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10 Mar

How to craft an awesome ‘About Me’ introduction

“When an interviewer asks me to 'introduce myself,' I freeze up. I end up just reciting my resume and I know I could do better. Help!”

Today, we are going to talk about your personal ‘elevator pitch’: a brief and persuasive statement that sparks an employer’s interest in what you can do.  It’s so named because you want to say something memorable, impressive, and unique - in the time it would take to ride an elevator to the 20th floor!   

If you’re job hunting, creating and memorising an elevator pitch is a great idea.  Not only does it help you to open positively at an interview, but it can also be used in your resume, your cover letter, and your LinkedIn Profile.  The better prepared you are, the more confidently you will present.

There are 3 basic parts to a personal elevator pitch. 

  • Hi, my name is… (a brief overview of you as a person)
  • This is what I can do… (a summary of your experience, education, and career highlights)
  • This is what I am looking for... (and why you’re interested in your opportunity) 

 

1. The Introduction

HR Managers and recruiters who are talking to dozens of applicants each day like it when someone ‘stands out’ – for the right reasons.  It’s ok to share a bit of what makes you ‘you’; your hobbies, values, and passions outside of work. This gives context to you as a whole person and helps the employer to see alignment with the team before examining your skills and experience. 

Here is a great example:

     In a nutshell, I am an ambitious and motivated lifelong learner. I believe that if you can engage in learning that's helpful to you personally and also meets your professional needs, you are more likely to gain satisfaction at work and find greater personal opportunities…  I am energized by learning and then sharing what I have learned with others who may also benefit…

Storytelling can be a powerful tool in your introduction. Explaining why you do certain things and what drives you (if relevant for the role) can be a great way to build rapport.

Here’s an example of a recruiter introducing herself and explaining why she loves what she does:   

      “In South Africa, one employed person can feed a family of 13 or more, so it has always created such a warm feeling, knowing that finding a job for one person can change the lives of at least 13 more. That’s my ‘why’ - changing lives!”

 

2. What you can do

Employers want to know what you can do in general, but also will be looking to understand what you can do FOR THEM specifically.

Rather than just listing your skills generically, share how you’d apply your skills or better yet find the gaps where you can apply your specific skillset.

Here’s an example:

    “Hopefully in the next few moments, you are going to want to know more about how I could be of great value to your organisation. With an extensive background in business development, I have honed my sales skills over the last 20 years which has seen me help businesses grow their new client portfolio by over 50% in the first year of us working together… I am looking to work more within the NFP sector as I believe my relationship-building skills would be easily transferable into this role…   “

The above example is clever because it succinctly tells the interviewer that this is an experienced, results-focussed salesperson with relevant industry experience. 

 

3. What you are looking for

“When I speak to candidates, I love it when they bring insight into the business and mention areas they think they could add value to and why” says Talent Propeller’s Campaign Manager, Rikki Somerville.  “For example, when they touch on the fact that Talent Propeller has a high ratio of women in leadership, that’s something that really creates a great impression for me as it shows they have done a deep dive into our organisation and are genuinely interested in not just the role but our team and business.”

A LinkedIn profile needs to be generic, but when preparing a cover letter or for an interview, your response should be customised to that organisation.  Try to find a common denominator, what do you have in common with the people that already work there, what goals, values, work ethics do you share?  Why this organisation?

Summarise the sort of role you are looking for and what’s important to you and you have successfully created a great elevator pitch.  Good luck!

  

Final tips

  • You don’t want to sound like a robot, practice will help you to deliver your pitch naturally.
  • Confidence will get you halfway there.  Be authentic – Be brave. An elevator pitch is personal to you, what makes you unique, what makes you stand out. Own it!
  • Be specific, don’t ramble. Rather, use less words with more impact. 2-3 tight sentences are better than half a page of rambling statements.  Read your cover letter/profile: ideally it should take no more than 20-30 seconds.