30 Second Pitch- How Do You Market Yourself?

In sales, there's a technique many seasoned salespeople would tout as the most important tool to have in your kit- the 30 second sales pitch- aka, the elevator pitch.

Selling your brand means grabbing someone's attention and getting information out in the most effective way possible, even if you only have an elevator ride to speak to them. This means you need a script in your head, ready for whoever you might bump into- you never know, it might be your next major client you're speaking with.

The same scenario can apply to job seekers. It may not seem that way sometimes, but when you are on a job hunt your ultimate goal is to sell yourself to a company in hopes they will invest in you and take you on to the team. You may find yourself in situations where you have less than a minute to sell yourself to the CEO or hiring manager to a company, and it's a good idea to have your "sales pitch" ready at a moment's notice.

According to this article by Businessweek, a person can make a lasting impression on someone in as little as 2 seconds- and you'd definitely want that to be a positive lasting impression on a potential employer.

Here are some tips for creating your elevator pitch-

1) Practice a specific dialog. In order to keep from slipping up, babbling, or worse, not saying anything at all, it's a good idea to know what you want to say as well as practice your pitch. That way, it's ready in your head for any unplanned encounters.

2) The aforementioned Businessweek article recommends answering the following four questions:
  1. "What is my service, company, or cause?"- a reinterpretation for a job seeker might be "Who are you, and what do you do?"
  2. "What problem do I solve?" Getting more specific for the job seeker, try answering the question "What am I good at?" It's a good idea at this time to give an example-preferably, one you can back up with a statistic- of a major career accomplishment (e.g. "I implemented a sales campaign that boosted my company's revenue 65% in a year").
  3. "How am I different?" This question works for both salespeople and job seekers- what sets you apart?
  4. "Why should you care?" Keep whoever you might run into in mind when you answer this question- why should they care what you have to offer above all the other people they might meet?
3) Keep a personal business card handy precisely for moments like these. VistaPrint.com makes reasonably-priced ones- all you really need is your name, contact info, and maybe your professional title (e.g. Web Developer, Engineer, etc) on the card.

With a bit of practice, your elevator pitch could be the most effective tool in your job seeking kit. After all, the goal is to get your resume in the hands of someone who could hire you, and a winning "sales" pitch might be the ticket to get it there.

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