Category Archives: sales pitch

“To My Fellow Job-Hunting College Seniors”

“When it came to my job search, I discovered a disconnect between my education and the real world.”  Easy tips from a successful college job seeker:

To my fellow generation of entitled adult-adolescents who expect a $75,000 salary if they’re going to get up before 10 a.m., here’s my advice from the other side of the job search. You won’t hear any of this from your college career center.

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• Set up your voice mail like someone who has a real job or deserves one. Don’t make people sit through even five seconds of your favorite song or your jokey explanation of why they need to leave a message. If they’re calling to set up a job interview, they just want to be sure it’s you.

• Never wear a black suit to an interview. Black suits are for weddings and funerals. Go to a classy men’s boutique and have them fix you up with a nice $500 suit, gray or navy blue. It’ll last you five years. The key is to make sure it fits so you’ll feel snappy in the job interview despite your stutters and flop sweat. If you can swing it, buy the grayand the blue suit. Wear the blue for the first-round interview, and the gray to the more formal second- or third-round interviews. (Women: Sorry, I’m not qualified to advise on pencil-skirts and heels.)

• If you get nervous in social situations, make an effort to go out to a bar—not with your buddies—a few months before interview season, have a couple of drinks, and strike up a conversation with an unfamiliar girl (or guy). Bars are low-pressure, and even if you do get shut down, you’ll realize that the rejection isn’t that bad. More important, you’ll gain new confidence that will help in higher-pressure environments such as interviews and networking sessions.

• In networking sessions, don’t talk about the fascinating people you’ve met or the exotic places you’ve been if that information hasn’t been strongly solicited by the other person. Better to talk about your friend who deep-fried an entire bag of Doritos than the semester you spent at Oxford. You’ll get laughs and seem down-to-earth.

• Don’t use your university email on your resume. Schools often discontinue email addresses, and if an employer wants to get in touch after graduation you’ll be out of luck. Get a Gmail account with some easy-to-understand form of your name. Note: It’s safe to assume that job interviewers think people with Yahoo or AOL email accounts are suspect.

• When you get a business card, write on the back where and when you met the person and any useful notes about him or her. Keep track of these cards. Personally, I use a spreadsheet for all the info. Email your contacts—even a few lines—every three or four months and make sure you have something to say.

• Trying to network with someone in a company but don’t know their email? If you have someone else’s email from the company, follow the format. If an analyst’s email is, and you want to get in touch with Jane Smith, send the email to I have used this trick a few times and it works.

• LinkedIn. Get one.

• Social Media. As you’ve noticed, parents now use Facebook more than we do, and the people who are thinking about hiring you will probably be parents. Before you start your job or internship search, reset your privacy settings so that strangers can see only your profile picture. Choose a presentable photo—no random arm around you or red Solo cups. Make your Twitter and Instagram private. Oh, and delete your Myspace if it still exists. Any potential employer will Google you, so if there’s anything floating around on the Web that you don’t want them to see, take it down.

• Write thank-you notes for job interviews. Emails don’t cut it, so play it safe and do both. Write and mail the note the minute you get home.

• Once you accept a job offer, don’t talk about your salary—you’ll either sound like you’re bragging or you’ll discover that you should have held out for more. An exception: Friends may ask in earnest, especially juniors, so they can better grasp the job market. But tell them at your own risk.

• If you’ve accepted an offer, do everything in your power to help classmates find a job. Getting an offer means you’re doing something right and probably have at least one valuable piece of advice to pass along. Share if others ask. You would want someone to do the same for you.

Don’t worry, if you get one or more of these things wrong, it isn’t going to totally kill your chances of landing an internship or job. And it was probably time to clean up your Facebook anyway.

Mr. Pierce is a senior finance student at the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business. After graduation, he’ll be working as an investment-banking analyst. for How to Find a Job Coaching
Borrowed and adapted from The Wall Street Journal Opinion article by DAVID L. PIERCE.
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30 Seconds to Better Information Retention


The 30 Second Review: Immediately after any lecture, conference, meeting, or other significant experience, take 30 seconds to think through (summarize; write down if you can) the most important points. That’s it. It sounds so simple—almost a useless exercise—but after several months of trying it out, Scott shares her experience and the multiple benefits:

“You learn to listen better, and ask better questions: Once you get into the habit of the 30 second review, it starts to change the way you pay attention, whether listening to a talk or participating in a discussion. It’s like learning to detect a simple melody amidst a cacophony of sound. And as you listen with more focus, and ask better questions which prompt actionable answers, so your 30 second review becomes more useful.”

Additionally, she says, it helps you interpret information and decide what really matters, capture nuance in conversations, and better help others. 

Thanks to The Daily Muse and Robyn Scott.  Read her on

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4 Million Open Jobs!

Don’t settle for mediocrity. There are 4 million open jobs in the US. Job Seeker: look online; submit resume; wait. Employers: post online; review resumes; wait.  But this doesn’t work. For you to be hired, you need to radically re-imagine how to navigate the job market, connect, engage, and build the kind of personal brand to attract employers.

Re-imagine how to market yourself, develop your target companies and jobs, and expand your network. 4 million people need to be hired, so invest the time, creativity and persistence to be successful.

For more ideas, hire a Coach!


Adapted and borrowed from Business Insider: “This Simple Strategy Will Make You The Top Candidate For Any Job” by Joel Capperella.

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Workplace Passion…?

Yes! Bosses have discovered that passion -about the business! -makes a better employee.

I love you

A passion for the business. A zeal for the industry. An excitement, an enthusiasm, a zest for the art, and the craft, and the science, of what makes a company in the field succeed. In an information economy, the measures of success are increasingly intangible.  Finding people who can make decisions well, and then execute on those decisions, is difficult for bosses.They have to figure out who is going to understand the customer better, the manufacturing process better, the marketing better, the interface better, and so on.

What’s more, bosses need to determine who’s going to stick with it — there are a lot more forks in the road, and bumps along the way, in this intangible world. Perseverance through the inevitable fumbles and fiascos is needed because without perseverance there are no victories.

Because somebody who is passionate is inherently motivated, and internally driven to succeed, they try harder to find answers. They think up clever stuff on their own. They enjoy the business, and the customers, and the industry so much that they’re always discovering new things or perceiving additional ways that the business could succeed.

In short, passionate people are better employees because they care more than dispassionate people. Celebrate your passions in your work and job search, and enjoy the sweet taste of success.

Excerpted insight from article by MARC CENEDELLA, THELADDERS

Read more:

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“So, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?”

Talking about yourself should be easy.  But for most of us, it’s pretty tough, especially in an interview. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can psych yourself up for this portion of big day, and nail it, too.







Body Language is Important  Whether you realize it or not, it speaks volumes about your personality and state of mind without you saying a word.

So, when you’re asked to talk about yourself, give your body a moment to catch up to your brain before you speak. Take a deep breath, and adjust your posture. Relax your shoulders, un-cross your legs, and do whatever you need to do to “switch” into a more casual posture. Not too casual—you’re still in an interview—just enough to give your interviewer a few body language cues that tell him or her you’re comfortable and excited to talk about yourself.

Keep it Short  Although your interviewer did ask you to talk about yourself, he or she probably doesn’t want to spend the entire interview hearing your life’s story. While you want to give a complete answer, linger too long and you’re likely to look unfocused—or worse, lose the interviewer’s interest.

To help keep your response in your interviewer’s attention sweet spot, keep it between one and two minutes. You’ll have to practice this at home a few times to get a sense for what you can fit into that timeframe, but once you do, you’ll be able to pace yourself when it’s time for the interview.

Follow the Formula   The trick, of course, is to keep yourself on topic. Think about hitting the following three points.

.    To start off, share the easy stuff, like what you’re currently doing, what you studied in college, or what your career path has been focused on. For example, “As you’ve probably seen, I studied business in college, and have been focusing on client relations and business development in the tech world ever since.”

.    Next, move on to your professional accomplishments. Pick two or three really unique milestones that relate to the job you’re applying for—for example, maybe you were given the opportunity to work with a high-profile client as a result of your skills as a negotiator. If you can throw in tangible results of your accomplishments as well—like improved client retention or increased sales—all the better!

.    Finally, bring it all together by talking about how all your prior experience has positioned you to pursue the challenges and opportunities the company and role you’re interviewing for would offer. Something like, “With my tech background and my track record of solving really tough client issues, I think I’d really succeed in this role.”

Be Yourself  When interviewers ask to hear more about you, they usually mean it. The rest of the questions you’ll be asked during your interview will cover your skills and capacity to do the work—but this first question seeks to uncover what you’d really be like to work with every day.

In other words, this is a great opportunity for you to show off your sparkling personality. Don’t be afraid to relax, smile, and throw in stories or anecdotes that show off your passions and interests (think: “The last company I worked for focused on sports teams—which was great, because I’m a basketball fanatic”).

Talking about yourself may never be easy, but using these tips will help make it look easy to your interviewer. While your resume may have an impressive list of accomplishments, nothing on paper could ever bring those talents to life like the person who made them—you!

A final thought — keep it positive, specific and somewhat short; try to make the interview more of a conversation and enjoy! – – Terry                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Thank you for this article and tips by Ryan Kahn. Read the full article at the link below.

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Dreamer? Lover? Thinker? Warrior?


The Answer?  All the above. Tap into your strengths – -and these 4 easy tips- – to excel at your interviews and networking.

English: A photo of The Thinker by Rodin locat...

 The Thinker


  • Use your inner Dreamer (Possibilities) to share a professional vision about yourself in the future.

    Now it’s time to shift your focus from your past to your future. That’s your inner Dreamer’s specialty. Paint a picture for them of how you hope to make a difference: in your work, in your life, at their company or organization. Inspire them with your aspirations for the years to come and how working with them helps you achieve them.


  • Use your inner Lover (People) to make a personal connection.

    An interview isn’t a transaction. It’s a mini-relationship.This is where the inner Lover excels – at building relationships. The number one reason people hire other people is because they like the idea of having them around. So reach out, and ask some questions about the person interviewing you: what do they love about the company? What excites them about their work, or gives their job meaning? Shift from showing your interest in landing the job to letting them feel your interest in getting to know them.


  • Use your inner Thinker (Perspectives) to move beyond superficial answers.

    Your inner Thinker is designed to gather information, analyze a situation from a few angles, and generate ideas to solve problems. Shift your answers from upbeat generalities to responses that invite your interviewer to think about what you’ve said. You want the interviewer to get engaged, to join you in an interesting exchange. When the interview is over, you want them still considering some of the points you made, and wishing they had a few more minutes to explore that last topic with you.


  • Use your inner Warrior (Performance) to show commitment, resolve, and the discipline to get things done.

    In your interview, instead of listing job titles you’ve held, shift to giving examples of projects you’ve worked on and completed. Tell stories of how you’ve contributed to completing important tasks, or accomplishing impressive goals. Even if you’re just out of school, you can describe how you hung in there and finished your thesis, despite the temptation to give up. This gives your interviewer confidence that you have the stamina and determination to deliver when it matters. After the interview, take a small action step that goes beyond just emailing them to thank them for the meeting. Attach an article related to the discussion you had, or a link to a website that extends the conversation. This reinforces that you’re not just talk — you’re also about practical follow-up and focused completion.



Thank you Erica Ariel Fox and Winning From Within for these great tips.

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3 Second Statement – -The Secret to Opening Doors

The Statement

So here’s how to summarise what you do in three seconds, as described in Brand You… We call it your three-second statement. If you mention two activities, at least twice as many people will want to know more. They will pick up on the topic that interests them most.

( I love this insight from John Purkiss, author of Brand You.  John and I overlapped at Heidrick & Struggles executive search where he was a partner in the London office. His website is )

So pick two things you want to highlight and make those into your three-second statement. John Purkiss’ own answer to “What do you do?” is “I’m a headhunter and I write books”.

You can vary what you include in your statement according to who is asking and what they are most likely to be interested in. You can then use this in your three-second statement: “I’m a website designer and I’ve recently qualified as a personal trainer” or “I work in HR and I write a blog about Indian food”.

So what’s your three-second statement?

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