Surefire Cover-Letter Technique: Incorporating Stories


Why would you went to employ storytelling in cover letters — or indeed in any part of your job search? Cover letters offer job-seekers great latitude to tell stories because letters are quite compatible with the narrative form. Tell_me_Cover.jpg In a cover letter, you can engage the employer, make an emotional connection, show results, and become instantly memorable by including at least one paragraph in the form of a powerful story. Not all employers read cover letters (about a third don’t), but those who read, do truly read the letter, unlike the resume, which they almost always skim. Quintessential Careers’ article on integrating stories in cover letters details the types of stories you can tell in a cover letter and provides examples of how to tell them. The article is excerpted from the book Tell Me About Yourself: Storytelling to Get a Job and Propel Your Career. Types of stories you can tell in a cover letter:
  • Stories of early interest in your career path and determination to reach your career goal.
  • Stories that depict your motivation, enthusiasm, and passion for the job you seek.
  • Stories describing specific projects you’ve led or collaborated on, including results.
  • Stories detailing problems you’ve solved for your employers.
  • Stories describing other accomplishments and successes.
  • Stories that reveal your personality.
  • Stories describing long-term interest in, knowledge of, and admiration for the organization you’re targeting.
  • Stories that describe how well you fit in with the organization’s culture, values, and mission.
  • Stories — for new graduates — of how your education has prepared you for the targeted job.
  • Stories that touch the heartstrings.
  • Stories to back up your claims about yourself.
  • Stories that tell how you are uniquely qualified for the targeted job.
  • Stories that capitalize on networking contacts.
  • Stories to explain unusual or potentially negative situations.
  • Stories to explain a career change.
  • Future stories that address employer needs and challenges and tell how you would address those issues.