Every successful jobseeker has a key selling point which briefly sets forth who they are, and what their main accomplishments and goals are. These are the ingredients of a “personal commercial”, but in order to engage the other person, you have to creatively wrap up your message and tailor it to your target audience and deliver it with confidence.
Here is how to master this process:
1. Define your targets
The process starts with defining your situation and what you want to achieve. Are you looking to network to expand your business? Do you plan to change career and start interviewing as soon as possible? Are you a student who is interested in embarking on an apprenticeship or internship next summer? Figure out your desired outcome and customise your statements to captivate the receiver.
2. Craft your introduction
The first sentence is important as it sets the stage. For instance “I’m a second-year student at University of Birmingham studying international marketing with an emphasis on German,” is an optimal way for a student to make a start. Or, “I’m the manager of Student Connect Wolverhampton, a student portal through which graduates can find job opportunities and network with employers in the West Midlands” is a more effective way for a business professional to network. Remember: starting the conversation in an engaging way that tells your targeted audience who you are and where you stand professionally is key in getting the attention you deserve.
3. Add some depth. Elaborate on your unique value
After you have your opening, it is time to add some details to spice up your message and show how your experience and credentials match the needs of the employer. Come up with one to three sentences to describe your strengths, skills, interests and experience and give measurable details to help the receiver grasp the extent of your professional achievement. Highlight sales numbers, mention personal achievements, such as winning this year’s pixathlon (worldwide photography competition), and point out your involvement in professional associations.
For example: “I have 10 years of experience in international marketing strategies and have worked with the world’s most prominent brands such as Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline in senior-level roles which involved developing and implementing effective international marketing plans. My team’s proudest achievement is evident in Unilever’s annual report 2013 – when we managed to maximise the firm’s market share by 35% in South-Eastern Europe, surpassing our initial goals by 10%”.
4. Create a closing statement
As a last word, create a concluding statement that expresses your goal in an engaging way. If you are a student, say what your future aspirations are and what you are looking to do in the future. For example, if you are looking to find a junior-level job opportunity abroad, ask the listener to provide you with advice on how to find these kind of roles in your preferred country. If you are a more experienced professional looking to capitalise on employers who value young talent, ask in what roles does the company hire mid-level professionals?
5. Practice how to say it
Practicing is the best way to refine your wording and articulate it in a confident and convincing manner. You can try it with your friends, people from your family circle or with certain contacts that don’t know you professionally and see if they get the intended message easily. Your aim is to create a memorable and vivid impression that will make the listener remember you in a positive light.
A personal commercial is your brand image and as such it should be neatly and methodically crafted. Use it when networking as an alternative to the elevator speech, during the interview process as a response to the “Tell me about yourself question” or as a professional summary on your resume or LinkedIn profile.
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