There’s no question more intimidating in an interview than one without an answer. The one that I always practiced was a favorite of most interviewers: “Tell me about yourself. Walk me through your resume.”
Today, I want to share my answer. Well, the blog version at least.
I am an Army brat, and my childhood was chaos, to put it bluntly. We always moved to chase the next class or training toward my Mom’s next promotion. Thanks to these relocations, I was a better networker than most adults by 6.
So of course, by the time I was 16, I was talking people into giving me jobs. I had three gigs lined up by the time I had a driver’s license – daycare staff, front desk at a hairdresser, and retail associate at the mall. I was such a tomboy, I was “not a good fit,” but I was fortunate to have amazing managers who believed in me. I was offered full-time positions by most of those places* when I turned 18.
*Ok real talk, I didn’t get a job offer from the daycare because I had no patience for 2-year-olds or the terrible khaki/polo combo they insisted we wear.
I’ve spent most of my life working since then. If there was money to earn, I was willing to learn. My first job after college was tutoring in a strip mall outside of Washington, D.C.. It was about as glorious as the picture that just popped into your mind. Probably less glamorous than you’re thinking. Every day, I would spend my morning marketing and selling programs. From 2 pm to 8pm, I was tutoring kids.
The Dad of one of those kids completely changed my trajectory one day. In a sales meeting, he stopped me mid-pitch to say: “You’re smart. You should work for me.” That became my first HR Tech job. We built online resumes long before they had any utility in the real world; basically, LinkedIn without connections. It was the first place where I was given a chance to try anything. It was a place where I could fail liberally. It was my best job.
Next, I was a social media ninja back when that was still a cool job title. I was a Director, then VP, of Marketing. A technical writer for Fortune 100 employer brands. It might sound like I’ve done a lot of jumping around and I have compared to some.
I jumped for new experiences. To make a mark. To hone my craft and learn to tell better stories. See, I take great pride in creating some mark on this world. That’s how I ended up as a writer.
Stories always leave an impression. You don’t want to see me sing or dance, trust me.
Writing has been my outlet and home throughout my life. I have lived and written through great love and loss, forever friendships and inevitable fallouts. I didn’t choose this story, but I’m lucky enough to say today that I get to write it. The combination and awkward timings of my personal life have written an exciting plotline – one I can look back to both for laughs and learning.
Today, I write recruiting stories for companies who are making a mark at a company named Three Ears Media. I coach recruiters who are willing to be vulnerable to tell their stories and change the right people’s lives. I take traditional recruiting tactics and tailor them into strategies that work because they were made just for your company.
It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s everything I hoped it would be on the good and bad days.
Tell me about you.
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.