Your “pitch” aka your “elevator pitch” aka your “30 second intro” is one of the most important things you’ll need for your job search.
Because it will help you make a great first impression and first impressions are EVERYTHING!
A pitch explains, in 30 seconds or less, why you would be a good candidate for a specific position.
If done well, it can literally open doors for you and individuals will want to continue that conversation that can lead to that terrific job. Stumble on your pitch, and doors can literally slam shut!
Most of my clients have difficulty working on this very short, very precise piece, which is basically an overview of their current state of affairs.
Here is how it works … create your pitch by filling in the blanks:
Hi my name is: ___________________
I have ____ years of experience in the ____________ industry as a _________ .
My specialty is ______________.
I have a ___________degree in _______________ at _____________University.
My strongest skills are _______________, _______________, and _______________ and they are perfectly matched with your company’s objectives which include ______________, __________________, and ____________________.
Because of this I would be an excellent candidate for your _______________ position.
This is the foundation of your 30 second pitch.
First, type it out, and then practice saying it, over and over and over and over again until it “rolls off the tip of your tongue”. After a few modifications, and with practice, you should feel very comfortable saying it. It’s a great way to start off an interview.
It’s also a great way to start off a networking conversation by modifying and shortening it:
Hi my name is: ___________________
I’m a ___________ in the ______________ industry for ______ years now.
Then immediately follow it up with questions for the other person. Remember, people love to talk about themselves, so ask these very open ended questions:
• How did you get into the ____________ business?
• What do you like most about your job?
• What do you have to do to be successful in your _________ industry?
Why these questions? Three reasons:
Reason #1: They are open ended questions, which gets the other person to do most of the talking.
Reason #2: They are very positive questions. We want to maintain an upbeat atmosphere. That is why I didn’t list the question: what do you like least about your job? That isn’t going to get the person to think happy thoughts. And when people aren’t happy, they don’t want to network and they don’t want to open doors for others.
Reason #3: People love to talk about themselves and when they do, and you listen to them, they think you are fascinating! People who think you are fascinating will introduce you to their friends and the networking will continue.
So practice your pitch until it’s smooth as can be. And remember that networking is about developing a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s not about asking for a job. It’s about getting to know that person and continuing to meet individuals they know, and it’s about introducing them to people you know.
Happy pitching and happy networking and good luck with your job search!
Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio is a career coach and co-founder of and has worked for the bluest of blue chips for the past 25 years. Her companies include Citigroup, Pfizer, and most recently as the COO of Campus Recruiting for Merrill Lynch. Connie also co-authors a career blog for Vault.com.
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