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Your Life Story Matters, Except in the Job Search


Robby

Don’t make your story part of the application. Whether you are proud of your kids or are struggling to get by or won the lottery and don’t need a job…shut up already.

This may sound harsh. We are all complete human beings with stories to tell. We have all endured trials and experienced great victories. We’ve all been the victims of bad luck and the beneficiaries of fortune. We’ve all worked hard, and sometimes that hard work has even paid off.

Which is great, but for the most part employers don’t care about that. Because the problem they are trying to solve is not: who is an interesting person I can meet? but how do I get this specific work accomplished?

Journal
© Flickr User Bev Sykes

So, here’s a list of things never to volunteer in the job search process. (You can answer them if you like, but don’t lead with the.)

I was born in… a small town/a big city/the middle of a war zone. Unless you’re applying for a job where people recount stories of their youth, that has no relevance.

I have X children. While many people like children, you’re probably not applying for a job in which being a parent provides a special advantage.

I recently beat… cancer/the world record of marshmallows eaten in one minute/some eggs to make an omelette. That’s great, but again, what’s the relevance to the job?

I need this job because… I’m saving for a vacation to Australia/I’m being blackmailed by my ex/I haven’t eaten in two days. All of this is information that can’t really help you in the search. So why would you share it?

Be a Professional

If it’s a professional job, you need to act like a professional. That means keeping the conversation focus on work and the workplace.

It’s okay to get personal. But don’t start out personal. Let the other person lead. After all, you’re there for a job opportunity. Right?

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, January 24 2017 » Career Planning and Goal Setting, Self Development

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