Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Prepare Variations

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the development and use of an elevator speech as used in a job search.

Prepare a few variations.

You might want to say things differently to a colleague than you would to a friend at a social gathering. Sometimes you’ll just have fifteen seconds for your speech, and in other situations you might have a full minute.

Focus on mastering a few key talking points, and then work up ways to customize your speech for particular situations. Much of this will happen naturally as you speak with people (as long as you remember your talking points).

Use the word count feature on your computer to create shorter and longer versions. A good rule of thumb is that you can comfortably say about 150 words in sixty seconds.

Remember, the purpose of an elevator speech is to quickly inform the listener of your value proposition as a professional and begin a conversation. Putting these tips into action is the real trick. Check out these websites that contain scores of elevator speeches (not all are designed for job seekers) for a variety of industries: www.improvandy.com and www.yourelevatorpitch.net.

Example

Employee Benefits Account Management Professional

“I am an employee benefits account management professional that helps businesses control their healthcare and insurance costs. My expertise is in medical self-funding and population health management. I have a documented track record of retaining existing clients; in fact, over the last five years I have a 96% retention rate with my client base. I want to make a career move to an organization looking to expand its market share and retain business in the self-funded arena.”

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Practice, practice, practice – and solicit feedback

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the development and use of an elevator speech as used in a job search.

Practice, practice, practice—and solicit feedback.

After reading your speech aloud, tinker with the words (the goal is to have a speech that sounds authentic and confident). Now, memorize the speech and rehearse it in front of a mirror (or use the video recording capabilities of your computer or smartphone). You need to see and hear how you sound. Granted, this might feel awkward at first, but the more you practice, the smoother (and more conversational) your delivery will be. Smiling while saying the words will increase the impact of the speech. Project your voice so those listening will clearly hear and understand.

Continue tweaking your speech until it no longer sounds rehearsed. When polished to your satisfaction, try the speech out on a few friends. Make eye contact, smile, and deliver your message with confidence. Afterward, ask them what they thought your key points were. If their response doesn’t square with your objective, the speech still needs work.

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Tailor the speech to them, not you!

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the development and use of an elevator speech as used in a job search.

Tailor the speech to them, not you.

Remember that the people listening to your speech will have their antennas tuned to WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). So, refer to what you have written to ensure your message addresses their potential needs.

For example, this introduction: “I am a human resources professional with ten years of experience working for consumer products companies,” would be more powerful this way: “I am a human resources professional with a strong track record in helping identify and recruit top-level sales talent.” Hear the difference? Hear the branding?

Using benefit-focused terminology will help convince a listener that you have the experience and skills to get the job done at his or her company.

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Write your speech (after you have outlined it)

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the development and use of an elevator speech as used in a job search.

Write your speech.

Now that you have ideas and concepts about yourself to promote (your outline), begin drafting your speech’s initial version. Here are some steps to guide you.

  1. Identify yourself by function.
  2. Statement regarding your value proposition as a professional.
  3. Accomplishment or proof statement that supports your value proposition as a professional.
  4. Call to action in the form of a subtle invitation to have a conversation.

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Brian Howard’s Podcast Interview on Career Cloud Radio Discussing The Motivated Job Search

“The most effective and efficient job search strategy is a self-motivated approach. This is a proactive approach where the job seeker actively engages the job market to discover opportunities where their skills and competencies bring the greatest value to an employer.”

-Brian Howard

In this podcast interview (link), Chris Russell of Career Cloud Radio asks Brian about the following topics and more.

  • What does the job market look like from where you sit…
  • How can candidates get off to a successful start in their job search?
  • How much does your attitude figure in?
  • Your Career . . . Your Responsibility
  • Understanding the Employer’s Mindset
  • What’s an Exit Statement…and how to use it.
  • Resume tips
  • What Recruiters Can and Cannot Do for You
  • How to find a good recruiter…what to look for?
  • General rules around proactively marketing yourself in a job search
  • Unique tactics…what’s a brag book?

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Outline your speech

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the development and use of an elevator speech as used in a job search.

Outline your speech.

Give yourself some time to ponder the ideas and concepts you may include in your speech. Don’t rush. It isn’t necessary to start drafting the speech immediately, but begin with notes reminding you of your bottom-line message. Don’t worry about proper grammar and complete sentences yet. The objective is to gather concepts and ideas first, so be careful not to edit yourself. Refer to your branding words.

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Know what your value proposition is

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the development and use of an elevator speech as used in a job search.

Know what your Value Proposition is.

This is where your branding comes into full play. Identify as precisely as possible what you offer, what problems you can solve, and what benefits you bring to an employer.

If you are a tenured job seeker, think of achievements and statements that could be woven into your elevator speech that could attack an age bias, such as instituting a new technology or taking on a project that required extra effort or extra hours of work.

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” — Albert Einstein

Please comment, share and follow for more of The Motivated Series!

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Know Your Target Audience

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the development and use of an elevator speech as used in a job search.

Know your target audience.

This single factor will give your speech the most impact. For example, if you’re targeting a CEO position and you will be speaking to members of the board of directors, you want your elevator speech to include statements of vision, direction, strategy, profitability, and shareholder value (especially for publicly traded companies).

If your target position is in operations and the hiring executive is the COO, you want your elevator speech to include concepts such as efficiency and operational savings.

Finally, if your target position is in sales and the hiring executive will be the director or vice president of sales, you want your elevator speech to contain information about new business sales and sales goal attainment.

We want to hear from you!  Please comment, share and sign up for more!

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Purpose

The elevator speech is a critical component to your job search. By definition, an elevator speech is a 30-second speech that summarizes who you are, what you do, and why you’d be a perfect candidate.  In essence, it is your personal commercial.

In this multi-part posting, we will discuss the critical elements of a elevator speech as used in a job search.

The purpose of your elevator speech is to grab the listener’s attention, quickly provide relevant information, and initiate conversation. A crisply delivered elevator speech is a differentiator from other job seekers. While others may struggle and stumble, you will be able to concisely inform the listener about your professional value proposition (brand).

Develop a handful of variations for different situations, including all forms of networking, interviews, association and industry conferences, and strictly social gatherings. This will be easy to do once you get your talking-points memorized.

Please comment.

For daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Infographic Resumes – Some Additional Considerations – Continued

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the considerations and use of an infographic resume as a tool in your job search. Let’s continue by discussing some additional considerations of using an infographic resume in your job search.

It must look great! Not just good, but great! If you pursue this differentiation tactic, the final product must have a “wow” factor…a “holy cow this is really cool” factor. Otherwise, it will not have the persuasive and differentiating effect you are looking for. It is highly recommended that, should you pursue this job search tactic, you hire a professional to create it. Creating the document on your own can take countless hours. Time better spent pursuing other job search activities – networking, marketing your professional credentials, and so on.

A few final thoughts. One interesting concept you could explore is creating an infographic section to your traditional resume. This would be a form of a showcase resume using color and graphics as your showcase section. Then, traditional resume information would follow.

If you create an infographic resume, get it out there! Use it! One easy thing to do is attach it to your LinkedIn profile. Obviously you want to have it and hand it out during networking events and as a supplement to interviews. Since you put in the time, effort, thought, and money into this tactic, look for ways to leverage it in your job search activities.

Caution. Creating an infographic resume can be a distraction. Its creation can easily become busy-work that distracts you from the real tasks of moving your job search forward. Be aware of your time and use it wisely. An Infographic resume is a differentiator, but it will not by itself get you a job.

Discovering examples of infographic resumes and professionals (vendors) that create them is as simple as a Google search for “infographic resumes.”

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.