Pitch yourself to get your dream job
Whether you are going to a job interview, attending a job fair, or any other professional situation you may find yourself in: you should always be prepared to talk about yourself, to pitch yourself to a person that could truly help you in your career.
Talking about yourself should be easy, because who knows you better than, well, you? But to keep your pitch short, relevant and convincing some preparation comes in handy.
So let us start by spicing up this blog post with a lovely corporate word: the elevator pitch*. Having an elevator pitch prepared and ready to tell at anytime can really help in not only giving you a little confidence boost, but also in convincing other people that you’re a true professional who knows what he/she wants.
*for those who never heard of an elevator pitch: the idea behind an elevator pitch is that you can pitch your idea (or in this case yourself) in the short time an elevator ride gives you.
5 steps to follow:
Who are you?
Sounds a bit silly to ask yourself this question, but when your try to formulate the answer in one relevant and compelling sentence it gets tricky. Only one sentence to describe your beautiful self? Yes, only one.
A useful way to get to your one sentence is making a list of all the “things” you are.
- Project manager for 8 years
- Brazilian roots
- Marketing passionate
- Volunteering as communication manager at Taalhuis
- Travel addict
Use all the items of your list to make yourself that perfect sentence by mixing them up and using different ones for different situations.
Your story is what truly makes you unique, so prepare this well and be as relevant as possible. Your story should be told in 2 to maximum 3 sentences, which isn’t the most easiest task to fulfill. To help you create this story ask yourself: how did you get where you are today? Are there any defining moments or experiences that made you want the job this pitch was made for?
Maybe you came to Belgium to study marketing and fell in love with not only the country but also the field? Or maybe you followed your partner for his/her work to Belgium (don’t be afraid to drop the name of the company your partner is working at if it’s relevant) leaving your passion of project management behind, but after volunteering in Belgium you discovered your passion again? Or maybe you had to flee your home country leaving behind your engineering career in which you have 12 years of experience?
Whatever your story might be, remember to keep it short and as relevant as possible.
Why do you want to work in that field? Why do you want that job? Why do you want to work for that company? (one sentence)
If you have to do your pitch by surprise and didn’t had time to prepare it specifically for a company/person, then think of why you want to work in a certain sector or field.
If you, for example are going to a job fair and know which companies will be present, you’re super lucky and can start to prepare your “why” more thoroughly.
A typical Belgian way of companies to evaluate if you would fit is to check your match with their values and mission. So use this in your advantage.
If you have the benefit of knowing who you’re going to talk to, take your time to really think how you can be of value for the person you’re pitching to.
Believe in yourself! Ask your family, friends, old colleagues, network, pet, neighbours to give you 3 things they really like about you or things you are really good at. Make a list out of them and pick the ones you like and that are relevant for your pitch. Why are you the perfect candidate?
! Don’t make the same mistake so many people accidentally make: not tailoring your strengths to the specific job vacancy or position. You should always make everything as relevant as possible. For example: one of your strengths is planning, even your friends are amazed by how amazing your planning skills are, which is great! But when you are applying for a creative kind of job it maybe isn’t the best quality to put forward, you surely have other strengths better fitting that position. But when you’re applying for a project manager job, you should for sure highlight how great your planning skills are.
If you have an international or multicultural background then, if relevant, this is the time to make that extra asset pop out. Be aware of your unique views, experiences, network and languages and don’t forget to, if relevant, include them in your pitch. (one sentence)
Not the most confident person out there? Don’t worry: Belgians aren’t to keen on overconfidence, as they are quit humble themselves. But don’t be shy, you’ve got unique views, experiences and languages that makes you anything but ordinary!
Successfully went through the previous 4 steps? Then congratulations because your one step away from your perfect pitch! Combine the sentences you made by following the steps above and make them into a comprehensive pitch (max 6-7 sentences). Start practicing and repeating it as often as it takes to make it sound natural, structured and it easily rolls from your lips.
Good luck with creating your own elevator pitch and never forget to adapt when necessary.
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