Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

Elevator Pitches

What would you do if the CEO of the company you have been trying to get into steps onto the elevator with you?  Would you be ready with your pitch of why that person should hire you?

The way to get your foot in the door is to make a pitch. Sell them on the idea that you are the right person for the job.  Job seekers need to be solutions and ideas people.  A person who fixes problems and foresees other issues that may arise is the right person for the job.  Employers don’t just want loyal hard working employees, they want people who can come up with creative solutions to fix problems and save resources, including time, money and man-power.

A good elevator pitch has several elements, but the most important is time.  You only have that CEO trapped on the elevator with you for on average five floors and that is at most 20 to 30 seconds.  It can be as short as 10 seconds to sell a concept.  The entrepreneur or job seeker must make the pitch or sell in that time and convince the listener that they want to buy. It’s all about the art of the sell. Can you convince the person trapped on the elevator with you to buy your skills or your product?

Most of us understand branding in this day and age. Just turn on the TV and try to quote back the tag line of Coke or Nike. You cannot drive down the street without seeing a logo or a brand that you don’t recognize. The same thing can be said of any product including a job seeker. What is to stop a job seeker from branding them self and selling their skills to the highest bidder?

Have you ever had that telemarketer on the phone who just never gets to the point? You have no idea what they are selling and then realize when they do get to the product or service that you are NOT the intended audience. By then you have no interest in the product and decide that the sales pitch was really bad. Why? The answer is that most people don’t know how to make the right pitch to the right audience.

Most people have some idea of which elements are essential to an elevator pitch and don’t know what NOT to include. Here are a few pointers on the best practices of what to INCLUDE in the elevator pitch.

  • Make the most of your time. Use your time wisely and zone in on your audience, their needs and your sell.
  • Tell them only what they need to know. Most potential employers or investors don’t need to know about your background. They only need to know about your strengths, costs, ability solve problems and how it will benefit them.
  • Have a HOOK. Sell them on the idea of you as the right person with the right ideas at the right time. Remember, as a job seeker it is NOT about you but you can DO for a potential employer.
  • Offer an advantage, keeping it short and sweet.Establish your credibility, preferably with some numbers.
  • End with the promise of another meeting, sending them an email with your resume or a specific time to demonstrate your product.

What NOT to include in an elevator pitch.Elevator pitch

  • Jargon or buzz words
  • A presentation – it’s not the right time
  • Name dropping
  • Focusing on you and forgetting your audience
  • Boring or irrelevant details
  • Personal data
  • Giving a long story

Make sure that you are pitching the right ideas. When you are stuck in that elevator, it is not the time to launch into a full sales pitch. You do that after you have made the initial contact and obtained interest from the target market audience. Use your time wisely. Don’t forget to close the pitch with a commitment for a lengthier meeting at which time you can make your presentation.

Always know your brand or your unique value proposition. Lastly, remember your audience and tailor your pitch as it is appropriate and timely.

How do you handle rejection in the job search? Do you need some down-time so that you can recoup your energy in order to refocus your job hunt? Staying motivated to push past the WALL of rejection is hard, but as long distance runners know, a lot of the motivation is mind over matter.

Many of us take a bit of time out when the going gets tough, but knowing how to handle this while on the job search is crucial. It’s not that easy to just ignore the situation and remain out of work. We need to feel good about ourselves by being productive. So, how does one stay motivated when faced with yet another resume re-write targeting a specific job or the derogatory rejection email that says thanks but NO THANKS?

Many people like to run and hide when that happens. Job seekers work long and hard on their applications only to have them summarily turned down without knowing the reason as to why. Anyone who has been out of work knows the frustration of the job hunt and the amazing number of rejections one amasses.

Here are some helpful tips that can make the time away from gainful employment easier:

  • Network – stay connected to colleagues, organizations, follow the business news
  • Skills Set – Personal Brand – identify and start working on marketing yourself
  • Research the company to which you want to apply
  • Target each resume to specific job applications
  • Do research into the hidden job market
  • Record all activities – including coffee meetings, conversations, emails, applications, resumes, results, networking, companies, and prospects
  • Get social – connect to social media as a way of staying in touch while taking a break
  • Take a break and don’t beat yourself up about it – you need to recharge your batteries – job hunting is FULL-TIME
  • Talk to a professional – career coach, recruiter, talent scout, resume writer, etc.
  • Re-evaluate your priorities                                                                                                                   
  • Read books that can help
  • Join a support group
  • Listen to music to calm the nerves and rev you up for the job hunt
  • Do something very different to take your mind off of the pressure of the search
  • Set goals and make them achievable – e.g. today I will research three companies or three CEO’s
  • Imagine going hiking and climbing that unbelievable hill – the power of mind over matter – The Little Engine That Could

When you start setting realistic goals and achieve them, suddenly the world will not seem like such a dark and scary place. Sometimes a jobseeker just needs to take perspective and see the long term picture. Plan ahead and work towards your dream – being gainfully employed.

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