Guest post by Hannah Morgan
As you are out there networking (or just having conversations with people you know) have you found yourself stumbling over your words when someone asks you “What do you do?” You’ve probably figured out you need a way to introduce yourself, but what makes a good introduction?
Loss of Identity
I think job seekers struggle with this because they either don’t know what they want to be when they grow up or because they can no longer say “I work at XYZ company as a ___________”. Overcome this by researching and figuring out what you want to do. Even asking “what do they call this where you work” can make for an interesting networking meeting!
Humility Reigns Supreme (or does it)
Most people I know generally don’t like selling themselves. They say they were raised not to boast or brag. But that isn’t what I’m suggesting. I merely want you to take credit where credit is due.
There is conflicting advice out there on what should go into your pitch. The perfect pitch is the one that draws in your listener and allow them to help you in some way. Since it is your pitch, you can include whatever works best for the people who hear it.
A Simple Formula
Start by completing these simple phrases.
I am a:
With expertise in:
My background includes:
My unique qualities are:
Then move on to answering these questions:
I specialize in:
What problem are you really good at solving:
Your call to action: Write a single sentence that lets people know what step they need to take in order to help you or work with you. Or you could try The Harvard Business School Pitch Builder.
Content is King
Use words that are interesting yet understood by all. Avoid jargon. Make it about the future, not your past work history. 5+ years ago it was enough to just state the facts. Now, because the job market is so competitive, you have to do more to stand out and be memorable.
Adapt and Adjust
You will need to adjust your pitch’s wording and length based on your different audiences. It may be shorter or longer depending on where you are using it. You may use a slightly different pitch in a more personal setting.
Practice Makes Perfect
Though there is no such thing as perfect, you can improve your pitch and its delivery by practicing it. Deliver it with passion, energy and enthusiasm. Be comfortably confident as you deliver it.
Remember, this isn’t all about you
The most memorable people are those that show interest in what the other person does. Be sure to pay attention to the needs and concerns of the people you are talking with!
Bio: Career Sherpa, Hannah Morgan: As a Career and Job Search Consultant, Hannah draws upon her experience in Human Resources, Outplacement Services and Workforce Development to guide those new to job search through the process and towards their goals. Visit her site to learn more www.careersherpa.net. You can also follow her on Twitter (@CareerSherpa), Facebook and Google+.