As part of my book on delivering your best elevator pitch, I showcased a real-life story (as opposed to a bookshelf strategy) for moving your career forward. Because no matter where you are in your career, the most valuable hiring lessons come from the real world.
And someone who knows how to get hired is the Millennial CEO, Dan Newman. He’s the guy who got to the “Big Chair” before his 30th birthday – and not at a company he founded.
What’s his secret for job search success? Dan’s answer is simple: create a compelling answer to the interview question that trumps them all:
“Why should I hire you?”
Here, directly from Dan’s experience, are 8 traits that will help you deftly answer that question:
More precisely, a “humble confidence.” Dan explains, “The employer has to believe that you can deliver value that they can’t find somewhere else.” Confidence is the differentiator; if you don’t believe in you, no one else will. And if you’re cocky, few will be willing to take a chance on you.
“A big part of my success,” Dan explains, “has hinged on my ability to convince others that I know I can do what they need me to do. I refer to past accomplishments, and experience. People have to believe you can get the job done.” Transferring your beliefs to another is one of the hallmarks of inspiration, and a key to getting others to take action.
3. Focused on Results
“It’s all about packaging your accomplishments,” according to Dan. Does your resume reflect your results, or just your skills? When you are asked for your elevator pitch, do you deliver those results in clear package for the interviewer?
If a company is going to invest in you, you must show you really understand what they’re trying to accomplish – and the implication of their challenges. “Being able to speak intelligently and sincerely about the various trials the business faces”, Dan says with trademark humble confidence, “has really accelerated my career.”
5. Be the Antidote for “Can’t”
“You have to remove the word ‘can’t’ from your vocabulary – and theirs,” Dan says, without hesitation. “For any business, there are things they can’t accomplish yet. You have to demonstrate how they can – with your help, because you turn obstacles into opportunity. You have to make sure the company understands and believes that – with you in place – overcoming their challenge is now possible.”
6. Leadership without Authority
“If you want to move into a new role with new responsibility, you have to show how you’ve been able to marshal people and resources towards achieving a common goal.” Leadership without a title is the first step; never wait for permission to lead.
7. Due Diligence
“Are you paying attention? Have you shown that you understand the industry, and the company?” You must know the business climate, the competition and the potential of the organization. “Do you know enough about me and my business,” Dan asks matter-of-factly, “before you ask me to buy YOU?”
You can’t fake it.
Anybody can write a great resume, but you can’t fake real knowledge and competence. “The first 30 seconds of the conversation is so meaningful,” Dan explains, because presentation matters. “You have to show that you ‘get it’, whatever the issue might be, because without that connection, you’re done.”
Next time you’re asked the “Why should we hire you?” question, sell a combination of these traits. Be ready, deliver the best elevator pitch of your life, and impress the recruiter so much they can’t wait to offer you the job.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Westfall Online!
About the Author: Chris Westfall is the national elevator pitch champion, an author and keynote speaker. His latest book is Bulletproof Branding. Chris is also an award-winning MBA instructor who has appeared on CNN, ABC NEWS and in The NEW YORK POST. A consultant to Fortune 500 companies, he regularly speaks to colleges on the topic of leadership and effective communication. Follow Chris on Twitter!