If you thought about your career history to date as a series of chapters in a book, what twists and turns have you taken? Who are the influential characters who have made an impact on your progression, your confidence? Are there any villians who have tried to swerve you off course?

Over time we can easily forget what we did in previous jobs, or maybe it’s clouded by negative experiences. Yet, when we’re asked to reflect and share our career story to recruiters, what can we say?

Reminding yourself of your story so far

Start identifying all the ways that you’ve been able to shine, reminding yourself of what you have done and what impact you’ve had. By exploring the following 4 questions about each part of your career history, you can begin to recap your story and prompt a flow of great examples of the experience, skills and qualities you offer.

  1. What did I do? (job role, duties, responsibilities…)
  2. What did I learn and achieve? (skills, expertise, highlights, successes…)
  3. What did I most enjoy? (insight into how you like to work and your personality)
  4. What would I do differently? (useful for helping you reflect)

Hello & Goodbye

Across your employment history, what were the reasons that prompted you to say Goodbye to one role or company, and motivated you to say Hello! to your next opportunity? This can be a useful reminder of your career journey and the choices you’ve made to get to where you are now. Some of these choices may have been influenced by events out of your control or forced upon you, by personal circumstances (family, location) or by aspiration and drive.

It may be interesting to then reflect on what factors are coming in to play right now for you and how they may influence your next move.

“Tell me about yourself”

What’s your ‘blurb’ or summary of your story so far? What could you share about yourself that is short, punchy and relevant? Focus less on a mini biopic history of you and your CV adventures, but ways you can summarise what you’re doing right now and why you’re looking to move; your areas of expertise; what you have to offer that will solve key problems within that role/company.

What would colleagues say about you?

Be prepared to ask colleagues, managers, friends for their insight into what they believe you contribute and offer.

  • ‘Where have you added most value?’
  • ‘How have you helped them achieve their goals within the business?’
  • ‘What would they miss most about you if you left?’

Send out Recommendation Requests on LinkedIn to colleagues and clients you have a good relationship with – get feedback and boost your profile at the same time!

Active Words

Consider the language you use to describe your impact and contribution. Active Words give you a starting point in crafting your language in a positive and action-oriented way. Some examples of these may include:

Devised, Planned, Managed, Solved, Negotiated, Researched, Evaluated, Co-ordinated, Trained, Prepared, Created, Analysed, Interpreted, Completed, Achieved…


Just for fun, what would the title of your Career Story be?

Feel free to comment and share your story’s twists and turns!

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