Few people love developing an "elevator pitch" even though they may recognize their need for one and the importance of having a well-crafted one. I volunteer for a group of job seekers who meet every week, and no one enjoys the process of introducing themselves to a roomful of strangers. In fact, I know that some people try to sneak in after they think the introductions will be over, or they skip the meeting altogether rather than struggle through a 30-second self-introduction to a room full of self-appointed critics. Related: How To Perfect Your Elevator Pitch The urban myth about how the elevator pitch first originated is that in the early studio days, a Hollywood screenwriter would catch an unsuspecting studio executive in the elevator. Trapped, with nowhere else to go, the screenwriter had between 30 to 118 seconds to "pitch" his idea to the studio's top decision-maker. Today, you aren’t pitching an idea for a screenplay. For you, the stakes involve your next great break in your career. If you are on the job market, you need to develop a "pitch-perfect elevator pitch." Your pitch must be compelling to the point of making you seem different from everyone else. Additionally, it must be delivered with earnest sincerity and not sound like it has been rehearsed in front of your mirror a thousand times—even though it may have (and should have) been rehearsed in front of you a thousand times or more. My elevator pitch has changed and evolved hundreds of times (literally) in the last three years since I began my odyssey as a career transition and job search coach. As a result, I am particularly sensitive to the challenges that new job seekers experience when trying to craft their pitch. Don't beat up on yourself if you find this particular task daunting. Everyone does. That does not take you off the hook, however. You must come up with a clear, concise, compelling and persuasive elevator pitch or networking introduction if you need to traverse the job search terrain. Here are some suggestions that will help you craft your own unique and compelling pitch.
Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest may be fun places to hang out, but did you know they’re also great places to grow -- or completely ruin -- a career? It’s true: a whopping 77% of employers use social media to find candidates, while (perhaps more troubling) 20% of them use these platforms to screen out candidates as well. Related: What Your Social Media Says About You To Employers That means that if you’re concerned only with the personal aspects of your social media profile, you may be killing your career without even meaning to. Here’s how.
A lot is being made of building a personal brand lately. And no matter the circle, it really is a good idea to have a clearly defined personal brand. This is especially true if you are in the midst of growing your career, or finding a new position. What isn’t so great is that developing a brand sounds like a very lofty idea that is not easily executed. It sounds hard, but I am here to tell you: It really isn’t all that hard. Related: 5 Ways To Boost Your Professional Profile With Social Media We can get a really solid start in easy six steps. Ready? Let’s go!
The job market has changed significantly over the last 20 years, and with it, so too have the hiring methods of employers. Traditionally, it’s been newspapers, industry publications, recruiters, and job boards that have provided the ‘lion’s share’ of new hires for employers. However, since the advent of social media, social networking tools have transformed approaches to recruiting and they are now a primary source of new hire leads for employers and recruiters alike. QUIZ: Do You Have Social Media Career Power? The ability to research a candidate market and approach desired hires directly is an approach that corporate recruiters really love – and see produces great results for their business. While this doesn’t mean that you should abandon looking at job boards and industry publications, it’s ever more important that you also incorporate a social strategy into your job search and work on your personal brand management. The four key networks that you need to have a presence on in my opinion are LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that any social networking site and forum where you post personal information and set up a profile may be publicly searchable. Recruiters these days are using ‘People aggregators,’ which are essentially specialized search engines, allowing recruiters to search hundreds of sites for potential hires. With that in mind be sure to keep your profiles safe for work and tailored towards your respective role or industry. In this post, I am going to cover the main benefits of joining the ‘big four’ social networks to help you improve your job search and networking capabilities. Bear in mind that like any job search strategy, maintaining a presence on a social network can take some time and it’s up to you to decide where you want to spend yours.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” (Warren Buffet) Related: Protect Your Digital Reputation: 10 Useful Tips Great quote from a very wise and successful man, who has seen this play out in many different ways over many years! The questions I get asked most frequently when working with people on their brand marketing and social marketing strategy are, “How do I build a following and build my reputation?" and, “How do I get people to comment and re-tweet?" I have been a student of the social space and platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for about awhile now. I observe and pay attention to the people that have large followings and influence for the right reasons. There are people who have huge fans and followers, but they are not authentic to me and I have no interest in their "shtick." I wish 'em well, just don’t want them cluttering up my stream. The social media mentors I respect come from different arenas and all kind of say the same thing: Be authentic and real, create useful content, be consistent, engage in the conversation, and give more than you ask. This was easy for me to embrace, as my personality and personal philosophy aligned very well with this. So, spring of 2009, I dove off the board into the social media playground pool! I have always loved the park, pool and playground, so this was fun for me. Here I am, years later and I am still a student, but I’ve gone from junior high to high school! I loved high school, too. Did you?
An elevator pitch is an abbreviated introduction that tells someone about you in the amount of time it takes to ride up a few floors in an elevator with them. Related: 4 Steps For Developing A Winning Elevator Pitch What you say varies a bit depending upon the context, but in general, it should cover who you are and enough about your career or career goal so the person you are talking to knows how to help you, if they feel inclined, or engage with you in some way that might forward your career. So, let’s say you are a Production Assistant dropping someone off at Creative Artists Agency for your boss. You get in the elevator and a guy in an expensive suit is in there already. He says, “Hi, I’m Bob.” You say, “Hi, Bob. I’m Chris.” “So, what’s your story, Chris?” In his expensive suit and riding the elevator at CAA, Bob is probably an agent, studio executive, or lawyer. You say, “I just graduated from BU. I won a couple of directing awards and I’m working as a PA while I try to break into TV directing.” You’ve just given Bob everything he needs to know to progress the relationship forward. He knows you are a recent grad, a PA, a budding director with enough talent to win an award. As the elevator doors open, Bob hands you his card and says, “Call my assistant Jeff and tell him I said to get in touch.” This could be for another PA job or it could be that Jeff is about to become a Junior Agent in the lit department and needs director clients. It doesn’t matter. The point is, you made contact and now you have Bob’s card. What would you have said in that elevator? Would you have gotten Bob’s card? This post was originally published at an earlier date.
Did you know that you can actually be hiding from employers and not even know it? It's true - You could be missing out on new job opportunities. Related: 4 Personal Branding Tips EVERYONE Needs To Know Statistics show that 90% of employers search online for candidates; and although social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and job boards are great places to start—and be discovered, if your actual resume isn’t online—you’re missing out. We have 40+ sample resumes on our website; and almost every day, we’re contacted by recruiters looking for candidates who match the qualifications of positions they are trying to fill. They found the resumes on our samples page by completing a keyword search on Google or some other search engine. Many times, recruiters aren’t going to job boards to look for qualified candidates; they are simply typing the skills, areas of expertise, and specific qualifications into a search engine and then contacting the candidates who pop up. So how can you be the candidate who gets discovered by recruiters and hiring managers conducting search engine searches? Here are three great ways to start:
There’s a little saying we have here at Work It Daily called “brand or BE branded.” Are you branding yourself effectively as a seasoned professional? If you want to find a great job, you’re going to have to think about how you’re presenting yourself to others. Otherwise, you risk falling victim to stereotypes and assumptions.