While searching for a new job, the most dreaded questions are usually the ones we are not prepared to answer. Shouldn’t this mean you spiff up your pitch?
You can wing it and botch it, or you can nail your pitch!
Here is the scenario…you decide to attend a networking meeting and within minutes of walking in the door someone asks you
What do you do?
Honestly, you can’t even remember exactly what you said. The next thing you know, the person who asked you this question is excusing themselves to go to the bathroom.
That’s the worst-case scenario, but not that far from the truth.
All humor aside, whether you are employed or unemployed, you must prepare your answer to this question!
I Need a Pitch?
You absolutely need to have a solid answer to explain what you do because you know what happens when you don’t. You might be thinking you are set in your job or you aren’t comfortable being a “sales person,” but let me warn you, the time to build your reputation is now!
Short and Sweet Isn’t Going to Work
Do you try and answer the question as quickly as possible with this response…
“I am [insert your job title] with [insert your company name].”
And exactly what impression do you leave with that?
What Can You Say in Less Than Two Minutes?
Jeffrey Hayzlett, former CMO at Kodak, writes about the importance of the pitch in his book “The Mirror Test”. He calls it a 118 Pitch. In the first eight seconds you hook your listener and during the remaining 110 seconds you drive it home. This is how Hayzlett describes the mission of today’s new pitch:
“Simply, your 118 Pitch must do the following:
- Grab the attention of your prospect.
- Convey who you are.
- Describe what your business offers.
- Explain the promises you will deliver on.”
Then There’s the 45 Second Elevator Pitch
You want to use the right length pitch at the right time…so if you are looking for more guidance on what to put into your pitch, check out Using the Right Pitch at the Right Time
You’ll find an easy formula you can use to develop your pitch.
What about a 10-20 second pitch (micro-pitch)?
Its purpose is to engage the person you are talking with, not bore them.
Here’s an example:
“Have you ever used an online app for your banking? I helped make that happen at X bank. I’m the person who researched the options and coordinated all the details. Outside of work, I love taking pictures of people with their dogs. It’s fascinating to capture the relationship.”
Learn more about crafting your micro-pitch here
But before you go, I wanted to share this short video with you. Chris Westfall won the “Best Elevator Pitch Contest” sponsored by Mirror Test. What do you think about this and how well does it work? Are you drawn in during the first 8 seconds?
Chris Westfall – Best Elevator Pitch from YourOnlineVideo on Vimeo.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.