How to cook up a tasty career story.

Why is it that a meal you cook at home may not taste the same as the one at a 5-star restaurant cooked by a trained Chef using the same fresh ingredients?

Why is it that that same meal, when cooked by two different trained chefs using those same fresh ingredients, may taste different?

The answer is pretty simple.

It's not about the ingredients. How you blend those ingredients into a taste ignites the taste buds and delivers an experience that is so memorable that you want to return for seconds is what makes one Chef more special than the other.

This same principle applies to how you talk about your career.

Your skills are the ingredients, and how you craft those skills and your experiences into a compelling story that's served memorably to companies and recruiters is what will help you stand out a bit from others.

But even that's not enough. A gourmet Chef doesn't just know how to cook a great meal; they also work hard to understand their customer and where to serve that meal so the added premium and cost are justified. They practice to get the taste just right, and they'll rewrite their recipes to get to a point where they can predict that the dish will be liked by those who consume it. These efforts remove the aspect of their meal being a commodity, allowing them to charge more and e demand. This is also why many chefs keep their recipes a secret.

Like food, most roles are commodities in a company. So, what makes you demand more? What sets you apart from the next person they interview? It's likely how you perfect your story and elevator pitch. You have to find ways to blend your skills and experiences into a unique, targeted narrative with your stamp on it.

Chefs don't list every ingredient found in their recipe on the menu. They focus on a handful of standouts and often compellingly write them.

So be a Chef. Refrain from talking about the fresh new certification you picked up last week or rattled off skills to impress. Pick the highlights that matter to the company you're interviewing, and tell them a story. Make them crave more, and want to taste what you've been cooking up your entire career.

If you need help crafting this story, practicing your pitch for an upcoming interview, or hand-building your resume, create your Free Career Sandwich account and take a look at our experts, and coaches!

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