Frank Marinaro doesn’t spend his days matching candidates to companies, even though he’s a Director with Greenwood Village based TEAMWORx Health, where they help to fill leadership roles with the right talent.
“We match stories,” he says. “We’re listening, collecting and documenting the story on both the client and candidate side, and when we see the arc of the stories align we know we have a match.”
While everyone is busy talking about how important it is to build a personal brand, as well as promising to tell you the best way to do it, it turns out getting yourself that dream-career opportunity has more to do with telling your own story.
“It’s definitely important in terms of how you present yourself and market yourself as an individual candidate,” Marinaro says, “but in terms of matching an individual with a client, we’re not only focused on branding. We’re focused on story matching.”
How to tell your story: Talk it out
Marinaro does note that the exercise of personal branding can be a starting point for figuring out your story and where you want it to lead.
“The ability to come to terms with who you are is a valuable exercise,” he says. Some personal branding exercises can help candidates to self-reflect and deeply consider who they are, what they’re passionate about and where they want to go with their career. These are essential insights when figuring out what your story is.
And while figuring out that story is a major concern for places like TEAMWORx, it’s not being told through personal branding. “It’s a dialogue,” Marinaro says. “Resume review is a criteria check. The real story comes from a dialogue with the candidate.”
Marinaro ultimately wants stickiness — candidates that stay in the role for a long period of time — when matching candidates with companies. That means finding a great match on the first try is paramount, and to get there he wants to know about the person behind the candidate, not just their professional experience. “You only get half the story when you do a historical review.”
Turns out finding opportunities for in-person or over-the-phone conversations will have a much bigger impact than a snazzy business card.
It’s good to be human
How you represent yourself on social media matters, as does having a personal website or figuring out what makes you a unique job candidate. But oftentimes there can be a disconnect with the person portrayed by your personal brand and the person Headhunters are trying to find.
“It’s not just about where you’ve been, it’s about where you want to go,” Marinaro says. “You might have an individual who has tons of corporate experience, but they’re ready to roll their sleeves up and would actually be a better fit for a startup. Or you might have someone who appears to be a great fit for a startup, but it turns out they prefer to be led rather than be a leader.”
Whether it’s your social media presence, an online résumé or a live conversation, being who you really are is essential to telling your story — that includes honesty and vulnerability, not just promoting your skillset and professional experience. How you represent yourself publically should be a reflection of where you really want to go in your life, including professionally or personally. Whether you want to run a marathon or write a book can have as profound an effect on your ideal job situation as whether you can write code or have management experience.
“You don’t get a good feel for who a candidate is as an individual unless there’s some vulnerability,” Marinaro says. “When you’re matching storylines, there’s a lot of humanity that’s taking place in that process. We want candidates to be intimate with that story, and we want to achieve a level of intimacy in that interview process.”
Asking yourself questions that will spark robust responses is a great way to get primed, whether you’re actively seeking a job or already gainfully employed and thinking about where you want to be 10 years down the road. Maybe there’s an app idea you’ve always wanted to build, or a charity you would create. Whatever it is, be honest with yourself and start your story there.
“Build it from the ground up,” Frank says.
Getting where you want to go
TEAMWORx Health is a boutique firm, allowing the team to spend more time getting to know their clients and candidates. If possible, working with a smaller headhunting firm is a big plus.
But you might not always have people like Frank willing to give you the time and attention needed to get your story told. You might have to do it yourself, through multiple channels and wherever the opportunity presents itself.
The key is to be honest with yourself about who you are and who you really want to be, and to have the courage to present that publically. As you figure out your story, some kind of personal brand may even naturally develop.
So, the question is: What’s your story?
Frank Marinaro is a Director with TEAMWORx Health.