Everything you submit in writing and say contributes to building your narrative. This includes your resume and cover letter, your answers to the interviewers’ questions, the questions you ask, your letters of reference, and what your references say about you. It’s about building your narrative, creating a chemistry, that demonstrates you are a good match, a good fit, for what they’re really looking for; a good match for what their community thinks they want.

Creating an effective narrative requires a multi-step strategy for each position. Each position is somewhat unique. However, the commonalities out-weigh the differences. Before I can demonstrate some of the strategies that go into building your narrative, we first must make some assumptions.


  1. They want to know who you are, and what you have to offer.
  2. They want to like you. Interviews are often sterile; you must create an emotional and compelling context through telling your story.
  3. They want to determine that you to share their values and aspirations.
  4. You have look and act the role.
  5. They want you to easily fit in and not cause conflict.
  6. You need to come across as humble, self-effacing, sincere, direct, plain spoken, good humored, and authentic.

Strategic Steps

  1. Find out all you can about the school-community from a variety of sources to fulfill assumption #3.
  2. Decide what they really want you to do. Do not solely rely upon their job description—that’s what they think they want; it may not be what they really want.
  3. Analyze your resume, particularly your accomplishments, and emphasize those aspects that resonate with assumptions #1 and #3.
  4. Identify your personal information, which is not on your resume and they can’t ask you about, that speaks to assumptions #1, #2, #3.

The tactics as to how you go about carrying out these strategies requires in-depth analyses for each step. However, the result, which is moving on to the next steps of your candidacy, will be rewarding.


Dr. Aronstein will be presenting a workshop for job seekers on March 13th at Nassau BOCES. Register:


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