Pitching yourself for a job interview
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Lead With Your Future and Why You’re Best for the Job- #MilllennialTalk Recap

Your perfect pitch connects the dots for your career!

From the Peace Corps to the White House to Wall Street, along the way you learn how to be great on the job.

Jodi Glickman is all that and more: keynote speaker, founder and chief executive officer of Great on the Job — author of the best-selling book of the same name — TED talker, and communication and career expert.

She talked with marketing and brand strategist, and millennial expert Chelsea Krost during the latter’s #MillennialTalk Twitter chat about mastering the art of the pitch on your job interview. They covered a host of topics:

  • The biggest mistake most people make when they pitch themselves
  • What to consider within the pandemic era when creating a pitch
  • Creating a pitch for your first job

“We are truly living in unprecedented times,” Krost said. “It’s time to think outside the box, be flexible and pitch ourselves for new opportunities.”

Glickman said a great pitch is quick and to the point.

“It makes me want a second conversation,” she said. “The goal actually isn’t to close the deal and get hired in the first conversation. A great pitch has three parts: destination, back story and connect the dots.”

As destination implies, look forward, not backward.

“Lead with your future — what you’re excited about,” Glickman said. “Then — only then — do you look backward and tell me about your background.

“Close it out by connecting the dots,” she said. “Why does it make perfect sense? Why is this the right role for you right now? How do your future, past and present all come together for this role?”

Helpful translation

Leave nothing to chance.

“You have to make sense of your pitch for the other person,” Glickman said. “Don’t expect them to connect the dots.”

Krost said those being interviewed must check several boxes:

  • Establish purpose and passion.
  • Establish credibility.
  • Identify the problem and your “why” or solution.
  • Make it short, sweet and punchy.
  • Bullet point your “what.”

“The most important thing at your pitch is this: Lead with your destination,” Glickman said. “Tell me what you are excited about. What do you want to do next? What do you care about? People care more about where you’re going than where you’ve been.

“After destination comes backstory,” she said. “You are the author. You pick and choose what to include. Don’t just repeat your resume. Choose parts of your story that are interesting and relevant.”

Job seekers need to keep in mind the most important person at the table.

“Remember, you are selling the pitch,” Krost said. “Be thorough in your research. Craft the pitch with clarity and purpose. Connect the dots to your experience and credibility — but to the company, the employer or the platform you are pitching to, customize the fit.”

Those interviewed typically start from the wrong direction.

“The biggest mistake: You start with where you’ve been — no one cares — instead of where you’re going, which hooks your listener,” Glickman said.

Relate to the other person

Show your audience it’s about them, not you.

“It’s the tried and true, What’s in it for me?” Glickman said.

“I’m pitching myself and my business all the time to new clients,” she said. “It always changes, depending on the goal of the conversation and who the audience is. It can’t be a canned ‘spiel.’”

A good approach is to customize a here-and-now presentation.

“While it is important to establish credibility, keep the pitch in the present,” Krost said. “It’s the how, the why, the solution, the unique approach. Don’t make it sound like a copy-and-paste pitch. Put your unique spin on it with clear intention and purpose.”

Your pitch has to transcend the present. Just as you don’t look back, your destination looks beyond the current normal.

“Stay positive,” Glickman said. “Find the upside in your situation. No one wants to hear a pitch that says, ‘I can’t find anything better right now.’

“Talk about how you are having an impact, being agile, rolling with change during everyone’s tough times,” she said.

Glickman and Krost also discussed lack of experience and how to shape up your personal brand before an interview in the rest of their chat.

 

About Jim Katzman
Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

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