Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
JOB SEARCH / JAN. 16, 2015
version 4, draft 4

How to Write a Career Narrative

A career narrative can be defined as a professional essay outlining both long- and short-term career goals. More so, it elaborates on the specific steps that you will need to take to achieve all the goals. Narratives must be focused and insightful as they give a clear picture of your future endeavors, as well as your past achievements. When applying for particular jobs, some employers expect you to submit your career narrative together with your CV. Other organizations require all the employees to write a career narrative after a certain period of time, or upon reaching a certain level in their job. Below are some guidelines on writing this vital document.

Past experience

You can begin your essay by stating why you chose to pursue your profession. For instance, if you are a nurse, you can state that your interest in the field developed after undertaking first aid lessons or volunteering in a hospital. In this section, you can describe how past work experience, education and other extracurricular activities advanced your interest in the field. Remember to state every prior work experience in its own paragraph and explain how it helped you grow in the profession. For example, you can state that pursuing a nursing major in college and getting an internship in hospital taught you the value of integrity, confidentiality and compassion.

Create a list of accomplishments

Next, come up with a list of all the accomplishments that are directly related to your career. Include information on the various awards, internships, school grades and certificates to support your outstanding performance. Remember that accomplishments are different from past experience because they ascertain your competitiveness compared to the other candidates. For instance, if you graduated at the top of your nursing class, make sure to include this in the accomplishment section. In addition, if you received an award for the most punctual intern, do not forget to mention it.

Write long- and short-term goals

A good career narrative must link your prior accomplishments to your future aspirations. You can capture this by defining the short-term goals that you intend to accomplish over the next three years. Also outline the long-term goals that you will fulfill within the next five years. Ensure that the essay is specific to the position you are applying for, and remember to show how the position will help you in meeting the goals. Explain your goals in details to avoid sounding vague. For example, instead of saying: “I want to work in a big hospital as a nurse,” write: “I want to go back to school and specialize in pediatrics over the next three years, because I am passionate about working with children.”

Mind your voice

You should write your career narrative in first-person, which is no excuse to use informal language. It is important to maintain professionalism and decorum throughout the essay. Refrain from using profanity, slang or informal language as this minimizes your credibility. Also, avoid giving negative comments about other organizations that you have worked with in the past. Nevertheless, be humble and honest about your skills, experience and achievements. More so, let your writing capture the enthusiasm of your future goals so that the reader can see your potential as the right candidate for the position.


A career narrative undoubtedly gives a clear insight about your past job experiences, achievements, as well as your future endeavors within your profession. It must be written carefully using a professional tone to uphold your credibility. Following the steps outlined above will help you in formulating this important professional document.

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