The Basics Of An Elevator Pitch

The Basics Of An Elevator Pitch

As a job-seeking professional, you need to have your elevator pitch prepared at all times. This short, persuasive speech comes in handy at networking events, interviews and when you unexpectedly run into professionals in your industry.

If you’ve never prepared an elevator pitch or think yours might need revamping, here are the basics:

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Posted in Job Search Strategy

First Impressions Count: Improve Your Job Interview Body Language

Improve Your Job Interview Body Language

As experienced job seekers, you know how to thoroughly prepare for interviews. You memorize your resume, research the company and pick out your best professional outfit. There’s one part you might have missed, however, and that’s practicing your body language. Job candidates can become so concerned with having the right answer to every question, they forget that how they look when they respond is just as important.

If you want to make a great impression at your next interview, here are a few tips to perfect your body language:

Practice Your Handshake
When you meet a hiring manager you want to show them you’re professional and confident. Luckily, you can send this message right away by having a firm handshake. For decades recruiters and professionals have advised job seekers to have a confident handshake, and this advice is just as applicable today as it was then. If you’re worried you have a weak handshake, ask to practice with some friends.

Sit up Straight
Bad posture is more than bad for your back – it can cost you a great job. Leaning back in a chair or slumping forward can portray laziness and disinterest. You want to sit in a neutral position. Keep your back straight and leave your hands at your sides or neatly folded in your lap. Don’t cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets. These can come across as defensive or that you’re hiding something.

Avoid Nervous Habits
Most people are understandably anxious at interviews, but you need to be mindful of your bad habits, such as scratching your nose, biting your nails or pushing your hair behind your ears. These habits tell interviewers you’re nervous, and can even distract them. If you aren’t sure if you fidget, ask your friends. They’ll have noticed or will pay attention to your personal habits.

Maintain Eye Contact.
The right amount of eye contact can be tricky. If you look someone directly in the eyes too long, you can come across as aggressive. However, avoiding eye contact in an interview is a mistake. Managers want you to maintain eye contact with them – it shows them you’re confident. If you need to know when to take a rest, break eye contact when you’re taking a few seconds to think of a response. Then, when you respond to the interviewer, maintain eye contact again.

Thinking about your body language befor​e an interview may feel like one too many things to prepare, but these are good habits to maintain every day. Do a self-assessment of your posture and nervous ticks then make a conscious effort to improve any bad habits. Positive body language can be the bridge between you and your ideal job.

Posted in Job Search Strategy

How To Create A Job For Yourself

How To Create A Job For Yourself

The job market is incredibly challenging right now, and on some days, trying to find a job can appear impossible to even the most optimistic job seeker. Common sense tells candidates to apply to a job only when they know that position is open, but there’s another strategy many job seekers aren’t aware of or are too nervous to try. This different strategy is to apply for a position that doesn’t exist yet. Here are some ways candidates can seek out a job a company hasn’t realized it needs:

Apply to Companies, Not Jobs
If you know your skills, qualifications and goals, you should begin to look for companies you’d like to work at, instead of focusing only on open positions you’re interested in. Get to know these companies’ structures, cultures and objectives. Researching the companies will give you a sense of the industry’s environment, and once you have a better understanding of the industry as whole, you can determine the place you would best fit within it.

Next, find the right people to talk to – meaning try to get face-to-face time with them. There’s no need to say you’re applying for a job that may or may not exist. Instead, this is your time to learn more about the companies you’ve studied and the employees that have done well in these workplaces. Ask these professionals to coffee and explain to them your goals and how you desire to fit into a business like theirs.

Attempt to Fill the Gaps
If you see a gap in a company or office, pitch to the business how you can fill that hole. If you’re going to present the argument that a company needs to create a specific position and hire you for it, do your research. Look at other businesses, their structures and how they would handle a similar job. Point out to the business its weaknesses and the benefits this position brings. Be sure to include in your presentation exactly why you’re the best person for this job – you don’t want them to create the job then hire someone else.

Consider Freelance
If you have special skills, consider contract work or temporary assignments. The skills you have and the projects you wish to work on may not lend themselves to being a full-time employee at your target companies. If this is the case, build up your entrepreneurial spirit and go out on your own. Instead of pitching to a company the benefits of creating a certain position, sell your services. This approach can offer you a range of clients and experiences while you develop your professional qualifications.

Finding a job is a difficult task, but candidates shouldn’t be afraid to take a chance. Getting the ideal job may not be as simple as applying to a posting online. Instead, job seekers may need to put themselves out there in their desired industry and pitch themselves to companies.

Posted in Job Search Strategy

The Secret To Writing Attention-Grabbing Recruiting Emails

The Secret To Writing Attention-Grabbing Recruiting Emails

Recruiters face a difficult task on a daily basis – writing attention-grabbing recruiting emails. This may sound simple, but recruiters are reaching out to people they don’t know well or at all and need to grab their interest quickly.

This recruiting tool can be performed efficiently and effectively by following these steps:

Personalize the subject line
Recruiters must create individual, personal subject lines. Candidates may not know the recruiter and will therefore be receiving an email from an unknown address. If the email isn’t automatically sent to their spam folder, recruiters have to hope their subject line is enough to stop candidates from simply hitting the delete button. To grab the person’s attention, use his or her name. For example: “Claire – a great job opportunity has opened up near you.” Your goal should be for the candidate to know instantly your email isn’t spam.

Introduce yourself
After you’ve caught the candidate’s attention, provide a brief introduction of who you are and why you’re contacting him or her. Be sure to include how you found this person’s name. You want to keep your email concise so this should be no more than a few sentences.

Describe the position
You need to avoid being vague. If you’ve caught the candidate’s attention and he or she is taking a minute to read your email, don’t waste his or her time. Provide as much detail as you can about the position, including the job description, its location, the main qualities the company is looking for and the compensation.

Connect the candidate to the job
You should now be able to address why you’re contacting this specific individual for this particular job.

If the person you’re emailing is a passive candidate, don’t assume he or she is interested in leaving their current job. In fact, unless you have accurate information this is the type of position the person is actively seeking – never assume he or she will be interested. Offer information to the person as you would to any job seeker, active or passive, but state you’re aware he or she might not be looking. Also reassure the candidate that if he or she isn’t interested in the current position, you’re available to help them any time in the future.

Wrap it up
You don’t want to force a person to spend five minutes reading an email that could take two. End your email on a positive note. Remind candidates you think they would be a great fit for the position then ask them to get back to you as soon as they can. Be sure to include your contact information here, even if it’s part of your signature. If the person is interested, you don’t want him or her to need to search for your number.

Recruiters can complete a difficult task with efficiency if they remember to grab the candidate’s attention with a personal subject line. Once they have the candidate’s attention, they can provide him or her with details about the open position and why he or she would be a great fit.

Posted in HR & Recruitment

How To Remember Names When You’re Networking

How To Remember Names When You're Networking

A critical aspect of finding a job is networking. However, networking every week is useless if you meet someone and can’t remember his or her name later that day or the next: you’ve now lost the ability to reach out. You’ve also set yourself up for an awkward moment in the future if you run into that person again.

If you’ve discovered you have trouble with this, here’s how to remember names when you’re networking:

  1. When you meet someone at a networking event, immediately repeat his or her name in your reply and then throughout the conversation. Instead of saying “it’s nice to meet you,” say “it’s nice to meet you, Bill.” Then say Bill’s name a few times throughout the conversation. A simple way to do this is to add it when you’re asking a question, “When did you begin working for your current company, Bill?”
  2. Think of a specific detail about the person to connect with his or her name. Maybe Bill is wearing a strange tie – think of “Bill, the man with the pink tie-dyed tie.” Or connect the person’s name with an image or similarly named celebrity. If you meet a person from New York, picture that person at Times Square. If you meet someone named Julia, picture Julia Roberts.
  3. Next, write the name down. A great place to keep information regarding your new networking contacts is in your phone’s contacts. Along with adding their name, number and email, add notes. If you learned they went to the same university, write it down. If you learn better by physically writing, take notes on the back of the person’s card. Jot down whatever will help you remember that person in the future – any observations that will jog your memory.
  4. Last, if you’ve made a connection with someone whom you want to keep in contact with, reach out to him or her as soon as possible. Don’t wait a week to email or call. The best way to remember people’s names is to keep in contact and get to know them.

 

Posted in Job Search Strategy