A few years back the good people at The Boomerang Project recommended "A Whole New Mind" by Daniel Pink. If you click on that link you'll see a brief description stating that the book "...reveals the six essential aptitudes on which professional success and personal fulfillment now depend..." According to Pink two of those aptitudes are design and story. I enjoyed the book and have found it quite useful.
This past February my wife and I decided that it was time for me to start applying for a full-time administrative position. In 6+ years at a traditional high school as a Math Teacher I had gained valuable experience with things like serving on the staff leadership team, serving on WASC visiting teams, coaching, etc. During the last 2 years I was the Lead Teacher at a small charter school and it was during this time that I gained invaluable administrative experience working on school discipline, coordinating the administration of standardized exams, developing curriculum, leading professional development, etc. However, as "Lead Teacher" I wasn't officially an administrator, so I knew that when applying I'd be viewed as not having enough experience. I had to do something that would separate me from the pack.
I put design and story together and somehow came up with the idea of creating a video. I contacted former students, parents of current students, friends and associates, former/current colleagues and former supervisors and humbly asked them to make a short video of themselves completing the following statement: Alex would make a(n) __________ school leader because __________. The videos were incredible! I put them together in iMovie and came up with a 4-minute compilation that told a story about who I am as an educational leader. I uploaded the video and in each application and cover letter included a link.
The video certainly opened a lot of doors for me. One deputy superintendent remarked that he had never seen anything like it before and asked me if he could use it in a Masters class he teaches. I do believe that it played a significant role in me landing my current position. I've never thought of myself as much of a right-brainer but I guess an old dog can learn a few new tricks.
(I'm a little hesitant to include a link to the video because while it was a purposeful and effective way of marketing myself for a job it feels a bit pretentious to just put it out there. But, if it can help others market themselves and learn something then I think it's worth it. Click here.)