I opened up my personal email account this morning and was overwhelmed with emails. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I am drowning from information overload.
Everyone and everything is trying to get my attention with clever headlines and unique subject lines…honesty, most of the time, I just hit delete and move on.
When conducting an executive job search, especially when you have not looked for a job in a long time, how do you avoid having employers, recruiters or new contacts from hitting delete – both literally and figuratively. If you are at a networking event and cannot hold anyone’s attention or interest, they will hit “delete” and move on the next person. Trust me, I have done that many times:)
You won’t get far in a job search without a good introduction or elevator pitch – here are 4 P’s to follow in crafting your pitch.
1) PREPARE: It’s important to think through the key points you want to cover in your pitch, but don’t over-prepare to the point that it sounds rehearsed and scripted. You don’t want to sound like a robot or make the listener feel uncomfortable – remember to engage and excite your audience.
2) PROMISE: Okay, so here’s the tricky part, it shouldn’t sound like a sales pitch, but it IS a sales pitch because you are selling you. However, instead of focusing on features and highlights, talk about benefits, impact and past performance.
- What do you do?
- How do you do it?
- Who benefits?
- Why should listener care?
3) POINT: Avoid talk to the wind or trying to catch everyone’s attention. While your elevator pitch should be flexible, it must be tailored and point to a particular audience.
- Who needs to hear your message?
- What aspects of your message or your benefits do that person(s) need to hear?
4) PRECISE: Ever ask someone “How are you?” only to get a long-winded answer and wish you never asked? Well, always remember that your pitch should not be longer than 30-45 seconds, yes, less than a minute. A perfect pitch is void of long explanations and rambling side points. Be clear, be concise and keep it short!