Developing your pitch – Pt. 1
One of the most critical weapons in your arsenal during your job search is a well-crafted and well-executed hiring pitch: a clear, passionate and logically convincing argument why you should be the candidate to hire.
It is like when you gaze at stars. All the stars in the sky seem random until somebody points out a clear constellation – like the big dipper – that clicks in your mind and you immediately get it. The random stars were transformed into a vivid picture by just a few words, a short explanation.
Your pitch is exactly that type of explanation that allows a recruiter or influencer to put together random points from your education, experience, personality and talents. You point out how the points fit together until they are able to paint the picture in their own mind.
However, given the very little time you have to capture the attention of a recruiter, the pitch also needs to be very concise and to the point. It needs to paint to picture with only few words and in very little time.
Inherently, many hiring managers have a check-list that they want to fulfill. That list will have must-have points and nice-to-have points. Your job in developing your pitch will be to hit all the must-have points and as many of the nice-to-have points as possible while not wasting any precious time on issues irrelevant to the hiring manager. E.g., don’t waste time bragging about your French or German language skills when the job only requires you to deal with English speakers.
Further, you will need to tailor a slightly different picture for each different job you are shooting for. Your pitches will have a lot in common, but you may need to emphasize, add or adapt specific elements. For example, lets say you are interested in a career in sales. However one job opening requires a lot of travel and another sales job requires a lot of strategic deal making. While the overall profile you will try to convey in your pitch will be quite similar you should emphasize willingness to travel for the one job and experience in negotiating complex deals in the other.
Finally, your pitch should always contain “proof points”. It is easy to claim something, but much harder to convince a listener that your claim is valid. The best way to substantiate your claim is to offer proof points. For example, “I am very strong at managing complex projects” (the claim), “for example, in my last job a managed a budget of $1M and a team of 8 people on a project that spanned three departments, and I was able to complete the project with my team in-time and under budget” (the proof).
This is the first in a short series of posts on the topic of developing your hiring pitch. The next posts will cover the following topics:
- How to develop the points in your pitch
- How to customize your pitch for a specific job
- How to deliver your pitch in interviews and elsewhere
Image by Nevada Tumbleweed