top of page

Job Seekers: Storytelling Can Get You Hired

I've been unemployed twice.

My first time being unemployed is in 2011 after I graduate from USC with a marketing degree. The job market is slowly rebuilding from the 2008 recession. My second time is in 2018 after my employer, an AI startup, goes through significant restructuring and lays off over 10% of its workforce.

In both instances, it takes me over 6 months to land on my feet. My job search troubles mirror what many people face today: a long, emotional, and mentally draining experience.

Search for a job is hard, but it doesn't have to be. Especially if you seek help and don't go at it alone.

The Reality of the 2024 Job Market

job interview candidates

The job market in 2024 is hyper-competitive, perhaps the worst situation for job seekers in a long time. Hundreds if not thousands of candidates apply for the same role believing they are the best fit for the position.

You spend hours tweaking your resume and cover letter. You wait around hoping that this opportunity is the one. You wait around for weeks with no response and wonder what could have gone wrong. Does that sound familiar? I've experienced it.

The harsh reality is that only a handful of candidates will receive a positive response, typically less than 20%, after applying and being invited to interview for this position.

The odds are already stacked against you.

Let's say you are selected. Now, you must jump through more hoops during the rest of the interview process.

  1. Talk to the hiring manager.

  2. Panel interview with the team.

  3. Meet an executive stakeholder.

  4. Present a case study or project.

  5. Meet Human Resources.

Companies do this for specific reasons. Hiring is expensive and goes far beyond the salary and benefits. It includes expenses such as recruiting, onboarding, and training. Add it all up and you could say hiring is a big-time investment. For most companies, this means assessing candidates from multiple perspectives.

The first perspective is obvious to most job seekers. Do you possess the necessary hard skills? It could be programming, marketing, or analytics. Most candidates check off these boxes, but this is the baseline.

The second perspective is less easily known to job seekers, but it is understood by scanning your resume and application. It's your communication and leadership skills. Poor communication and ineffective leadership cost companies up to 18% of employees' salaries (source: Inc). This could amount to millions of dollars per year for larger companies.

Companies need employees who can lead from any position and know how to communicate their ideas clearly and confidently. This applies across positions (e.g. engineering, software development, marketing, etc) and levels (entry-level to C-suite) at companies.

As a job seeker, what is your top priority when submitting your application and later interviewing? To communicate your unique value to the company. Essentially, you are showing how and why you are different from the rest.

Take Control of Your Job Search Strategy

Many describe the job search process as a full-time job, whether you are currently employed or not. Searching for a job is also a test: a physical one, a mental one, and an emotional one.

If you are playing your job search the same way you play chess, without a strategy, you will lose. Both are not games where you want to take chances. You are already behind if you don't have a thorough strategy and plan.

job seeker chess analogy

Similar to chess, you need to be 10 steps ahead in this job market.

The key to your job search success is building a comprehensive storytelling strategy. It must be compelling and consistent across all touchpoints - your LinkedIn profile, resume, cover letter, phone and in-person interviews.

Your career story must highlight who you are and why a company should hire you. Think of it as your elevator pitch. You are the product that you market to potential customers.

Storytelling is an effective way to help you stand out in a crowded job market. Unfortunately, most job seekers do not know how to effectively tell their stories to land a new position.

I used my leadership storytelling skills to land 3 new positions and 5 promotions over 10 years. Many of my clients have used storytelling to advance their careers and land new roles. A recent client, Jessica, started working with me after 8 months of not getting interviews. After we identified and told her story in different ways, she stood out to her dream companies and later received a job offer after 7 weeks!

Learn and Apply Storytelling to Get Hired

I am excited to announce my newest storytelling coaching service for professionals seeking help to get hired. The mission of the Job Seeker Success Program is to get you hired in 75 days or I'll work with you until you do.

What’s Included:

  • Comprehensive storytelling assessment of your professional career including LinkedIn profile, resume, and cover letter.

  • 6 tailored coaching sessions that provide you with the skills to tell your leadership stories.

  • 3 mock interview sessions focused on storytelling delivery with personalized feedback.

  • Access to a private LinkedIn community for job seekers to support, network, and collaborate along their journies.

  • A revised resume and LinkedIn profile that reflects your unique career narrative.

  • Networking strategies to tell your story to industry professionals.

  • 24/7 access to resources including videos, a self-paced online course, and guides.

  • Ongoing support in between sessions.

Your Outcomes:

  • Differentiate yourself to potential employers with a compelling set of career and leadership stories.

  • Shape your career narrative through your LinkedIn profile, resume, and cover letter.

  • Gain confidence in delivering your story throughout the interview process – from application to interview and beyond.

  • Strengthen your professional network with a community of collaborative job seekers.

  • Land a job offer in 75 days.

To learn more about the Job Seeker Success Program, contact David at

David Ghodsizadeh is the founder and leadership storytelling coach at Storytelling 4 Success.


bottom of page