So What’s Your Story?

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So here’s my story. We are enlarging our marketing staff and I have two job postings advertised for which I am getting a good number of resumes and writing samples submitted. These are junior marketing positions, and we are very clear that we are seeking candidates with marketing education and/or backgrounds.

However, when I open and read the resumes, you wouldn’t know that the writer of the resume knew anything about marketing, as the writers aren’t marketing to me! In fact, with the sole exception of one submission, less than 1% of the responses, only one lonely resume has even deviated from the typical formal, chronological format that you might expect from an engineer, accountant or lawyer.

Now I’m not expecting a “personal brochure,” although that would be great to see. However, given that I expect candidates with a strong marketing mindset to be applying, and since one of the positions is for a marketing communications specialist, I would expect that a least SOME of the resumes would attempt to tell me the story of who this person is. Pretty basic, right?

But that’s not the end of the story. The writing samples for the most part are also very formulaic, maybe technically very good but somehow failing to engage me as a reader. Many of these are press releases and not one, not one single example out of the dozens and dozens of samples I have received, not one is written in such a way to effectively engage the reader, and absolutely none of these are written in a story format.

Now why am I so concerned about this? Well, from my perspective, and I’m not alone on this as any of you may know who also read from time to time, the single most important skill in marketing is the ability to tell a compelling story. I might even go so far as to say this could be the most important skill in sales, or in business period!

I hope some of the candidates who might see my job postings and who are thinking of applying were in Boston this week and got a chance to stop by Hill | Holiday to meet Frank Rose. You might remember him as the author of West of Eden. He’s here in Boston promoting his latest book, The Art of Immersion. Hopefully, this book will inspire more marketers to trash the dull, boring and dysfunctional style of techno-babble and put their pens to paper to create engaging, immersive stories that engage the readers at the personal and emotional level. So, that’s my story for today.

Frank Rose, author of “The Art of Immersion” at Hill | Holiday in Boston.
Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion at Hill | Holiday in Boston.

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