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When you have less than 60 seconds to pitch yourself, you have to regard yourself as a brand. Brands don't simply tell; brands show. Cut out the superfluous and get to the crux of what you offer in a bare bones approach that portrays your individual brand in the right light. The interviewer wants to know why he should hire you, and your pitch should not only explain, but should show.
Tell a Story
Association is a strong memory tool you can use to your advantage when selling yourself in under a minute. A detailed story creates a picture on top of your message, creating a stronger memory the interviewer may remember longer. Use a quick anecdote or an analogy along with your message. Instead of simply saying that you enjoy making user experiences easier, for example, tell a story of a user experience you created that had an impact on an actual person's life.
Spell out Your Value in a Clear Pitch
Explain who you are, what you do and why you are the best person to do it. Put your skills right out in front. If your skills include marketing, explain how your marketing ideas transformed a company you previously worked with. Your skills shouldn't simply sit flat on the page. You have to make them come alive by putting them into a context the interviewer will remember and understand immediately. Make the interviewer understand how your specific skill set can improve his company's performance.
Watch out for cliches, such as "team player." Everyone is a team player, so be more specific. Discuss the teams you worked with and how you managed to lead and be an equal member of the team simultaneously. Don't say you are "detail oriented." Rather, briefly explain how you spotted and corrected a major glitch in a computer system that put the entire proprietary database at risk.
Use Appropriate Body Language
Show who you are by the way you present yourself. If you are confident, make sure your posture agrees with you by sitting up straight and maintaining eye contact. When you sit down, point your feet in the direction of the interviewer, not the door. Feet pointed toward the door give the impression that you're ready to leave. Avoid fidgeting, such as toe-tapping or nail-biting. It makes you appear nervous and uncomfortable. Sit up straight with your hands on your lap and your legs uncrossed. Be as alert and invested in the interview as possible.
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Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.
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