This could be the ticket to your dream job! Or even your first job!
Keep in mind you have, at most, 30 seconds to grab this VIP’s attention with information about yourself in your “personal pitch” with the hope of starting a real conversation.
What do you say?
As a young professional, just starting out, you may feel you don’t have enough professional experience to create an impactful statement. However, if you take some time to prepare your “elevator pitch” well before you’re asked the question, you’ll be ready – and you will impress.
Here are some tips I’ve found useful as a young professional on how to best create a personal pitch:
Drafting Your Answer
Just as you would prepare a term paper for school, your introduction should be well-written and strategically planned. There should be an introduction, body and conclusion. When deciding what to include in your pitch, be sure to share examples that encompass your personality and goals. For example, let the person know you are ready to take on new challenges and hope to climb up the corporate ladder rapidly.
Do some research on…you. What do you think is most interesting about you? What are some of your greatest accomplishments? What are your long-term career goals? Make a list, and rate your interests and professional highlights in order of importance to you. This list should include both information you have on your resume, as well as personal interests that you engage in outside of work, such as sports activities, volunteering or blog writing. Have a mentor, friend or a family member review your list; they may be able to remind you of something you overlooked.
Writing an outline is the next step to creating a professional pitch. Your outline should establish the order of your topics and help you simplify the points of interest. Headings will be main topics you will mention, and sub-headings will cover examples of those topics:
- Name/ Education
- Course of study
- Internship and work experience (quantify your accomplishments!)
Short and Sweet
Don’t bore your audience with a lengthy discourse about yourself – instead, create and perfect a short paragraph. Keep your pitch concise and focused. This will enable you to get your message across in a few short moments and give your audience the chance to respond to you in a conversational, engaging manner. If he or she is interested, the conversation is sure to continue.
Update Your Pitch as You Would a Resume
Your career goals may or may not change, but as you gain experience you’ll want to update your pitch – often. You’ll not only be sharing more interesting information, you’ll demonstrate that you’re staying current in your field.
When the time comes, you’ll be on the spot and will have one chance to impress.
Create, and practice, your personal pitch now so you have it perfected and ready. Recognizing your strengths – and being able to articulate them succinctly – at that important moment (and not just for a scheduled job interview) could mean the difference between “I got the job” and “I could have been…”
About the Author: Kellyn Legath graduated in 2011 with a B.A in Professional with Culture and Media Studies from Kutztown University. Aside from being a passionate writer and a movie buff, she is a social media and fashion addict. Currently she interns for two companies, as well as YouTern, and had a previous internship at a local magazine near her hometown in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Connect with Kellyn via LinkedIn and Twitter, or view her professional portfolio.