By Dr. Howard Gauthier
Having a quality personal sales pitch is a necessity for every job seeker. Your personal sales pitch should be used in all of your correspondence, including your cover letter. It should be used when communicating with potenital employers and in answering interview questions.
The sales pitch needs to be geared towards the type of organization you are interviewing with and the type of position you are seeking. As you communicate with potential employers you will want to share your pitch with clarity and enthusiasm. It is vitally important that you practice reciting your pitch, and parts of your pitch, so it comes across in a natural manner. Practicing your pitch will allow you to control your message and help you to eliminate poorly phrased responses and long uncomfortable pauses.
The personal sales pitch is composed of three sections – a summary of your resume; a listing of your skills, abilities and traits; and a description of your current situation. A person should be able to recite the entire pitch in less than two minutes. The entire pitch will be used for answering questions such as “Tell me about yourself” or “Why should we hire you”.
Depending upon the question you are being asked in a job interview, you could answer it with the entire pitch, or one of the three subsections. For example, if you were asked the question “What is your experience in working in this industry”, you would answer this question by reciting your first section, the summary of your resume. If you were asked the questions “What are your strengths” or “How would your colleagues describe you”, you would answer this question by using your second section, a listing of your skills, abilities and traits. Finally, if you are asked the questions “Why are you looking to leave your current position”, you would answer this by reciting your third section, your current situation.
As you create your personal sales pitch, always be positive in your response. If you are currently unemployed, do not say that you are unemployed because your previous boss didn’t like you. Instead, be prepared for this question and develop an answer that sounds plausible in a neutral tone, and then transition into selling yourself using either your experiences in the industry or your skills and strengths. In other words, share your strengths and why they should hire you. Ultimately, the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!
Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 8 books. Check out his new book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition.