By Shannon Houde
You’re at a leading industry conference getting a free-trade banana from the display of otherwise fattening snacks, and looking around to catch eyes with someone and “network”. Ahhhh! All of a sudden you see your dream boss, your top influencer. You brave it, walk over, introduce yourself and they are engaged. They ask you simply,
“So, what do you DO?”
Your heart rate goes up, you start to fidgit, and then…freeze. It seems like such a simple question (like the dreaded interview question, “walk me through your resume”. I mean who, more than you, knows as much as you do about yourself?
But really, are you ready for this? You don’t have a choice but to get ready. The new secret jobs market insists that you take the time to craft your memorable, original intro now – to save yourself later.
Not looking for a new job? That’s ok as this quick (think 30-seconds) pitch could help you win contracts, funding, or support for your impact-driven mission. It’s not used just to help you schmooze for a job, and, like LinkedIn, it isn’t only for job seekers, but rather, to help you build your personal brand and “make new friends” in your industry.
The trap many fall into is making their answer too short with just a title and company name when asked “what do you do?” That is boring! You have to bring it to life, tell a story, and take the whole 30 seconds. Don’t sell yourself short by keeping it too short.
Creating an elevator pitch is a 6-step process:
Shannon Houde is an ICF certified executive and career coach who founded, Walk of Life Consulting, the first international professional development advisory business focused solely on the social impact, environmental and sustainable business fields.
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