling story, your answers should have nothing to do with compensation):
- Why do you want – really want – to do what you do for a living?
- What gets you out of bed every day, even before the alarm goes off?
- When times get rough, what will keep you focused on the impact your work has on others?
From there, build your very own personal, and persuasive, Hire Me story.
Then, be ready for the “Wow!” look on the face of the person who listens.