Storytelling to Land Better Job and Business Opportunities

Note: The following post is based on my article “The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King.”

Recently, I shared with you a video of Chris Rene the guy who went from hauling trash and addiction to stardom, thanks to his storytelling skills and musical talent.

If you’ve ever watched talent shows like American Idol and The X Factor, you’ll notice talent alone isn’t enough. Charisma and a great superhero story matter, too. The same thing applies in our professional lives.

People work with people they can relate to and identify with. Trust comes from personal disclosure, and that kind of sharing is hard to convey in a resume. You’ve got to go open-kimono. Your bio needs to tell a bigger story so whoever reads it can resonate with you. Because when you’re in the business of relationships, it’s your bio that’s read first.

That’s why your bio has to answer these five crucial questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. How can I help you?
  3. How did I get here (i.e. know what I know)?
  4. Why can you trust me?
  5. What do we share in common?

Your bio is the linchpin for expanding your thought leadership and recognition – especially online. It frames the conversation and sets the tone. It’s your job to reveal a bit about yourself and how you see the world. Be a little vulnerable and invite them into a relationship, and people will want to engage with you even more.

Here’s a few key tips for reinventing your bio as a story:

1. Share a Point of View.

You’re a creative. Having something to say is the ultimate proof. What’s missing from the larger conversation? Speak to that. Don’t be afraid to tell the bigger story. We want to know how you see the world. Show us that you have a unique perspective or fresh vantage point on the things that matter most.

Chris did it and told his story from a place of honesty and courage. Are you brave enough to do the same?


2. Create a Backstory.

Explain the origin for how you came to see the world in this way. Maybe it was something that happened to you as a kid or early in your career.  Consider your superhero origins. How did you come to have these powers? What set you off on this quest or journey? What’s the riddle or greater mystery you are trying to solve?

When you tell the story of who you were meant to be, it becomes an undeniable story. Natural authority is speaking from the place of what you know and have lived – and that’s exactly what Chris did too. He didn’t fake “expertise,” he talked about his experiences and challenges with addiction while growing up.

3. Incorporate External Validators.

Less is more here. We spend too much time trying to convince others, instead of believing in ourselves. Nonetheless, if you’re doing something new, different, or innovative – you have to anchor it into the familiar. Help people see your ideas are connected to things they recognize and trust. That might be your notable clients, press, publications, or things you’ve created. Just enough to show people your story is for real.

Now, this isn’t something Chris had to do, but he nailed the next step.

4. Invite People into Relationship.

Now that you’ve established you’ve got something to share, remind people you’re not so different from them. Vulnerability is the new black. Share some guilty pleasures. Describe what you like to geek out on. Reveal a couple things you obsess about as hobbies or interests. This will make you more approachable and relatable. You’re human, too. Help people find those invisible lines of connection.

Not only did Chris talk about his addiction, he was also open about what he does for living: hauling trash. And if you watch the video and listen, some in the audience actually laughed at him – but it didn’t phase him. He came from a place of vulnerability – a lot of vulnerability – and in the end, he won the audience over.

To revamp your bio, start with these simple storytelling principles and answering the questions above. In the process, you’ll discover a greater potential to shift how you see yourself and how the world sees you. Your story sets the boundaries for everything else that follows.


If you’re having trouble being heard, recognized, or understood, it’s probably an issue related to your story and identity. The good news? It’s never too late to reinvent your story.


Wanna learn more? Get “The New About Me” Course, for just $297.

12 thoughts on “Storytelling to Land Better Job and Business Opportunities”

  1. Michael, you know how kids always choose to open the biggest wrapped gift first…when I have 31 “new” emails in my inbox, I open yours first! Thanks for enriching my life with your gifts!!

    1. Gary, that is such an awesome compliment. You just made my day. With a little extra pep in my step. Thank you.

  2. What Gary said! Your thoughts and concepts are so inspiring, Michael. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  3. Pingback: Quickly turning bio into story | The New Digital Storytelling

  4. Hey Michael,

    As a fellow storyteller I just wanted to take a second and say thank you! I love finding your insightful articles. I’m also curious if you have considered adding Flattr integration to your site so people can give you the mad re$pect you deserve for all the hard work you do. Flattr is also a great compliment to speaking engagements and conferences because it lets attendees give back to the speakers that motivated them the most.

    I write at

    1. Hey Evan – thanks for the heads up on Flattr! Wasn’t aware of the service. I’m honestly not so motivated to receive micropayments like that, but certainly appreciate having anyone “pay it forward” by sharing blog posts they like with others in their tribe.

  5. Pingback: How to Find a Job in a New City Before You Move | The "" Blog

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