“Storytelling is as old as the campfire, and as young as a tweet”- Richard Branson

Last night I went to watch movie at a nearby theatre. To my amazement, the man sitting next to me was watching the trailer of the same movie in his mobile phone (thanks to Jio)! In this process he missed the climax of the movie he paid for.

In most cases HR professionals do the same thing while hiring new recruits. I have seen employers recruiting people based on their assumptions derived from applicant’s CV. Given the authority to recruit people, I went in contrary to this popular ritual. And now I can boast of a talented pool of young professionals who can make every impossible possible. In last 3 months they have been setting remarkable examples in terms of proficiency and deliverance. Adversities are no longer excuses rather they consider them as integral attributes in their daily schedule.

Certainly, creating such a pool of  resource is no big deal unless you are hailing from a non-MBA background, suddenly entrusted with the daunting task of HR.

Ignorance is bliss. With no formal knowlwdge of HR, I’d to rely on my gut feelings. As an advertising professional, I always relied on stories rather than facts and figures. We conducted almost 100 interviews to select a pool of 6 professionals who can steer the course of business and profitability for my clients.

CVs to me are always over ornated depiction of the applicants. I have never seen a CV elucidating vices of the applicant. Every CV warrants the applicant as Dalai Lama seeking Nirvana through a mortal sales job.

Hence we started searching for people with stories, persuasive stories of achievements and humane failures.This is because stories have an emotional power to persuade that gives them an edge over pure logic.

Leadership stories are designed to change our conventional thought process. Stories are carefully chosen to achieve objectives. This can be done only when our audience (be it an employer or customer) can connect and resonate with our story.

To achieve a purpose, we have to think about what people will take from the story. A purposeful story should have substance, sincerity and a great truth at its core. It should also have a strong call to action. We need to know what the listener/s want to believe and understand at the end of the story. The key principle, as always, must be to change behaviours and achieve results.

In those hundred interviews, we never asked applicants about their achievements and aspirations. Rather some of the applicants broke into tears when asked a simple question: “what has been your worst failure, mention of which makes you feel disconcerted?” A single question breaks through their ultra attentive persona while exposing their long suppressed vulnerability. We are, how we deal with our vulnerabilities.

To err is human, especially when you are into sales and marketing. This is the reason why we never desired for a perfect professional, impeccably dressed, sans slightest traits to err. They are superficial with attitude like that of a machinery. Marketing is nothing but communication, and we only love to communicate with human beings.

In last 100 interviews I met two kinds of applicants. One, stuffed with corporate jargons, freshly rolled out of business schools (or even experienced) and others though hailing from diverse backgrounds but stuffed with stories of myriad hues.
While the former failed to convince me for buying a brand new Parker pen; the latter bagged a nod with a joining letter.

I suggest all aspiring job applicants to pause and start searching for stories in their own lives. You are not a CV but your unique insights derived from stories within. 

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3 thoughts on “CV is good, story is better.

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