What is a Personal Pitch?
Your personal pitch… an ‘elevator pitch’. With your job hunt as an example, the idea of an elevator pitch is that you find yourself in an elevator with a hiring manager of a company you’d love to work for and you have the length of the elevator ride to convince them to give you an interview.
So, you have 30-60 seconds to give a clear, concise and impactful overview of yourself. No pressure!
Why a Personal Pitch is a MUST if You’re Changing Industry
Every job hunter should have a personal pitch but if you’re looking to change industry – you need a great one.
Here are 5 reasons why:
- You have to catch someone’s attention and stand out from the crowd of potential candidates – this will be harder than if you had multiple years of experience in their industry
- You have to reassure them that you have the skills they need despite lacking industry specific experience
- You have to help them understand your motivations for change
- You have to show your commitment to your new industry
- You are essentially asking someone to be the first person in this new industry to hire you – everything you do has to be better than a candidate with industry experience
When you Might use a Personal Pitch
This is more than just a theoretical exercise. There are plenty of times you’ll find this ‘elevator pitch’ come in handy.
- Talking to exhibitors at a careers fair
- Meeting new people at networking events
- Answering the classic interview opener “So tell me a little about yourself”
- It can form the basis for the personal summary of your CV (with some adjustments)
- And yes, maybe even a chance encounter with a hiring manager of your dream company!
How do you Write an Excellent Reskilling Personal Pitch?
So now you know what a personal pitch is, why you need one and when you might use it, let’s get to the good stuff… How to write an excellent personal pitch.
- In total you’re aiming for a paragraph that takes 30-60 seconds to say out loud.
- Focus on 3-5 key messages that you want someone to remember about you – these should form the foundation of your pitch
- 75% should be outlining your previous experience and career history, the final 25% should focus on why you wanted to reskill and, if you’re at interview, why this specific company/role is of interest.
- To outline your experience, focus on achievements and key skills you have developed – these should be transferable skills that are relevant for the role you’d like to move into (for more on assessing your skills and identifying transferable skills, see this article)
- Be careful not to use jargon from your previous industry – your personal pitch should be your key facts at their most fundamental level and anyone should be able to understand them
- Keep the focus on what you can bring to a role and what you are offering as a candidate. This isn’t a time for “Please give me a job, I really deserve it”. Think of it more as a time for “I’ve got the skills you’re looking for and I’m a really committed candidate, please give me a job”
- Tell them about your goals in reskilling – what is motivating you to do it and what do you want to achieve?
It’s Written, now What?
Once your personal pitch is complete – record yourself saying it out loud. I know that sounds like a terrible idea (and everyone hates hearing their own voice!) but the more often you say it, the easier it will come, the more natural it will sound and the more confident you’ll be in delivering it – I promise!
Also be sure to revisit it regularly. As your skills and knowledge increase, make sure that your personal pitch is always representing the very best of your current offering.