In “Pitch Anything,” author Oren Klaff discusses the fine art of pitching, or convincing someone to want to hear more about your offer, project or product. Job hunters pitch their skills and experience to employers in resume cover letters to get interviews, and in interviews to get job offers. Whether written or verbal, effective job pitches deliver concise information that should be relevant and desirable to the employer, include a unique value proposition or hook, and drive emotion with compelling comparisons and examples.
Job Pitch Structure
Columbia School of International and Public Affairs suggests that a formal structure for job pitches should include action verbs, program type, product or service, type of organization and geographic location. “I hold a California CPA license, have a master’s degree in accounting management and have worked for the city of Sunnyvale, California, managing the municipal accounting division for 10 years. I would bring my professional training and experience to the chief financial officer role at Acme Widgets Sunnyvale corporate headquarters to effectively manage routine accounting processes and staff, as well as provide qualified support for the planned expansion and mergers and acquisitions.”
Authors Jay Conrad Levinson and David E. Perry recommend job seekers use storytelling in all their communications, written and verbal, including job pitches. They suggest you frame your job pitch and answers to questions in interviews in PARs format, describing a problem you encountered, what action you took and the results achieved. In a job pitch, this may be something like: “As a New Jersey municipal planner with 10 years experience as the Cottwin County, New Jersey city manager, I regularly faced budget shortfalls that I tackled with my accounting and municipal management teams in brainstorming and training sessions. We came up with creative ways to keep programs active in spite of loss of funds, or found ways to keep funds flowing to the most important programs. My strengths lie in recognizing talent in others and encouraging collaboration, teamwork and creative problem solving.”
Use a Rhetorical Question
Ask a question at the opening of your job pitch that instantly conveys what you can do for employers. “Do you recall the story of the little Dutch boy who plugged the leak in the dike to keep it from bursting? Does your accounting team spend a lot of time plugging leaks to prevent floods? With my forensic accounting and management training and experience, you won’t have to worry about plugging financial leaks because I find them and permanently eliminate them with sound accounting practices and financial management.”
Solve a Problem
An effective way to get attention in a job pitch is to fix an employer’s problem. For example, if you know from the interview that the employer has problems with sales associates and has lost several sales managers recently, you can use that in your pitch. “We discussed the challenges of developing your sales team. I believe training is one of the best development tools and have implemented several different sales training programs in my roles as sales manager. I can recommend the ones that worked best for me and my sales teams and the employers we worked for, and know what it takes to run a successful training program."