‘So Tell Me About Yourself’ — Influencing Interviewers with Your Professional Pitch

When you’re looking for a job, your personal branding is critical and it should be consistent across everything you do — from your resume and networking interviews, to cover letters and actual employment interviews. Members of GetFive refine and convey their personal brand through a “Professional Pitch” that’s the backbone of everything they do. Developing one for yourself ensures you’ll be ready to respond intelligently when someone says “So tell me about yourself.”

You can draw on your resume summary statement to lay the foundation of your Professional Pitch. As you craft it, keep in mind who you’re pitching to, what they’re interested in and what you bring to the table that the other candidates don’t. Remember, your objective is not to tell your life story. Rather, you want to convey that you are incredibly competent and interested, have relevant skills to share and are functioning at the level the company needs.

More than one pitch

If your job search is expanding beyond the field you’ve always worked in, or you’re flat out switching careers, you may need more than one Professional Pitch. For example, if you’ve always worked in education, a pitch that summarizes your brand as it relates to your work in the field would be perfect for an educational job. However, if you’ve also always wanted to get into marketing, you’ll need another pitch that conveys how your experiences in education relate to marketing.

You will need to tailor your pitch, while keeping in mind that every part of each pitch should be true and compelling. Think about your target audience and what you want to say to them, and adjust the information in your pitch to be of interest to that audience.

Know who’s receiving your pitch

In order to refine your pitch, you need to know your audience. Before you have a meeting in which you’ll present your Professional Pitch, do some homework on the company and individual. Look up the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile. Google her name to see what she’s contributed to the industry.

Knowing who you’re talking to will help you understand what that person might most want to know about you.

Get to the point

As you craft your pitch, ask yourself “What is the most important point I’m trying to make?” State it as clearly and concisely as you can … and then incorporate it into your pitch. Don’t assume the interviewer will be able to glean your point or the highlights of your career without your having to clearly state it.

For example, if you want to emphasize how you have always effectively handled responsibilities outside the norm for your position, say exactly that. If you think your ability to work with a diverse range of personalities makes you a more effective manager, say so simply and clearly.

Two minutes are longer than you think

You may think to yourself “One hundred and twenty seconds? That’s so little time. How can I ever squeeze in all I have to say?” Actually two minutes can be far longer than you think, especially in today’s world where people are used to absorbing information in 15-second sound bytes.

Maximize your two minutes. Restate key points if you have to. Convey enthusiasm for the entire 120 seconds. Sit forward in your chair, back straight. Make eye contact. Infuse your voice with enthusiasm and authority. The quality of your two minutes could be the difference between you getting the job and the hiring manager looking elsewhere to fill the vacancy.





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