With the Oskaloosa Job Fair one week away and plenty of hiring sessions and other chances to meet employers happening all the time, we wanted to revisit the Quick Pitch in today’s blog. A quick pitch is a 60-90 second presentation of yourself to a prospective employer. A well-delivered quick pitch can start a conversation on a good note and give you something to build on for future contacts. Let’s talk about some elements you want to think about when preparing your pitch.
The First Element is to know what it is that you want to share. Keep it to your professional experience. Focus on your career history: prior employers, job titles, education, etc. Pick out the best things in that history and sell yourself.
For the Second Element, think about your goals. This should be tailored to the company you’re speaking to. There will be different industries involved in a job fair, different jobs, and completely different career paths. You don’t want to tell an employer hiring seasonal help that your primary goal is to find the job you’ll have for the rest of your life. This is where research comes in. Know what the company is hiring for, and know how they can help you achieve a personal goal. If they can’t help you achieve a goal, why waste your time?
The Third Element are highlights of your work history. These are your career successes. Talk about ways in which you’ve been awesome. Have you ever been promoted? Given an extra raise or extra duties? Brag about that now.
The Fourth Element is to identify what people need to know about you. Think about what personal characteristics you have that will help you get a job. Some examples may be motivated, dependable, personable, passionate, or a great leader.
The Fifth Element is the clincher, the staple of your quick pitch. It’s the line that you want the employer to remember when you walk away from the table.
And finally the Sixth Element is a question to the employer about how you can become the best candidate for the position. Some examples could be “Are there things I can learn to make myself a better candidate?” or “Are there classes I can take to improve my skills for this job?”
Let’s tie it together with an example uniting all five elements into one quick pitch.
Wally is an employee at Widget World and he is going to a job fair to meet with five employers that are hiring for management positions. I’ve numbered off each element in action.
“Hi, my name is Wally. (1) Since receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Widget Making in 2012 I have been working at Widget World making widgets for the last three years. (2) I’m attending the job fair today because my goal is to take the skills I’ve built in college and at Widget World to advance into a management career. (3) I’ve been promoted twice at Widget World and was the fastest line worker of the month on three separate occasions. (4) I’m a team player and I’m always willing to take on extra duties as necessary. (5) I’ve been a good employee and am looking to advance my career to a management position. (6) What can I do to make myself a better fit for your company?”
It’s quick, it’s professional, and focuses on what Wally wants. When you plan your quick pitch, write it down and practice saying it out loud. This will use two different memory processes and get you more comfortable knowing what you’re saying and being able to say it to the company representative.
The Oskaloosa Job Fair is a week from the day of this publishing. That gives you seven days to write a pitch and recite it to your dog, your cat, your loved one, your steering wheel, and any other person, place or thing willing to listen. Practice makes perfect and perfect pitches make opportunity.