Seven Pointers to an effective elevator speech and cover letter

As you go about your job search is critically important that you understand and internalize the value that you provide to an employee or client.

You must understand deep inside yourself what makes you so special at the job you are pursuing. You must have a good sense from your connections and research what a potential employer is looking for. You should know, or be able to intuit, what kind of problems they are likely to have and what problems they are looking to have someone  you hopefully  take care of for them.

You should have moved way past such generic, price-of-entry claims as “on time, on budget” or “I manage teams” or other boilerplate descriptions of what a job entails. These are merely support points, they do not differentiate you in any way. (Except perhaps from the people who write ” I am a sloppy worker, my team hates me and my projects are always late.)

You should look into your own career triumphs, large and small and pick three or four that you can describe briefly and vividly. These must be stories that no-one else could tell, that encapsulate the value and passion that you and you alone provide.

Once you have all this deep inside you, you will be able to pull out all the appropriate bits when the occasion arises. You will use those bits in your “elevator speeches” to people you meet. You will use them in your cover letter and in the wonderful opening of your resume document. And of course you will use them in your LinkedIn and other social media profiles.

Here is a list of seven key points to keep in mind as you develop this pitch:

1.      You are pitching that you want to solve the hirer’ s problem
2.      Be very, very clear on what specific value you offer them that is different from anyone else
3.      Be very, very passionate about doing it
4.      Tell a brief anecdote about a career triumph that proves you have the qualities demanded
5.      You are not asking for them to give you a job  you are offering them a uniquely perfect solution to their problem
6.      You need to understand their needs and challenges  imagine yourself in their place.
7.      You need to present yourself as the solution they are looking for  even if they weren’t looking