What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear ‘Sales Pitch’? We usually picture an overeager Sales Rep giving a hyperbolic monologue about their product. Of course, that is not the impression you want to make when pitching yourself for a job. So, how does one pitch without sounding too ‘pitchy’? In the ‘golden days’ of Hollywood, aspiring writers flocked to LA and accosted producers wherever they could (including the elevator) to sell their ideas. With luck, they could hope for 60-90 seconds in front of their audience. The best could deliver a concise but exciting “pitch” in the brief moments between floors- that’s the origin of the “Elevator Pitch”.
Today, the elevator pitch is an impactful verbal endorsement of your personal brand that can supplement your resume and establish you as a deserving prospect for that dream job.
In today’s networking driven world, the opportunity to meet a potential employer can happen almost anywhere. You should always be prepared to impress recruiters and sell your brand story. This is why a personal sales pitch comes handy- talk up your skills and efficiencies in a conversational manner and intrigue the recruiter enough to secure an interview.
Designing An Impactful Pitch To Get Recruiters Hooked For More
- Know Your Target Market
To get the most out of your job search and sales pitch, it is imperative to understand your audience. You could be required to deliver a pitch spontaneously and miss the opportunity because you’re caught off-guard. You also can’t memorize a custom pitch for every recruiter you may meet but, you can have a basic structure ready:
- Do prior research about the companies and the recruiters of interest and find out what they are looking for in employees.
- Read job descriptions thoroughly and make sure to highlight the appropriate skills or qualities through your pitch. For instance, if the job description talks about providing financial information across a variety of functions, you could summarize an experience where you analyzed financial data or any financial expertise you gained through your education. Connect how you might transfer those skills to the company.
- Create 2-3 different pitches and modulate it according to the requirement of the job and the company.
- Sometimes, during your research, you may have noticed that a company has been facing some challenges, in such cases, provide a solution- “I have campaign ideas that could improve sales across two product variants.”
- Create A Great First Impression
Your opening line should be laser-focused and crisp to attract the recruiter’s attention and “hook” him for the pitch to follow. If a person is disinterested in the first few seconds, things are unlikely to turn around before you part ways. Your opening line should pack a punch- you could make it data-driven with stats and figures, like “At my last job, I developed an algorithm that drove data analytics efficiency by 98%”. However, avoid metaphors because you might end up sounding gimmicky rather than impressive. Use real experiences and stats and always back your story with facts. Testimonials and data backed conversations help to increase the credibility of a message and also help to establish trust. Your opening and the entire pitch should be succinct and direct, meaningful and memorable.
- Know Your Personal Brand
Picture yourself as a great product and the interview or conversation with the recruiter as a great opportunity for personal branding. You must understand your brand, your KPIs, identify your strengths and weaknesses, your USP, your soft and functional skills. Distill it all into an exciting package. Don’t draw attention to your weaknesses but you should know how to address any curveballs just in case. Be passionate and confident when you talk about your strengths and experiences. Treat the pitch as an inbound marketing strategy, one meant to get the recruiter interested in your profile.
- Pay Attention To Non-verbal Communication
Be mindful of your attire, body language, conversation style, and general behavior because actions speak a great deal louder than words. Minute details can leave a great impression on the recruiter and determine if you even get the chance to pitch. Greet the recruiter politely, have a firm handshake, be courteous but don’t be too humble or too modest- talk about your qualities confidently.
- Practice, Practice And Practice
Practice is the best way to hone your communication style and make it more efficient. If you are uneasy with self-promotion, practicing your speech makes all the difference. However, don’t memorize your pitch so tightly that it sounds scripted. You should prepare the key points, like areas of expertise, key accomplishments, and education, and tweak the rest of the conversation to the situation. It is important to get outside perspective. Look for someone who can provide an objective opinion that is both candid and constructive. Contact your career service center; they might put you in contact with counselors, seniors, alums, professors who could provide insights into your pitch. A great pitch is a combination of many elements- everything including your body language to what and how you are pitching is important. A sales pitch is effective only when you keep the listener involved and interested throughout the conversation to earn an interview call or a job offer at the close. Success is determined by more than an exciting opener or a strong close, the recruiter may get hooked to your spectacular opening but lose interest in the conversation midway if you don’t maintain a balance throughout. Understand your USP and practice how to brand yourself in a way that leaves the recruiter wanting to know more.