In my online course, Find A Flexible Job & Make Work Fit Life, one of the sessions is “Get in the Proverbial Elevator & Give Your Job Search Pitch!” Two women have done a particularly great job of creating this important job search tool—and their examples can help many other smart women with what can be a daunting and exasperating task.
What, exactly, is that “60-Second Elevator Pitch”? It’s a brief advertisement that tells any networking contact who you are and the kind of job you’re seeking. It’s obviously not designed for a conversation on an actual elevator—but it drives home the fact that you have about 60 seconds to capture someone’s interest and attention (the same amount of time as an elevator ride).
The fact is that you need that elevator pitch to roll off your tongue. It should be ready for any conversation you have with any person at any time. There are the obvious professional situations…at industry events, networking meetings, as you sit next to the usual commuters. But it’s important to realize that you can make very valuable connections in situations that have nothing to do with the business world: at the bus stop, at the grocery store, on the soccer game sidelines, at a cocktail party and just about everywhere that you come into contact with humans on any given day.
Every person you meet could have valuable connections for your job search. You don’t have to work in advertising, for example, to know someone in advertising…it could be a person’s brother, aunt, neighbor, former college roommate, etc. We all have connections to many people in multiple industries—whether we have high-powered jobs or we manage hearth and home.
The key is to create a compelling elevator pitch that will motivate people you encounter to say “Hey, you should talk to…”. All that networking will lead you to flexible jobs that most often are not advertised in any way and require digging to find.
So here is the first example…what job seeker #1 is going to say “in the elevator” when someone asks, “what are you up to” or “what do you do?”
“I’ve spent the last three years as operations manager/coo for a hedge fund. My 15 years of experience in financial services is broad, so I’m pursuing several options, including client relations, compliance and operations management. While I prefer to stay local, with good support at home I’m able to consider work in the city. I specialize in roles that involve building internal and external client relationships, negotiation, consultative selling, training and mentoring. Each position in my career has a direct link to regulatory compliance and I have proven to be an effective business manager. Ideally, I’d like to find a client relations or operations role at a hedge fund, mutual fund, asset manager or other financial services business. I’m looking to network among funds and advisors in the NYC or CT/Westchester areas. Do you know anyone who it might make sense to contact?”
And then the second example is from job seeker #2, a woman who is returning to the workforce after several years out. Her answer to the networking question “what do you do?” is…
“Actually, I am looking to return to the workforce. For the past several years, I have volunteered with some wonderful non-profit organizations, and I have also done some freelance work. Now I would like to secure a part-time position with an organization, either serving in an interim administrative basis, laying the foundation for a successful fundraising campaign, or helping to plan and execute an event. My focus has been on annual fundraising and all of the details that go into planning and executing a successful campaign–recruiting and training volunteers, preparing promotional materials, communications through various forms of social media, and the donor acknowledgement process. I have also worked as a volunteer and have provided staff support for numerous fundraising events in the community. Since so many non-profit organizations depend upon individual giving and events to meet their revenue goals, I would like to immerse myself more deeply into these two areas, plus perform volunteer training on how to be an effective fundraiser for the organization. I am looking to connect with organizations who might have a need for someone who can lay the groundwork for a successful fundraising program. Do you know of anyone who I should contact?”
In my course, a step-by-step worksheet helps women create a home run elevator pitch that can be delivered—like these—in 60 seconds or less. As a course participant, you can view, comment on and ask questions about elevator pitches and other job search tools many women create. We’re all trying to find work that fits our lives for professional fulfillment and long-term financial security, and it’s easier when smart women help other smart women. Networking is the #1 way that people find jobs (NOT on internet job boards), so you’ve got to get this elevator pitch thing down pat. —KAS
P.S. Who do YOU know who could help these smart women?!