With many people now actively engaged in their full-time job search, we at mbaMission are fielding a lot of questions about how to be more effective in that search. One key element is knowing how to talk about yourself, whether that is in a casual networking situation or a more formal interview setting.
This can be tricky to master. You need to find a balance between demonstrating humility and confidently promoting your track record of success. To help develop your “pitch” (also known as your “career narrative,” “positioning statement,” or simply “story”), consider using one of these two frameworks.
Consider the approach explained by communications expert and LinkedIn Learning instructor Jodi Glickman in this video. She talks about the importance of starting with your destination (i.e., help your listener quickly and easily understand what you want) and then delving into your background—and most importantly, explaining how your background connects to your target destination.
Craft a story around themes from your professional life, such as your strengths (i.e., focus on three or four key skills that are relevant to your target audience), your work experience (i.e., how you can contribute and what type of problems you can solve), or the attributes required by your target organization. The content of this statement should be based on your understanding of your value proposition as well as what you learn about the needs of your target audience. You then provide evidence of these themes using details about where you have worked in the past and your specific accomplishments.
Of course, the content and length of your pitch should be adapted with respect to several factors, including the following:
- Audience: How close are you to your target audience? What are their needs? What is culturally appropriate?
- Type of Delivery: Will your pitch be delivered via email, over the phone, or in person? Will this be in a networking/informal setting or a formal interview?
- Purpose: What is your goal for the interaction?
You need to help the other person understand your areas of interest and how you can contribute. If you are too vague, the contact will have a more difficult time helping you with referrals, facilitating new introductions, or promoting you to the hiring manager.
Remember, this is all about relationship building. Be conversational, and create a connection between you and your contact.
Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation!